Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Good Afternoon and Peace be upon us all
Honorable Leaders and Members of Commission I of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia,
Excellencies, Ambassadors and Representatives of International Organizations,
Ambassadors, Elders, and members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic Indonesia, both at home and abroad,
Media chiefs, fellow journalists, students,
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen.
Happy new year 2021.
Wishing all of you a very happy and prosperous New Year.
May 2021 be a healthier, more prosperous and peaceful year for all.
For the first time, the Annual Press Statement of the Minister for Foreign Affairs is conducted virtually.
This Annual Press Statement is joined by 35 Universities and tens of thousands of audiences through various digital platforms.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
2020 has been a very tough year for all of us and the world.
However, we need to keep striving and remain optimistic.
Such optimism must continue to be strengthened as we enter 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic provides valuable lessons on the importance of global cooperation to bolster health infrastructure and governance, world economic resilience, multilateralism and to set-aside rivalries.
The world has undergone significant changes.
In order to contribute Indonesia’s diplomacy must be anticipative, adaptive and agile.
During the pandemic, we have refocused our diplomatic priorities.
First, to strengthen the protection of Indonesian citizens
Second, to support the national response to the pandemic’s impact on health and socio-economic conditions and;
Third, to continue contributing to world peace and stability.
On the protection of Indonesian citizens, throughout 2020:
• More than 54,000 cases were handled, an increase of more than 100% compared to 2019.
• More than 172,000 Indonesian citizens were repatriated;
• More than half a million basic-needs packages were distributed;
• More than 2,400 Indonesian citizens infected by COVID-19 abroad were assisted;
• 17 Indonesian citizens were exonerated from the death penalty.
• 4 hostages were released and
• Rp. 103.8 billion of Indonesian citizens’/migrant workers’ financial rights were settled.
Protection of our nationals goes beyond numbers.
We have also taken steps in norm setting for protection measures at the global level.
Upon Indonesia’s initiative and with the support of 71 UN member states on 1 December 2020, the UN General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on the protection of seafarers during the pandemic.
On the second reprioritization, supporting national pandemic responses to health-related issues.
I clearly recall how diplomacy worked day and night to fulfill our need for diagnostic tools and therapeutics especially at the early stages of the pandemic.
Apart from meeting short-term objectives, diplomacy also worked in building national resilience and self-sufficiency in the health sector.
Several examples, diplomacy worked to ensure that a number of Indonesian companies succeeded in obtaining ISO 16603 and ISO 16604 certification for PPE materials so Indonesia could become one of the world’s suppliers of PPE.
Diplomacy also worked to ensure that Indonesia could build self-sufficiency in medicine and active pharmaceutical ingredients.
On vaccines, diplomacy is mainly aimed at paving the way and opening access to secure vaccine cooperation commitments both bilaterally with various parties and through multilateral platforms.
Since the start of the pandemic, Indonesia has consistently called for vaccines to be made a public goods, for equal access, for safe and affordable vaccines.
Specifically, through multilateral platforms Indonesia continues to secure potential vaccine acquisition for up to 20% of our population through COVAX-AMC mechanism. And Indonesia actively contributes to bolster vaccine supply through its membership in the CEPI Investors Council and Bio Farma’s partnership with CEPI in global vaccine manufacturing.
Still within the multilateral context, we continue to promote such commitment particularly during Indonesia’s chairmanship of the Foreign Policy and Global Health Initiative (FPGH) in 2020 under the theme “Affordable Health Care for All”.
No one, no country, should be left behind.
