When Indonesia's President Joko Widodo launched his peace mission in late June, travelling to Kyiv first and then to Moscow immediately after, many people at home and abroad wondered what exactly he was trying to achieve. Surely not much, given the severity of the Ukraine war. In fact, Kyiv was the target of massive bombing just hours before Mr Widodo and First Lady Iriana arrived by train from Warsaw, and it resumed immediately after they left the Ukrainian capital.
But with such low expectations, and despite the personal danger, it was a trip that the Indonesian leader, popularly known as Jokowi, had to make, if only to salvage the presidency of the Group of 20 wealthiest nations in the world, which he currently holds. Known as G-20, the forum was set up primarily to discuss global economic issues, but what good would it do if group members are now in conflict with one another?