Misleading claim that 'Indonesian president appointed to lead UN crisis group' circulates online

·3 min read

A video of an Indonesian academic claiming Indonesian President Joko Widodo has been appointed to lead the United Nations' new Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance (GCRG) has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on TikTok, Facebook and YouTube. But the claim is missing context: the group is actually chaired by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, and the Indonesian president is appointed as one of the group's six global advocates.

A video was shared here on TikTok and has been viewed nearly 375,000 times since it was uploaded on July 16, 2022.

The four-minute, 31-second video shows University of Indonesia lecturer Roby Muhamad talking about the UN setting up a special task force called the Crisis Response Group to tackle the global crisis.

"The task force is led by six world leaders, with President Joko Widodo being one of the leaders trusted and requested to lead the UN task force," he says.

The Indonesian-language text superimposed on the video reads: "The world is stricken by crisis, President Jokowi has been appointed by the UN to lead the global crisis response group!"

Jokowi is the popular nickname of the Indonesian president.

The post's caption, also in Indonesian, reads: "President Jokowi's leadership has been seen as a factor behind Indonesia's resilience in facing global crises. This made him appointed as one of the leaders of UN's special task force on global crisis management."

Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on July 27, 2022

The clip was also shared on Facebook here, here, here and here.

The longer version of the video was posted to YouTube here on July 14, 2022, titled: "Roby Muhamad: Why is Jokowi appointed to take part in solving the global crisis? (Roby's Philosophy #38)".

The YouTube video, which has garnered more than 352,000 views, was uploaded by a channel called 2045 TV, which publishes content relating to Indonesian contemporary politics.

Many social media users believe the claim. One TikTok user commented: ""I'm proud of you, Mr Jokowi," while others wrote: "JOKOWI the best leader of the world" and "Indonesia gets more global recognition."

Screenshot of TikTok users' comments, taken on July 29, 2022

However, the claim is missing context.

Group's advocates

The UN Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance (GCRG) was established in March 2022 "in response to the hunger crisis provoked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine", according to this UN news article.

The group is chaired by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, according to this UN page on GCRG.

Jokowi is appointed as one of the members of the group along five other world leaders as a "champion" of the group, not one of its chairpersons.

The other five leaders include Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, German Chancellor  Olaf Scholz and Senegal President Macky Sall.

"As the Champions of the Group, they will advocate and facilitate global consensus on actions to prevent, mitigate and respond to the crisis", the page says.

Jokowi's appointment as one of the members to the GCRG was announced in a statement, posted on Indonesia’s Cabinet Secretariat on April 15, 2022.

"President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo has been appointed as member of the Champion Group of the United Nations’ Global Crisis Response Group (GCRG)," the statement says.

"This was conveyed by Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the United States, Wednesday (04/13)."

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