Indonesia also encourages the establishment of various regional and global resilience and preparedness mechanisms, especially in facing future pandemics through:
• ASEAN agreements on various regional health resilience mechanisms;
• Advancing WHO reforms to strengthen global preparedness systems; and
• At the UN, Indonesia initiated 3 resolutions on public health/pandemic: “Global Solidarity to fight COVID-19; “Global Health and Foreign Policy: Strengthening Health System Resilience through Affordable Healthcare for All” and “International cooperation to address challenges faced by seafarers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to support global supply chains”
As Chair of the ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting (AHMM) 2020-2022, Indonesia will continue to ensure the implementation of various ASEAN agreements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Still on the second reprioritization, supporting efforts to mitigate economic impacts, diplomacy has contributed in:
First, promoting reactivation of economy without sacrificing health protocol through the Travel Corridor Arrangement (TCA) with the UAE, Republic of Korea, China, Singapore and in the framework of ASEAN. Currently, TCA coordination with Japan is still ongoing.
It should be noted that currently up to 14 January 2021, temporary restrictions on the entry of foreigners into Indonesia has been enforced. Once again, this policy is temporary.
Second, facilitating preparations for the re-opening of Indonesia’s tourism destinations for foreign travelers with the support of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Third, expanding market access and regional economic integration by promoting IA-CEPA implementation; promoting ratification of RCEP, Indonesia-EFTA CEPA, IK-CEPA and MoU to address the implementation of Non-Tariff Measures (NTM) on Essential Goods in the Hanoi Plan of Action.
Fourth, facilitating investment realization including foreign companies that seek to diversify investment locations in Indonesia.
Fifth, expanding networks to attract investment including through the WEF Country Strategic Dialogue on Indonesia with CEOs from various companies in manufacturing, health industry, pharmaceuticals, digital economy and renewable energy.
Sixth, maintaining and deepening Indonesia’s traditional markets, including through the extension of the GSP facility by the US Government.
Seventh, expanding Indonesia’s non-traditional markets in Latin America and the Caribbean by organizing the 2nd INALAC Forum.
Eighth, contributing to the formulation of APEC’s new vision for the next 20 years as reflected in the Putrajaya Vision 2040.
Ninth, attracting and promoting investment to Indonesia, which is increasingly conducive by the enactment of Law on Job Creation.
Tenth, addressing discrimination against palm oil including through the establishment of the Joint Working Group on all vegetable oils between ASEAN-EU and building solidarity with palm oil producing countries; and
Eleventh, ensuring the continuity of communication services and digital technology improvement amid the pandemic, through the extension of Indonesia’s satellite filing in the 113 EL Orbital Slot.
We will now elaborate the work of Indonesia’s diplomacy in contributing to world peace and stability, the third reprioritization.
The main character of Indonesia’s diplomacy is to bridge differences and be part of the solution.
Such character and role are increasingly needed amidst growing rivalries even more so in the pandemic.
In ASEAN, Indonesia continues to maintain ASEAN unity and centrality.
Upon Indonesia’s initiative, ASEAN reaffirms the principles of the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality and Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement on 8 August 2020.
ASEAN identity is reinforced through Indonesia’s initiative on the formation of the Narrative of ASEAN Identity.
On peacekeeping, Indonesia is currently the 8th largest contributor of peacekeepers in the world.
Out of the 2,828 Indonesian peacekeepers currently on duty 163 of them are women serving in 8 UN missions.
Indonesia succeeded in initiating Resolution 2538 on Women in Peacekeeping that enjoys the support of 97 countries making it the first UN Security Council resolution that specifically addresses the role of women personnel in peacekeeping missions.
In addition to resolutions on seafarers, women in peacekeeping and global health issues, this year Indonesia also initiated a resolution at the UN General Assembly on creative economy and declaration of 2021 as the “International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development”.
Throughout 2020, issues on women continue to be mainstreamed in Indonesian diplomacy.
In the Human Rights Council, together with Australia, Indonesia initiated the Joint Statement on Family Violence at the UN Human Rights Council September 2020 Session.
Diplomacy also played its role through, among others strengthening the role of women in pandemic mitigation and economic recovery; establishment of the “Afghanistan Indonesia Women Solidarity Network”; an establishment of the Southeast Asian Network of Women Peace Negotiators and Mediators.
Investing in woman means investing in Peace.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
The end of December 2020 marks the conclusion of Indonesia’s non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council.
