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2013 ANNUAL PRESS STATEMENT

DR. R.M.  MARTY M. NATALEGAWA

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA

 

JAKARTA, 4 JANUARY 2013

 

 

Excellencies, Ambassadors, and Representatives of international organizations,

My most esteemed seniors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Distinguished members of the press, distinguished guests, and distinguished colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

 

Good morning and peace be upon us.

 

Praise be to Allah Almighty, for by His Grace we are blessed with good health so that we can continue to serve our beloved country.

 

On this auspicious occasion, allow me, on behalf of all officials and staff members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Indonesia’s Representative Offices abroad, and on my own behalf, to extend to all of you our best wishes for a Happy New Year 2013.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

On a similar occasion last year, I underscored that in the midst of growing uncertainties and complexity of the global and regional situation, Indonesia would remain steadfast in pursuing global peace and prosperity.

 

In waging peace and prosperity.

 

That was what Indonesia’s diplomacy and foreign policy undertook throughout 2012.

 

Our diplomacy strived to create and maintain stability, security and peace at regional and global levels.

 

Our diplomatic machinery endeavored to advance justice and prosperity at the regional and global levels.

 

We did all these to protect Indonesia’s national interests.

 

All these were undertaken in implementation of our Constitutional mandate: to help create an international order that is based on freedom, lasting peace, and social justice.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

Throughout 2012, Indonesia’s foreign policy navigated a global and regional situation that was full of challenges and uncertainties.  

 

A global situation that, on one hand, was generally marked by relative peace among nations but on the other hand, was also characterized by conflicts in many parts of the world that resulted in a large number of casualties.

 

A global situation that, on one hand, was characterized by anxiety over prolonged economic recession in certain regions, and at the same time was faced with an even more fundamental challenge that drove most people to struggle desperately just to meet their most basic needs.

 

A global situation that, on one hand, was marked by a widely held understanding on the interdependence of the international community in dealing with common challenges and yet, on the other hand, the international community did not always have the capacity to make collective responses.

 

And that situation, which was packed with challenges, became even more complex due to the interlinkages of the many issues that confronted the international community. The interlinkages of global, regional and national issues. The interlinkages of politico-security, economic, environmental, and social issues.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

These interlinkages of challenges are also reflected in the Asia Pacific region. Indeed, all these years the Asia Pacific region had provided solid evidence that stability and security are a prerequisite for economic development. That is why throughout last year, Indonesia’s foreign policy never ceased to exert its utmost to maintain regional stability and security in the face of all challenges.

 

Thus, it is clear that in the face of these challenges, such as potential conflict in the South China Sea, other territorial disputes between states, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other persistent problems, Indonesia stood squarely as part of the solution.

 

No less important, throughout 2012, Indonesia’s foreign policy strived to establish a regional order. This was undertaken both in the form of institutional capacity building in the region and through the strengthening of norms and principles that underpin peaceful relations among nations, to maintain peace and security in the Asia Pacific region.

 

When there was doubt regarding ASEAN’s common stance on the South China Sea, for example, Indonesia launched a 36-hour shuttle diplomacy to consolidate ASEAN’s position in line with the six-point principles. Furthermore, Indonesia’s diplomacy intensified the momentum towards a comprehensive implementation of the DoC, including through a regional code of conduct based on an agreement on the basic elements of the CoC and the submission of an initial draft of the CoC.

 

When a territorial dispute in the region broke out, in a measured and appropriate manner, Indonesia encouraged the maintenance of diplomatic dialogue that yielded diplomatic options toward dispute settlement.

 

When there were concerns and perceptions that the Asia Pacific region was facing an era of competition that could threaten peace and stability, Indonesia espoused the need for a new viewpoint and paradigm that put to rest these concerns.

 

This is an approach that is based on the principles of security, common interest and partnership. An approach that leads to a regional order that not only can “manage” the dynamic changes in the region, but also embraces them as factors that can be developed to serve the common interest. This is the notion that we call dynamic equilibrium.   

