[Full text] Indonesia: Partner for peace, security, prosperity
Retno LP Marsudi
Good morning and may peace be upon us all, On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year.
It is my hope that in 2018 we can continue to work hard together for a better Indonesia and for a better world.
Indonesia… a true partner for world peace, security and prosperity. Indonesia’s diplomacy has been in full speed since the very first day of 2018.
I have just returned from Davao City, Philippines. Symbolically, on Jan. 3, I handed over 300 Indonesian passports to persons of Indonesian descent, who have been living for decades in the Philippines without a defined legal citizenship. The Indonesian Consulate General in Davao City, in cooperation with the Government of the Philippines and the UNHCR, have successfully listed 8,745 Persons of Indonesian Descent in 8 provinces in Southern Philippines. Among them, 2,425 people have been given the Certificate of Indonesian Citizenship (SPKI). The process of collecting and validating data is not an easy task. This long process needs to be undertaken because the state wishes to provide maximum protection for its citizens who live abroad.
During my visit to Davao, Indonesia and the Philippines agreed to enhance cooperation in education, particularly to improve education in Islamic schools in Indonesia and the Southern Philippines. Indonesia stands ready to provide 100 scholarships every year.
On Jan. 5, I inaugurated the groundbreaking event for the construction of the new ASEAN Secretariat building. The construction of this building is a manifestation of Indonesia’s contribution so that the ASEAN Secretariat will be able to perform its tasks well in the next 50 years. This building will also affirm Jakarta as the diplomatic capital of ASEAN.
On Jan. 5, I also received the visit of the Indian Foreign Minister in Jakarta. India is an important strategic partner for Indonesia. Indonesia and India agreed to strengthen and deepen the two countries’ strategic partnership and contribute to the ecosystem of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, including in the Indo-Pacific, by strengthening cooperation within the IORA, ASEAN-India, and EAS framework.
2017 just left us.
The support for humanitarian issues and efforts to create world peace are two prominent elements of Indonesia’s diplomacy throughout 2017.
Approaching the end of the year, the world was shocked by an attempt to alter the international status quo on Jerusalem. The world rightfully responded. The majority of countries still view the issue of Jerusalem clearly, as reflected in the result of the United Nations General Assembly’s voting in New York on Dec. 21, 2017. Democracy must be honored and implemented at the global level. The position that most members of the UN took should become the world’s benchmark to resolve the issue of Jerusalem.
Indonesia’s position on Palestine, including on the status of Jerusalem, is very clear, firm, and consistent in accordance with our Constitutional mandate. This consistent position was also reaffirmed at the OIC Extraordinary Summit in Istanbul, Dec. 13, 2017. Prior to the Summit, I met with the Jordanian and Palestinian Foreign Ministers, and following the Summit, I also met with HRVP Mogherini in Brussels.
Indonesia’s diplomacy shall continue to strive for Palestine for humanity and for justice. Indonesia’s support for Palestine is not only in the form of political support but also economic support and technical cooperation. Specifically, in the field of economy, Indonesia has applied “zero tariff” for various Palestinian products entering the Indonesian market. This year, Indonesia will also strengthen cooperation in water desalination and health.
Once again, Palestine is at the heart of Indonesia’s foreign policy, and in every breath of Indonesian diplomacy, there you will find our struggle for Palestine. On this august occasion, Indonesia once again calls upon the international community to continue providing its support for Palestine.
Indonesia’s contribution to world peace is also carried out in Afghanistan. Both countries will intensify capacity building cooperation through scholarships, police training, infrastructure, ulama exchange programs, and women empowerment.
Last November, I conducted a working visit to Kabul. The first bilateral visit by an Indonesian Foreign Minister after more than 50 years. With the Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, I signed a grant agreement on the establishment of a health polyclinic. The polyclinic will be built in the “Indonesia Islamic Center” complex, where an Indonesian mosque now stands.
Indonesia also had the honor to receive the visit by the President of Afghanistan, High Peace Council, and the First Lady of Afghanistan in 2017. It is an honor for Indonesia to work with our brothers in Afghanistan in building peace.
The convening of an International Conference for World Ulama is planned to be held in Indonesia to reinforce peaceful Islamic values and peace itself.
Still on the subject of humanitarian issues, in 2017 we also witnessed with concern the humanitarian crisis unraveling in Rakhine State, Myanmar, resulting in thousands of refugees fleeing to Bangladesh. Indonesia was one of the first countries to arrive in Myanmar and Bangladesh in the aftermath of the “new cycle of violence” in August 2017.
Indonesia calls for:
• the end of all forms of violence;
• the restoration of security and stability;
• protection of all persons;
• the opening of humanitarian access; and
• the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Kofi Annan Report.