Indonesia fully utilized its membership in the Council for world peace and stability.
Under the grand theme “Investing in Peace and Sustaining Peace” Indonesia continues to bolster its character and leadership by putting forward humanitarian principles to prevent civilian casualties in conflict areas; advancing its role as bridge builder and upholding the principles of inclusiveness and transparency.
Despite various pressures, Indonesia maintained its consistency in upholding the principles of international law.
As demonstrated on the issue of Palestine.
Near the end of 2020, news circulated widely as if Indonesia would soon normalize diplomatic relations with Israel.
I would like to reiterate that until now, Indonesia has no intentions to open diplomatic relations with Israel.
Indonesia will continue to support the Palestinian independence based on a two-state solution and internationally agreed parameters.
During his phone call with President Abbas on 16 December 2020, President Jokowi stressed that Indonesia has no intentions to open up diplomatic relations with Israel.
Indonesia will continue to support the independence of Palestine based on two state-solution and UN Security Council Resolutions as well as internationally agreed parameters.
On Afghanistan, Indonesia continues to be actively involved in advancing peace talks.
Indonesia attended the agreement between the United States and the Taliban, in Doha 29 February 2020.
I met President Ghani in Kabul on 1 March 2020 and inaugurated the Afghanistan Indonesia Women Solidarity Network.
Indonesia also attended the start of the Afghanistan Peace Process, on 12 September 2020.
Alongside the Quint countries (Qatar, Norway, Germany and Uzbekistan), Indonesia continues to support peace negotiations in Doha.
Together with Germany, as co-penholders in the UN Security Council, Indonesia succeeded in passing two UNAMA (UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) Resolutions.
With regards to Rohingya refugees, on humanitarian grounds, Indonesia has temporarily accommodated two waves of Rohingya refugees. A total of 396 people.
Indonesia hopes with the completion of the General Election in Myanmar the commitment to solve root causes and create conducive conditions in Rakhine State could be revived.
Myanmar is their home and the world awaits their voluntary, safe and dignified repatriation.
Indonesia also continues to be active on the issue of democracy. In the midst of the pandemic, the 13th Bali Democracy Forum was held in a hybrid format with the theme: Democracy and COVID-19 Pandemic.
The 13th BDF provides a venue to share experiences among countries on how to simultaneously manage the pandemic and preserve democratic values.
On Human Rights Council, Indonesia has been a member of the UN Human Rights Council for a full year. Together with other countries, Indonesia initiated two Human Rights Council Resolutions, on young workers rights and enhancing technical cooperation in human rights.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Apart from refocusing our priorities, as I mentioned earlier, diplomacy continues its work to uphold the sovereignty of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.
Despite constraints, border negotiations continue to be conducted. In the past year Indonesia has held 7 negotiations, including virtual negotiations with Viet Nam, Malaysia, and Palau.
Development cooperation also continues to be intensified among others through Indonesia Aid or Indo-Aid.
As a close partner to the Pacific, Indonesia has provided aid to Fiji, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste of more than Rp. 30 billion including in the fight against the pandemic.
Now, we have arrived in 2021. We hope that gradually, we will be able to contain Covid-19. The availability of several vaccines has given rise to new optimism. However, equal access to vaccines for all countries remains a challenge particularly for the first and second quarter of 2021.
Vaccines also raise hope for the recovery of our economic activities. IMF predicts that global economic growth will reach 5.2% or 6.9% for the Asian region.
On the other hand, intensifying rivalries between great powers continue to be a serious concern. Without the willingness of these countries to forgo rivalry and promote collaboration, this will risk derailing our efforts to address the pandemic and global economic downturn.
We need strong collective global leadership.
Recover together, recover stronger through collective global leadership.
Democracy, human rights and environment is predicted to receive greater attention globally. Digitalization will enormously influence future economic activities.
At the same time, digitalization is set to expose more risk to cyber-crimes and the possibility of an information infrastructure breakdown.