 

Taking into account the interconnectedness of political, security, economic and social problems, Indonesia’s diplomatic efforts in the Asia Pacific region touch all areas in a comprehensive manner. This is particularly reflected in Indonesia’s efforts throughout 2012 to ensure significant progress toward the achievement of the ASEAN Community resting on its three pillars. 

 

Distinguished guests,

 

Also throughout the year 2012, while in general world prosperity continued to grow, we still witnessed not only the impact of the global economic crisis but also a large number of people languishing in abject poverty.

 

Of course, the economic situation in several Eurozone countries had a profound impact on many aspects of life in those countries.

 

And, of course, economic developments in the Euro zone had an impact on the overall global economy.

 

As for Indonesia’s foreign policy, particularly through what we call economic diplomacy, we worked hard throughout 2012 to minimize the negative impact of such developments on Indonesia’s economy. This means, among others, refining the priority areas of bilateral relations with our strategic partners; and this also means enlarging economic relations with countries that are non-traditional markets for Indonesia.

 

However, more than just striving to improve the economic resilience of Indonesia and the broader East Asia region, throughout the year 2012, Indonesia’s diplomacy continuously put forward the interests of all developing countries.

 

In various forums such as ASEAN, APEC, G-20, the WTO and the UN, including within the framework of the Rio+20 Summit and discussions on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Indonesia always emphasized the importance of strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive economic growth to ensure that we have equitable global economic growth. We call this approach “sustainable growth with equity

 

At those high-level forums, Indonesia consistently voiced the need for a just global development that would ensure that the outcomes of development would benefit the international community as a whole.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

In line with our Constitutional mandate, in addition to these efforts, Indonesia’s diplomacy aims to actively contribute to the creation of a safer, more stable, more peaceful and more prosperous world.

 

That is why Indonesian diplomacy has been conducted in a measured and appropriate way so that its imprints are evident in many parts of the world. From the Middle East to North Africa — for instance in responding to the situation in Syria and Palestine — to Africa and Haiti — for instance through our contributions to UN peacekeeping missions — to our own region through the participation of Indonesia’s observer mission in the maintenance of peace in Southern Philippines.

 

That is also why Indonesia has actively waged multilateral diplomacy in various forums: from regional forums for cooperation such as the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) in the Southwest Pacific to the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, the Non-aligned Movement, as well as the United Nations. We actively contribute.

 

And that is also why, whatever are the transnational and global issues at hand, from natural disasters, food and energy security, to transnational crimes such as terrorism, trafficking and other types of threats, Indonesian foreign policy always makes significant and concrete contributions.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

Considering the close interlinkages between international and domestic issues, we continue to address a number of vital issues. A particularly important issue in this regard is the full protection of Indonesian citizens abroad, as I will later elaborate on.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

In responding to those challenges at the regional and global levels, throughout 2012, Indonesian diplomacy constantly pursued Indonesia’s national interest with an eye to contributing to:

 

Economic development for the people’s welfare;

 

Consolidation of democracy in Indonesia; and

 

The attainment of justice for all Indonesians.

 

Throughout this year, we will pay particular attention to nine major issues:

 

First, to strengthen the priority areas of our bilateral cooperation with strategic partners and other friendly countries.

 

This entails the refinement of the priority areas of our cooperation with partner countries in line with the functional potential and possibilities that each country provides.

 

In addition to enhancing cooperation in trade, investment and tourism, this also involves cooperation in such areas as food and energy security, defense, health and the environment.

 

For this purpose, the bilateral framework for cooperation with friendly countries will be continuously refined and optimized.

 

Second, in addition to further consolidating our traditional markets, our economic diplomacy will be geared toward expanding our non-traditional markets.

 

Such effort continues to produce concrete results. Available data shows that up to mid-2012 Indonesia’s exports to non-traditional markets in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe grew respectively by 46 percent, 43 percent and 87 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. This substantial increase was made at a time when Indonesia’s exports to the traditional markets showed negative growth.

 

Taking various special measures, even though the markets in Western Europe and North America were sluggish due to the economic condition of countries in those regions, we still recorded positive growth for our exports to some countries such as Norway, Germany and the United Kingdom.

