November 29, 2015 |  

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Distinguished Ambassadors and Heads of International Organizations,

Elders and all colleagues and staffs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, based in Indonesia as well as overseas,

Leaders and members of the media, Ladies and Gentlemen,


Good morning and may peace be with us all.

At the onset of this annual press statement, let us all praise and thank God Almighty. For his blessings have allowed us to continue our services and contributions for our country.

Allow me, personally and on behalf of my colleagues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to extend to you all a Happy New Year 2014.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have an unshakeable belief in the power of diplomacy:

in its capacity to find solutions to seemingly intractable common problems and challenges faced by nations;

in its capacity to prevent or bring to an end conflict and war, and ushering peace; and

in its capacity to unleash the full potential of nations in attaining social and economic progress, and in advancing the promotion of human rights.

I have an unshakeable belief too in the spirit of service - to one‟s nation and, indeed, to humanity at large.

A relentless pursuit – drive even – to serve for the common good. I should like, therefore, to preface my remarks today by paying tribute to all the Indonesian diplomats around the world, from Afghanistan in Asia to Argentina in America; from Ukraine in Europe to Uganda in Africa, for their unwavering commitment and service to the nation. Often case, diligently working and contributing away from public attention. I should like to assure all Indonesian diplomats – their work and contributions do not go unnoticed; on the contrary they are much appreciated.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Imbued by such sentiment, this annual press statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will carry a simple but profound theme. Namely, diplomacy provides the answer to various challenges ahead of us all. And, of course, diplomacy also provides an avenue to seize the opportunities in front of us.

In this regard, I believe that amongst the most fundamental and basic challenge in front of us must be the maintenance of the region‟s peace and security. This has been, and will continue to be, Indonesia‟s principal priority in 2014. After all, they are the prerequisites to the region‟s continued economic progress and prosperity. This fact has been demonstrated in the past several decades. Therefore, there can be no complacency. Peace must be waged. Prosperity secured.

These are not simple endeavors. As we are now witnessing various seemingly contradictory symptoms.

For example, at a time when the Southeast Asia region is entering that final stretch towards ASEAN Community 2015 – the wider region, namely East Asia and the Asia-Pacific, is showing signs of rising tensions and uncertainties.

Moreover, at a time when the economies of the region are more intertwined and interdependent than ever before – signs of trust deficits are ever more prevalent.

And at a time when the advantages of peaceful settlement of disputes are self-evident, there are signs that unilateral approaches are instead being preferred.

Therefore, Indonesia‟s foreign policy in 2014 will continue to vigorously address, the triple challenges, in Indonesia‟s view, of the Asia-Pacific region: - trust deficits, territorial disputes and geo-political and geo-economic shifts.

In essence, to convert the “trust deficits” evident in much of the region to a “strategic trust”;

To set aside the use or the threat of use of force as a means to solve territorial disputes;

And to discourage a return to Cold War-type of thinking in the region – of a new fault-lines dividing countries in the region. Instead, in keeping with the principle of an “independent and active” foreign policy, to promote a region marked by a “dynamic equilibrium”. A condition marked by an absence of a preponderant power, not through „bloc-politics‟ which tends to create new instability, instead through relations among nations based on mutual respect and anchored on the principles of common security and common prosperity. Indeed, a sustainable security and prosperity can only be realized if enjoyed by all countries in the region and not unilaterally.

As such, all these can only be achieved if, first and foremost, we realize the ASEAN Community 2015. In recognition of the fact that a community cannot simply be legislated or enacted – it is critical that a sense of ownership and participation – relevance even – be vigorously promoted among the peoples of ASEAN. And, at a time when we are constantly reminded of the close linkage between national and regional developments, we need to ensure that conditions conducive to, and consistent with, ASEAN Community be promoted not only in the relations between ASEAN countries but also, within each ASEAN member country.