As a reflection of our solidarity, we delivered humanitarian aid both to Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The second phase of development for the Indonesian Hospital in Mrauk U, Rakhine State, was also commenced last month. Indonesia has been the driving force behind the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Centre in Rakhine State.
Indonesia welcomes the Arrangement on Repatriation between Myanmar and Bangladesh, and looks forward to its full implementation.
Indonesia stands ready to contribute in carrying out the repatriation process as well as in the implementation of the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Report. Instability in one country might as well induce regional instability. Indonesia does not want this to happen.
We also followed closely with concern the occupation of Marawi by terrorist groups. Indonesia and the international community condemn such occupation.
Indonesia initiated a Trilateral Meeting in Manila on June 22, 2017 to strengthen cooperation in the fields of defense, countering radicalism and terrorism, through hardpower as well as softpower approaches.
My visit to Davao, as I have mentioned in the beginning of my speech, was also a follow-up to the Trilateral Cooperation in countering radicalism and terrorism through education.
2017 was an important year for ASEAN. It marked the 50th anniversary of ASEAN’s establishment. In the course of 50 years, ASEAN has significantly contributed to the creation of an ecosystem of peace, stability, and prosperity in Southeast Asia. For the next 50 years, in addition to contributing to the region, ASEAN must also be able to enhance its contribution to world peace and prosperity. The challenges that will be faced in the next 50 years will not lessen. All ASEAN member countries must have a strong commitment to maintain ASEAN’s relevance.
“Collective leadership and concerted action” are needed to preserve ASEAN as the prominent player in the region.
For Indonesia, ASEAN unity and centrality is key.
Without unity and centrality, it will be difficult for ASEAN to preserve its role and relevance. The ability of ASEAN member countries to synergize national and regional roles is inevitable. National and regional interest must be able to go hand in hand.
Indonesia will continue to safeguard ASEAN’s unity and centrality.
Some of ASEAN’s achievements in 2017 include, among others:
• First, the agreement on the Framework of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea between China and ASEAN, and the agreement on the commencement of negotiations of a Code of Conduct. Indonesia hopes that these negotiations can be concluded as soon as possible.
• Second, the signing of the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the rights of Migrant Workers. The signing was realized after undergoing a very long process. Indonesia’s championing of migrant worker protection shall remain unchanged, and ASEAN’s commitment to the protection of migrant workers shall test ASEAN’s ability to create a caring and sharing community.
• Third, Indonesia has pushed for the operationalization of the AIPR (ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation) as a means to contribute to the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Indonesia’s diplomacy was fortified not only in the Pacific Ocean but also in the Indian Ocean. Strengthening cooperation among the countries in the Indian Ocean Rim was a priority during Indonesia’s chairmanship of IORA. During Indonesia’s chairmanship, no less than 30 meetings, programs, and projects within the framework of IORA were held in Indonesia.
After 20 years of its establishment, an IORA Summit was held for the first time in Jakarta in March 2017. The Summit produced:
• The Jakarta Concord, which reinforced the commitment of IORA member countries to uphold the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as the main norm in maintaining peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region, and;
• The IORA Action Plan, which serves as a guideline for IORA’s future direction. Indonesia continues to bolster the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace and the growth of a sense of regionalism in the Indian Ocean region. Indonesia handed over its chairmanship to South Africa in November last year.
On a wider scope, Indonesia continues to benefit from, and will continue to strengthen, intra- and inter-regional cooperation frameworks, such as APEC, ASEM, and FEALAC.
Indonesia’s membership in various International Organizations has yielded welcoming results. Indonesia has been elected in 14 candidacies to several international organizations.
Indonesia also intensified is diplomacy in 2017 through its candidacy as a Non Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council for the period of 2019-2020. Indonesia’s commitment to contribute in the maintenance of global peace and stability has been positively recorded. Indonesia ranks 9th out of 125 peacekeeping troop contributing countries. The issue of membership in the UN Security Council is not an issue of how big or small a country is, because all nations have the same right. Rather, a country’s track record and commitment to contribute to world peace needs to be assured.
Indonesia highly appreciates the support given, and hopes that other countries can follow suit in supporting Indonesia’s candidacy.
In 2017, Indonesia submitted a report for the third cycle of the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR).
For the first time, two Indonesian ministers participated in a UPR submission: the Minister for Law and Human Rights and the Minister for Foreign Affairs. The preparation process and follow-up of the report were completed with the involvement of all relevant stakeholders of human rights issues. Indonesia appreciates the positive response concerning the UPR report from the international community.
At the regional level, Indonesia continues to encourage human rights mainstreaming effort across all pillars of the ASEAN Community such as through the strengthening of the AICHR, advancing the issue of migrant rights protection as well as human rights-based approach in dealing with victims of human trafficking.
In the midst of growing skepticism towards values, and in the face of democracy and human rights setbacks all over the world, democracy and human rights will continue to be an asset for Indonesia’s diplomacy.