 

In view of the economic recovery in Europe and some of Indonesia’s traditional markets, our economic diplomacy in 2013 will continue to tap potentials and expand market penetration in the non-traditional markets. We will continue to build up available opportunities in Indonesia’s traditional markets, particularly our strategic partners.  

 

Third, to intensify border diplomacy with our neighbors in accordance with Indonesia’s national interests as well as the provisions and norms of international law.

 

Throughout 2012, we maintained the momentum of our border diplomacy. We held no less than 32 border negotiations with seven countries. Of these, 15 were maritime boundary negotiations and 17 were land boundary negotiations.

 

In general, there was significant progress in maritime boundary negotiations at the technical level, and there are high-level commitments to make further progress.

 

Fourth, to improve the protection of Indonesian citizens / Indonesian workers overseas by giving priority to three aspects, namely prevention, early detection and protection

 

Throughout 2012, various preventive efforts bore positive results: the number of reported cases involving Indonesian citizens abroad decreased by almost 50 percent — from 38,880 cases in 2011 to 19,218 cases in 2012. This represents 0.43 percent of the overall number of Indonesian citizens who are registered as living abroad.

 

Certainly, every single case involving Indonesian citizens abroad was treated as a priority. Without exception, regardless of the nature and issues involved. From legal cases faced by Indonesian citizens abroad, to rescue efforts and protection of Indonesian citizens from natural disasters and political turmoil.

 

To give another example, efforts by the Government to facilitate the return of Indonesian citizens from Syria since the conflict broke out have ensured the safety of close to 5,000 Indonesian citizens.

 

Efforts by the Government to seek pardon and amnesty for Indonesian citizens facing the death penalty since mid-2011 up to end of 2012 yielded concrete results.

 

110 Indonesian citizens who had been sentenced with the death penalty were saved from execution. Of these, 33 were granted amnesty and have returned home.

 

The preventive aspect is an important element. We must prevent from the earliest stage, the possibility of our citizens facing the death penalty.

 

In 2013, the protection of Indonesian citizens will continue to be a priority for our diplomacy and foreign policy.

 

In line with this commitment, the Foreign Ministry has drawn a grand design for the protection of Indonesian citizens abroad.

 

The sharpening of preventive, early detection and protection aspects has become the main agenda

 

Standards for assisting Indonesian citizens / Indonesian workers abroad have been drawn up for the guidance of all Indonesian Missions abroad in providing services and protection.

 

All staff members in Jakarta and in Indonesian Missions abroad have made the protection agenda one of the main priorities of their work.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

Fifth, to maintain peace and stability in the region.

 

Waging peace and stability.

 

There is not a single issue in the region that has not been addressed without Indonesia contributing.

 

In the Southeast Asian region, for example, Indonesia, along with other ASEAN countries, has persistently advocated peaceful means of resolving issues.  

 

Among ASEAN countries, we already have more than enough instruments to make sure that diplomacy always prevails.

 

Our only option is to honor our commitment to utilize these instruments.

 

This also underlines Indonesia’s efforts at addressing the issue of overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea.

 

As a matter principle, Indonesia believes that diplomacy must work and must have room to maneuver.

 

In particular, Indonesia’s foreign policy in 2013 will be aimed at increasing the momentum toward the overall implementation of the DoC of the South China Sea. “Overall” includes progress in the effort to reach a regional code of conduct.

 

Progress in the overall implementation of the DoC will ensure the effective management of potential conflict in the South China Sea. But this requires our collective effort. This requires our willingness to always advance the common interests of the region and our shared commitment to always adhere to international law and the law of the sea.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

As part of our effort to maintain regional stability and peace, in 2013 Indonesia will consistently remind all countries of the importance of adhering to the “Bali Principles” that were approved in the 2011 East Asia Summit in Bali.

 

Principles that guide basic norms for conduct and relations among countries in the Asia Pacific region that consistently put forward peaceful means and avoid the threat and use of force.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

Our endeavor to maintain peace and stability in the region is a never-ending one and is not only conducted in reaction to a potential conflict.

 

Indonesia believes that efforts to strengthen the region’s capacity to prevent, manage, and resolve conflicts are imperative.