Indeed, with regard to ASEAN, Indonesia‟s foreign policy is now looking beyond 2015. Namely, by actively contributing to the discussion on the ASEAN Community post 2015 Vision. For Indonesia, such Vision entails four main elements: first, consolidation of ASEAN Community; second, ASEAN‟s contribution to the wider region‟s peace and prosperity; third, ASEAN‟s global role in accordance with the Bali Concord III; and fourth, the formulation of what may be termed an ASEAN Development Goals building upon the MDGs and the forthcoming global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In short, while there is work ahead to realize the ASEAN Community 2015, at the same time we must begin serious discussions on the future of ASEAN post 2015. As ever, Indonesia‟s foreign policy in 2014 will continue to contribute actively in the shaping and molding of the regional architecture.

On the issue of maintaining the region‟s peace and stability, whether pursued through ASEAN or otherwise, Indonesia‟s diplomacy will be unrelenting. Of immediate concern must be the management of the potentials for conflict in the South China Sea. The recent positive developments offer encouragement. The year 2013 has witnessed the return to prominence of the diplomatic path with the agreement between China and ASEAN to start formal consultations on a regional code of conduct in South China Sea. No doubt, difficult negotiations are ahead of us. Indonesia however believes that given sufficient political will, progress is possible. A code of conduct for the South China Sea which serves as a “rules of the road‟ aimed at promoting confidence, avoiding incidence, and should incidents nonetheless occur, managing them so that they do not become full blown crisis.

In a manner, Southeast Asia‟s experience, whether it be in its community- building or conflict prevention, is relevant to the wider East Asia or Asia-Pacific region. For example, developments over the past year in the East China Sea and, of  course, the perennial tensions on the Korean Peninsula, remind us that countries in East Asia too are in need of promotion of confidence, and of settlement of disputes by peaceful diplomatic means. Therefore, over the past year, Indonesia has begun a conversation among countries in the region on the need for a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation-like cooperative framework for the wider Asia-Pacific or Indian and Pacific Oceans region. A legally binding agreement among countries in the region, building upon the 2011 EAS “Bali Principles” for Mutually Beneficial Relations. An agreement involving the promotion of confidence; renunciation of the use of force and commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes; and the principles of common security and prosperity. In 2014, Indonesia will continue to encourage such discussions.

Needless to say, results and success will not be immediate or guaranteed. However, standing still is not an option. It will mean a region increasingly under the shadow of conflict – not least stemming from miscalculation or unintended series of actions.

In short – much like the year past, the coming year will see Indonesia utilize its diplomatic wherewithal in pursuit of peace and prosperity in the region.

And, indeed, beyond the region. As a regional power with global interests, Indonesia will continue to speak forcefully in favour of diplomatic means in addressing various disputes or conflict situations.

In 2013 we have seen that concrete results were achieved when the diplomatic path was pursued intently, for example in dealing with the chemical weapons issue in Syria and in the 5+1 talks with the Islamic Republic of Iran. In 2014 – Indonesia will be steadfast in pushing for a peaceful diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria; and, of course, for the long-delayed realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

With regard to Palestine, this year will be marked by a further strengthening of Indonesia‟s support for Palestine, among others, through support for Palestine‟s institutional capacity building. As the program for Palestine capacity building for the period of 2008-2013 under the framework of the New Asia Africa Strategic Partnership comes to an end, we will be launching the next phase of capacity building program for the period of 2014-2019. Furthermore, Indonesia as the host the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD), Indonesia will galvanize support for such program from countries in East Asia.

In the fields of disarmament, as co-Presidents with Hungary of the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT, Indonesia will strive to realize the universalization of the Treaty and its early entry into force. As Annex 2 country whose ratification is needed for the entry into force of the Treaty, Indonesia has ratified the Treaty in 2012. Indonesia will continue to engage the eight remaining Annex 2 countries to do the same.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Diplomatic approach is also implemented in addressing the close interlink between political security issues on the one hand, and economic and social issues on the other, as well as between national, bilateral, regional and global issues.