Indonesia’s diplomacy in 2021 will be focused on:
First, to build a self-sufficient and resilient national health security. Among others through:
• Realizing vaccine provision commitments from bilateral or multilateral cooperation.
• Strengthening cooperation in building national health industry for active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), medicines, or medical equipment.
• Bolstering cooperation for research development and technology transfer and human resources in the health sector;
• Reinforcing preparedness system and mechanism to face future pandemics at the national, regional and global level.
Second, supporting economic recovery and green development/sustainable development with several priorities, among others:
• Promoting the implementation of ASEAN TCA agreement, use of APEC Travel Card, and other TCAs.
• Encouraging the expansion of inbound investment to Indonesia.
• Expanding market access and regional economic integration through ratification and implementation of IK-CEPA; implementing IA-CEPA, finalizing IEU-CEPA and the Indonesia-Turkey CEPA on trade in goods; starting PTA/FTA negotiations with Serbia, Mercosur and Caricom region; completing PTA negotiations with Mauritius, Fiji and PNG; negotiating FTA Indonesia-EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union); developing a Limited Trade Deal with the US.
• Supporting the Government in building downstream value-added national industry such as lithium battery industry.
• Continuing collaborations with WEF on investment and specific industries cooperation, involving global business leaders.
• Consolidating Indonesia’s outbound investment assets through “Indonesia Outbound Investment Dialogue 2021”.
• Taking active part in the G-20 Troika under the leadership of Italy ahead of Indonesia’s upcoming G-20 Presidency in 2022.
• Strengthening digital economy cooperation and creative industry particularly for MSME’s under the theme “Inclusively Creative: A Global Recovery”, by convening The 2nd World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE), in Bali, May 2021; ASEAN creative economy business forum; Venture Capital Network in cooperation with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in the development of young talents and startups in ASEAN; International Conference on Digital Diplomacy; and optimizing Indonesia’s role as partner country at the Hannover Messe.
• Strengthening diplomatic efforts to counter trade barriers including negative campaigns against Indonesia’s main commodities particularly palm oil.
• Promoting equality of sustainability standards to all vegetable oils at bilateral, regional or multilateral levels with a holistic approach, non-discriminatory, fair, and in the context of achieving SDGs.
• Promoting economic and green development/sustainable development by showcasing green economy-based projects with partner countries in the second half of 2021.
Third priority, reinforcing Indonesian citizens protection system.
Infrastructures for the protection of Indonesian citizens abroad will continue to be strengthened, among others through budgetary support for citizen protection particularly for Covid-related actions; development of Protection Integrated Missions (Perwakilan Pelindungan Terpadu – PPT) as mandated by Minister of Foreign Affairs Regulation No. 5 of 2018; and elevation of status of the Indonesian Consulate in Tawau to a Consulate General.
The protection of ship crews from downstream to upstream will also be strengthened, among others through creation of a roadmap for the ratification of ILO C-188 on Work in Fishing Convention; MoU with destination countries on the placement of fishing vessel crews and utilizing mutual legal assistance for a strict enforcement towards the perpetrators.
We will continue to develop One Data Indonesia (Satu Data Indonesia) by improving accurate citizenship data through simultaneous updates across all missions via the Portal Peduli WNI platform. Moreover, an Integrated Data Operating Centre will be established.
The Fourth Priority, is to continue our contribution in advancing various regional and global issues.
On Women, Peace and Security (WPS), Regional Forum of Women Negotiators and Mediators as well as the First Meeting of the Southeast Asian Network of Women Peace Negotiators and Mediators will be carried out.
On Rohingya, Indonesia hopes that the Comprehensive Need Assessment can soon be conducted by the ASEAN Secretariat to encourage a safe, voluntary and dignified return by the refugees.
Indonesia will continue its efforts to ensure progress in resolving the issue of Rakhine State.
Indonesia will also advance concrete cooperation within the context of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.
In line with the Pacific Elevation vision, Indonesia plans to hold the second Pacific Exposition in New Zealand at the second half of 2021.
