Read: Pope Francis’ Historic Speech at the Joint Session of the US Congress

It was a glorious day at the Capitol Hill. For the first time in history, the Joint Session of the Congress of the United States of America hosted a pope of the Holy See to deliver a speech to these lawmakers. Even if popes such as Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI had visited the United States in the past, none had ever gotten a great opportunity such as Pope Francis.

And yes, Pope Francis did not disappoint. His words were subtle, sometimes complex, with multiple meanings and possible for differences in interpretation. But clearly, His Holiness maintained his sharp thoughts throughout the speech. From immigration to climate change, marriage to death penalty. Pope Francis also used four famous Americans as almost a case study for his speech. Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King were almost giveaways, but then, the pope added Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, to the bemusement of many of us who were not quite acquainted with the two individuals.

Trying to be non-partisan, yet divisive at times, this speech is one very important assembly of words to be remembered for many years to come. I am putting the transcript of the speech below, for your personal enjoyment. Continue reading Read: Pope Francis’ Historic Speech at the Joint Session of the US Congress

Algerian Foreign Policy in Perspective

If there are certain factors that may define Algerian foreign policy greatly, the factors of nationalism and revolutionary movements may provide the answer. This North African country found itself in the spotlight especially after what happened during the Algerian War of Independence in the 1950s. The United States Government considered Algerian foreign policy – especially in the 1960s and 1970s – to be ‘activist’, especially in support of independence movements in the Third World. Continue reading Algerian Foreign Policy in Perspective

Sejarah Politik Luar Negeri Indonesia

Untuk memeringati enam puluh tahun Konferensi Asia-Afrika pada tanggal 18-24 April 2015 mendatang, tulisan ini akan menapaktilas sejarah politik luar negeri Indonesia, bagaimana politik luar negeri mendukung keberlangsungan hidup negara yang baru merdeka, mengarungi berbagai tantangan politik internasional, hingga kini.

Sejarah politik luar negeri Indonesia tidak terlepas dari sejarah Kementerian Luar Negeri, yaitu badan pemerintah resmi yang khusus menangani isu-isu berkenaan dengan keluarnegerian (foreign affairs), mencakup, namun tidak terbatas pada, hubungan-hubungan dengan negara lain, dengan organisasi internasional, organisasi internasional non-pemerintah, serta berbagai wujud kerjasama lainnya. Dalam pemerintahan Indonesia, Kementerian Luar Negeri juga memegang status yang terbilang khusus, sebagai satu dari sedikit kementerian Indonesia yang secara eksplisit disebutkan di dalam Undang-undang Dasar (UUD), sehingga tidak dapat dihilangkan atau diubah nomenklatur serta wewenangnya—yaitu pada pasal 8 ayat (3).[1]

Continue reading Sejarah Politik Luar Negeri Indonesia

Secretaries of State: More Trips to Asia-Pacific?

During my research (for my thesis), it is important to know how many trips (and days) are spent by three U.S. secretaries of state, Colin Powell (2001-2005), Condoleezza Rice (2005-2009) and Hillary Clinton (2009-2013). As many of us know, Secretary Clinton, under President Obama, is doing this ‘pivot’ strategy, otherwise known today as ‘rebalancing,’ toward the Asia-Pacific region. The intention is to signal an increasing attention to this growing region, and the United States finds it important.

Continue reading Secretaries of State: More Trips to Asia-Pacific?