The Rolex Awards for Enterprise
Social scientist, statesman and journalist, Sumatra Soedjatmoko played a major role in establishing solid foundations for the independence of his home country, Indonesia, and has represented his country's interests in many national and international diplomatic forums. He has written widely on international development, politics, history and cultural matters and has participated actively in the international debate on global issues.
Born in Sawahlunto, Sumatra Soedjatmoko attended medical school in the then Netherlands East Indies. However, in 1945, following the Japanese occupation and during the Indonesian struggle for independence, he was appointed head of the foreign press section of the new Ministry of Information, and concurrently took over as editor of the weekly magazine Het Inzicht published in Dutch by the Ministry. Shortly after, he co-founded the political and cultural weekly Siasat.
ln 1947, during the period of tension with the Dutch colonial government, Soedjatmoko was sent to the United States to present the Indonesian case before the U.N. Security Council and was also a member of the Indonesian Delegation to the Security Council. Following studies at Harvard's Littauer School of Public Administration, he became Indonesia's first chargé d'affaires in London, but left government service to return to politics and journalism and became editor of Siasat and associate-editor of the daily newspaper, Pedoman. ln 1955, he was elected to the Constituent Assembly for the Indonesian Socialist Party.
From 1967 until 1977, Soedjatmoko was personal adviser to the minister of foreign affairs. During this time he served as ambassador to the United States, and upon his return he became adviser to the chairman of the National Planning Board for cultural and social affairs. He continued in that capacity until his appointment as Rector of the United Nations University in Tokyo (1980-1987).
Soedjatmoko has played an active role in the international debate on global issues. He is a member of the Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues (the Palme Commission), the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues and the Club of Rome, among many other societies.
ln 1978, Soedjatmoko won the Ramón Magsaysay Award for International Understanding, and in 1985 he was awarded the Asia Society Award.
Published in 1990