On development cooperation, through Indo-Aid a Regional Partnership Strategy on Africa will be established to solidify the partnership between the African continent and Indonesia.
On Palestine, Indonesia hopes that conducive situation will be achieved in 2021. Commitments from all parties are required so that constructive dialogue or direct negotiations can occur in accordance with international law; relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and internationally agreed parameters.
Support for the struggle of the Palestinian people for independence will remain steadfast.
Indonesia will continue to play its active role in advancing an inclusive peace process in Afghanistan. For the next three years, Indonesia has committed around USD 5 million with a focus on advancing values of moderate Islam and reinforcing the role of women in Afghanistan, including through trilateral cooperation mechanism with partner countries.
Indonesia will maintain its commitment in the promotion and protection of human rights among others through:
• the fourth submission of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
• the ratification process of the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPED).
• the convening of ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue.
• the implementation of our fifth generation of Human Rights Plan of Action (RANHAM) with a particular focus on accelerating the promotion and protection of human rights for women, children, disabled people and traditional communities.
• the nomination of Indonesia as member of Human Rights Council for the period of 2024-2026.
Indonesia will maintain its active role on humanitarian issues by ensuring preparation to host the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2022 and convening the second Regional Conference on Humanitarian Assistance and Regional Conference on Business and Human Rights.
At the start of the year, Indonesia will begin its tenure at the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
Some of Indonesia’s priorities include advancing economic recovery and social resilience; strengthening the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) post-pandemic; and promoting the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in post-pandemic situation among others through innovative blended financing mechanism.
Fifth Priority: diplomacy will ensure the protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In this light, we will prioritize two things:
First, intensifying negotiations for land and maritime boundaries.
On maritime boundaries, among others:
With Malaysia, we will formalize the outcome of the territorial sea negotiation at the Sulawesi Sea segment and southern part of Malaka Straits segment and subsequently begin negotiation process for other segments particularly for EEZ delimitation.
With Palau, finalizing partial agreement on the specific segments reached in 2019-2020 negotiations for EEZ delimitation.
With the Philippines, begin negotiation of continental shelf after reaching an agreement on EEZ delimitation in 2014, both parties agree that baselines for continental shelf and EEZ are two different regimes.
With Viet Nam, continue EEZ negotiations that were delayed due to the pandemic.
On land boundaries, our priorities among others are:
With Malaysia, completing the demarcation of the Outstanding Boundary Problems (OBP) for the Eastern sector including Sebatik Island.
With Timor Leste, concluding the two remaining Unresolved Segments in accordance with the “Agreed Principles” reached in 2019. Both negotiating teams have agreed that maritime boundaries negotiations will begin after the conclusion of land borders.
Particularly, I wish to underscore a principle concerning sovereignty and sovereign rights in Indonesian waters that any claims by any parties must be in accordance with international law including UNCLOS 1982.
Indonesia will continue to reject claims that are not based on international law.
Second, reinforcing our efforts to protect the integrity of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.
Indonesia wish to remind that respect to sovereignty and territorial integrity are the main principles of friendly relations among nations based on the UN Charter and international law.
In closing, allow me to once again convey our deepest condolences for the passing of several members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Abimanyu S. Nitikoesoemo, Mr. Puspa Bangun Subekti and Mrs. Berthalina Effendi who passed away due to COVID-19 in the line of duty.
I also wish to use this opportunity to thank all our diplomats and staffs at home and in our overseas missions for your tireless work and dedication, especially in this time of pandemic.
I also appreciate the House of Representatives, particularly Commission I, the media, and all stakeholders for your continued cooperation and partnership.
I would like to end this statement by quoting one of our founding fathers, Bung Hatta:
“We must not become the object of an international conflict. On the contrary, we must remain the subject who reserves the right to decide our own destiny.”
This is the essence of a free and active foreign policy of which Indonesia stands upon and will continue pursue in the future.
Stay health, stay strong, stay united.
I thank you.