A concrete example is in the realm of economic diplomacy. In 2013, Indonesia‟s diplomacy has made concrete contribution to the post-2015 development agenda through the role of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as one of the co-chairs of the UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons set up for this purpose; Indonesia‟s Chairmanship of APEC 2013; its hosting of the successful WTO Ministerial Conference; its contributions to the G20 Summit in St Petersburg, as well as, other multilateral economic forums; and, of course, the continued efforts to strengthen Indonesia‟s bilateral economic relations with friendly countries.

Indonesia‟s foreign policy has also actively pursued closer inter-regional relations, including between Asia and Europe, through ASEM and within the context of ASEAN-EU relations, as well as between East Asia and Latin America through the FEALAC forum which Indonesia has co-chaired and hosted in 2013. Indonesia‟s foreign policy has also realized its commitment to enhance cooperation between countries in the Indian Ocean rim through the IORA, as well as countries in the Southwest Pacific through the PIF, MSG and bilateral relations. This year will also be marked by the strengthening of Indonesia‟s economic diplomacy, through bilateral, regional, inter-regional and global fora. All these will be undertaken to ensure contribution through diplomacy for the national economic development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Development throughout 2013 remind us of the close interlink between national or internal political development and the situation of the immediate region. The evolving situation in much of the Middle East and North Africa and other parts of Africa, provide examples on how peace and security between countries can be affected by internal development within a country.

Indonesia‟s foreign policy in 2014 will continue to provide measured response to such reality of close interlink between internal and external issues.

Thus, in our region, the year 2014 will see further consolidation of the Bali Democracy Forum as a valuable platform for countries in the Asia-Pacific and now, beyond, to exchange lessons learnt and experiences on democracy. We will also continue promoting the strengthening of ASEAN‟s human rights institutions, primarily the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission of Human Rights (AICHR)

Relevant and related to these, in August this year, Indonesia will serve as host of the 6th Meeting of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. A global cooperation emphasizing the value of dialogue and harmony among civilizations the world over. This first ever Alliance of Civilizations meeting in the Asia-Pacific has aptly adopted as its theme – “Unity and Diversity”.

Diplomacy will also be very much at the forefront in addressing issues whose very nature demand international cooperation if they are to be comprehensively addressed. Food security, energy security, environmental sustainability, natural disasters are only some illustrations. Transnational crimes – whether terrorism or human trafficking and people smuggling – are common challenges that must be addressed comprehensively.

The linkage between internal or national issues and external or international issues, is further evident in the issue of protection of nationals. More than ever, the year past remind of the complexities and varieties of the situation that calls for the protection of our nationals overseas – from conditions at the work place to political upheavals and national disasters. In 2013, for instance, no less than 40.236 Indonesian nationals have received protection through repatriation to Indonesia. We are determined to further enhance these efforts – with focus on three related objectives: prevention, early detection and protection.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The year ahead, much like the year past, will no doubt be full of challenges. Of uncertainties. Through it all – Indonesian foreign policy welcomes this year with full of hope. Indonesia will be steadfast in promoting diplomacy and dialogue as the preferred response to resolve those challenges. To protect and promote its national interests. And to contribute to a world order based on freedom, lasting peace and social justice.

In closing this year‟s annual press statement, I would like to extend my highest appreciation for the partnership we have enjoyed with various stakeholders, and in particular to the 1st Commission of the House of Representatives as a partner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Through partnership and synergy among all stakeholders, Indonesian diplomacy will be strengthened. Not only in addressing challenges and realizing opportunities, but also to turn challenges into new opportunities.

To our partner from the media, I would also like to express my sincere appreciation for your continued cooperation.

The media have effectively communicated diplomacy and foreign policy to the public at large.

On this occasion, I would also like to especially congratulate the recipients of this year‟s Adam Malik awards.

I am sure that the existing excellent cooperation will continue and even be further strengthened in the future.

I am also convinced that through hard and diligent works, in 2014 diplomacy will continue to intensify its contribution to the attainment of Indonesia‟s national interests.

To protect the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia and its sovereignty;

To maintain the momentum of national economic development;

To consolidate democracy; and

To promote tolerance and pluralism.

God willing.

I thank you.

Wassalamu‟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
Tel: 1.212.972.8333,   Fax: 1.212.972.9780   -


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