 

For that reason, since Indonesia's Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2011, Indonesia worked for the establishment of an ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, which was launched in Phnom Penh last November.

 

Insya Allah, in the years ahead, the Institute will contribute to the strengthening of ASEAN’s capacity to prevent and resolve conflicts peacefully.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

Sixth, to consolidate democracy and human rights values in the region and at the global level.

 

In the past two years, despite a number of challenges that ASEAN countries had to face, we witnessed positive developments with regard to democracy and the promotion of human rights values ​​in the region.

 

This did not happen on its own.

 

In a deliberate and measured manner, since 2003 Indonesia, together with other ASEAN countries, have pushed forward democracy and human rights as a priority agenda of the ASEAN Community

 

Unlike in other regions, despite the fact that the challenges we were facing were not insignificant, the year 2012 saw important gains with regard to the development of democracy and political transformation in the region.

 

Developments in Myanmar present a concrete example. The process of democratization was not without challenges. And when those challenges arose, like one big family, ASEAN countries joined hands and gave encouragement to persevere in the pursuit of democracy.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

In the promotion and protection of human rights in the region, we certainly achieved a landmark with the adoption of the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights in Phnom Penh last November.

 

The Human Rights Declaration is the outcome of our endeavors since 2003.

 

Indonesia recognizes that the adoption of the Declaration is part of a continued and collective process among ASEAN member countries towards the establishment an ASEAN region that honors and respects universal human rights values.

 

It has certainly become our common task to safeguard the implementation of the Declaration, including through the establishment of other human rights instruments in the region, so that Southeast Asia has become a region that always upholds universal human rights values.

 

In the broader region, through the Bali Democracy Forum, Indonesia has consistently pushed forward the agenda of democracy in Asia through a process of dialogue and sharing of universal democratic values, without ignoring each country’s special character and culture.

 

Looking ahead, through the Bali Democracy Forum and other forums for the promotion of democracy at the regional and global levels, Indonesia will actively help countries that are undergoing democratic transition. Such efforts will help the process of democratic transformation run smoothly in accordance with the aspirations and agenda set by the countries concerned. The relevance of such efforts has certainly increased in the light of the ongoing transformation of the Middle East.

 

Distinguished Gguests,

 

Seventh, to strengthen, along with other regional countries, the region’s economic resilience and growth.

 

Indonesia’s diplomacy strives to promote and maintain a strong, sustainable and balanced economic growth in the Southeast Asian region.

 

The completion of the scorecard towards achieving the ASEAN Economic Community and Indonesia’s preparedness for the Community continues to be a major concern of the Government.

 

Apart from that, as a concrete manifestation of the principle of ASEAN-led regional architecture building, in this case in the economic sector, we will mark the year 2013 with the commencement of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiation process. This is an effort to strengthen regional economic resilience based on the spirit of partnership and mutual benefit among ASEAN members and our partner countries.

 

In 2013, through Indonesia’s Chairmanship of APEC, we have the potential to make concrete contributions to the establishment of a future economic order.

 

An opportunity to, again, demonstrate our leadership in the region.

 

With a view to building on many previous accomplishments of APEC, the President of Indonesia has set the theme for APEC 2013, namely “Resilient Asia Pacific, Engine of Global growth”.

 

With this theme, Indonesia will continue to promote a stronger and more resilient Asia Pacific as the locomotive for world economic growth.

 

As Chairman of APEC in 2013, Indonesia has three main priorities, namely:

 

Attaining the Bogor Goals, with focus on the expansion of trade and investment and structural reform;

 

Achieving Sustainable Growth with Equity, with focus on the global competitiveness of the region’s SMEs, financial inclusion, food security, and health; and

 

Promoting Connectivity with focus on physical connectivity, including infrastructure and investment development, maritime connectivity (for the blue economy), institutional connectivity and people-to-people connectivity.

 

Acknowledging the emergence of a more complex regional architecture since the establishment of APEC in 1989 and since the Indonesian chairmanship in 1994, Indonesia believes that during its tenure as Chair of APEC in 2013, APEC will be able to contribute and create added value to Asia Pacific economic resilience, which in turn can contribute to global economic growth and prosperity of the world community.

 

Also in 2013, Indonesia and Columbia, will co-chair the Forum for East Asia and Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC).

 

The 2013 FEALAC Ministerial Meeting in Bali will seek ways to enhance cooperation between Asia and Latin America so that both can the better cope with contemporary global challenges, especially with regard to the global economic downturn, from which the world has not completely recovered

 

Eighth, to contribute to the maintenance of global peace, security, and justice.

 

As mandated by the Constitution, Indonesia will continue to contribute to the achievement of global peace, stability and security.

 

Throughout 2012, for instance, Indonesia intensively exercised its diplomacy in the Middle East, with regard to both the conflict in Syria and the situation in Palestine.

 

The diplomatic stalemate with regard to the Syrian issue throughout 2012 must now be immediately resolved. The ceaseless daily toll of casualties demands that the international community stand united in pushing for the cessation of violence; in enabling humanitarian assistance; and in promoting a political process that caters to the aspirations of the Syrian people.

 

Furthermore, the issue of Palestine has been and will continue to be a top priority agenda for Indonesia’s diplomacy and foreign policy.

 

Looking ahead, in cooperation with other members of the international community, Indonesia’s foreign policy will strive to make even more progress compared to what was achieved in 2012, namely, the Observer State status of Palestine at the United Nations. This entails, among others, capacity building for the State of Palestine; reconciliation between the Palestinian factions; as well as the resumption of the Middle East peace process towards the fulfillment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with relevant UN resolutions and the “two-state solution”.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

Ninth, and finally, to promote a just global economic and development order.

 

An order that provides space for the entire international community to reap the fruits of development.

 

An order that provides opportunities for all countries to move forward and prosper, without exception.

 

In this regard, Indonesia bears a special responsibility.

 

As we all understand, on the issue of the global development agenda, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, together with the President of Liberia and the Prime Minister of the UK, has been chosen to co-Chair the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, that will provide inputs for the United Nations Secretary-General on the directions of the post-2015 global development agenda.

 

A series of Panel meetings has been conducted in New York and London.

 

This process continues.

 

In 2013, the meeting will be conducted in Liberia, then in Bali, and will conclude in New York. At the final meeting in New York, the President of Indonesia, together with the President of Liberia and the Prime Minister of the UK, will officially submit a proposal for the post-2015 global development agenda to the Secretary-General for deliberations by all UN Member States.

 

This is a big mandate for us as a nation: to contribute significantly to setting the direction of the future global development agenda. With a clear, rational, and visionaryconcept, Indonesia has set the platform for a global development agenda that is oriented toward sustainable and equitable economic growth. "Sustainable Growth with Equity".

 

Indonesia will also host the WTO Ministerial meeting in 2013.

 

As host, Indonesia will play an active role in preserving the sustainability of a fair, open and transparent multilateral trading system.

 

Indonesia will strive to ensure that the international trading system is in line with and supports the post-2015 global development agenda.

 

Distinguished guests,

 

Before concluding this annual statement, let me express ourthanks and appreciation for the contribution and partnership of all sectors of the nation, especially our partners at the Commission I of the House of Representatives, to the pursuit of Indonesia’s diplomacy and foreign policy thoughout 2012.

 

I believe and I have every confidence that through partnership and synergy of all national sectors, we can seize the diplomaticopportunities throughout the year 2012 and also together address the many challenges that will arise.

 

To our partners in the media, I also wish to extend our thanks and appreciation for the partnership that we have forged together. With your help and participation, I am sure that Indonesia’s diplomacy and foreign policy will be well communicated to the public.

 

To this year’s winners of the Adam Malik Award, I wish to congratulate all of you for your achievements.

 

I believe that the remarkable cooperation that we have been able to establish together will continue to strengthen in the future.

 

In welcoming the year 2013, I have every confidence that all of us will work even harder in order to serve Indonesia’s national interest

 

We will strive to work even more diligently to contribute to peace and prosperity for all

 

To establish a more secure, peaceful, stable and prosperousworld.

 

Insya Allah.

 

Thank you.

 

Wassalaamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
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