Democracy is a tool to achieve our goal, namely peace and prosperity. The values of democracy need to be diffused through democratic ways as well.
For the past decade, Indonesia’s effort in advancing democracy has been carried out through the convening of the Bali Democracy Forum (BDF). Now BDF is referred by others as an international forum that discusses democracy without fear and without a “finger pointing exercise.”
Another breakthrough was also achieved by BDF, namely the convening of the BDF Chapter Tunis. Together with the Foreign Minister of Tunisia, I attended the Forum.
This year’s BDF also included the participation of university students who are the future of the world. The Bali Democracy Student Conference was held in parallel with BDF.
Indonesia’s commitment to strengthen the South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) was also fortified in 2017 by continuously advocating good governance, accountability, and transparency.
At least 31 countries in Asia, Africa, and South Pacific, including Palestine, have become Indonesia’s partners for this cooperation, including in the fields of food security, fisheries, agriculture, as well as SMEs and micro-finance.
In particular, as a good friend, Indonesia has strengthened its engagement in the Pacific through capacity building trainings and humanitarian assistance, especially during times when the countries in this region were hit by natural disasters, as a form of our solidarity as a part of the international community and the Pacific nation.
The commitment to enhance South-South and other technical cooperation shall be gradually strengthened with the establishment of a single agency that is responsible for the delivery of Indonesia’s international assistance.
With a single agency, the delivery of Indonesian Aid will be carried out through a single door, with an initial budget of Rp1 trillion. The establishment of a single agency will strengthen Indonesia’s diplomacy including humanitarian diplomacy.
Indonesia also continues to strengthen its economic diplomacy. As I have mentioned before in last year’s Annual Ministerial Press Statement, Indonesia prioritizes enhancing relations with Africa, South and Central Asia, as well as Latin America, including in the field of economy. These regions remain to be uncharted territories for Indonesia’s products and businesspeople.
The value of trade between Indonesia and countries in Africa, and South and Central Asia has drastically increased by more than 100%. Opportunities for cooperation for Indonesian companies are abundant, particularly in the fields of infrastructure and energy, as well as strategic industry.
In 2017, the Vice Minister and I conducted 3 visits to Africa as Indonesia Incorporated. A number of Indonesia’s private sector and SOEs have successfully penetrated Africa.
In the same year, we have also intensified cooperation through Bilateral Consultations and Joint Commission Meetings with 6 (six) Latin American countries, namely Mexico, Jamaica, Peru, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Ecuador.
The materialization of new purchasing contracts for some of our strategic industry products was also carried out in 2017, such as
• 250 railway carriages from PT INKA by Bangladesh;
• radioisotope from PT Inuki by Mexico; and
• aircrafts from PT DI by Mexico and Senegal.
We take note of the increase in our interaction with some countries that are geographically “distant”. Costa Rica has inaugurated its Embassy in Jakarta in 2017. Some countries such as Uruguay has indicated its plan to follow suit.
In the same time, intensive effort to strengthen, expand, and deepen traditional markets such as the European Union, North America, and Asia, is always ongoing. The value of trade with European countries, such as Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, also increased to an average of more than 50%.
Meanwhile, investments by European countries, such as Switzerland and Germany, is recorded to have drastically increased to 100%. It even reached more than 500% in the case of Sweden and Denmark.
With the conduct of economic diplomacy by all Indonesian missions, Trade Expo Indonesia 2017 successfully brought in 5,045 businesspeople and foreign visitors from 116 countries, and yielded a total transaction of USD 1,4 billion or a 37,36 % increase compared to last year’s transaction.
The Foreign Ministry also optimized TEI activities to support the local economies, including through visits and meetings between foreign businesspeople and local stakeholders.
This effort to strengthen traditional market is not without challenges. One of the main and strategic products for Indonesia’s economic development, namely palm oil, faces negative campaign and discrimination in Europe and the United States.
Indonesia shall not stand by idly.
Together with relevant stakeholders, including with the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), Indonesia continuously intensifies its efforts to counter the black campaign and promote sustainable palm oil as well as the attainment of SDGs.
President Joko Widodo specifically raised this issue during the ASEAN-EU Summit in Manila in 2017.
Efforts to intensify trade and economic cooperation were undertaken.
In 2017, 27 rounds of negotiation were carried out for, among others, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), Indonesia-Chile EFTA, and ASEAN-Hong Kong FTA.
The ASEAN-Hong Kong FTA negotiation was concluded and signed in November 2017, while the Indonesia-Chile CEPA was signed in December 2017.
Progress in various trade negotiations continues to be made, including:
• CEPA with Australia and EFTA is at its final stage and is expected to be concluded in 2018;
• Indonesia-European Union CEPA concluded its third round of negotiation with an optimistic view that the negotiation will continue to make significant progress;
• The negotiations with Turkey and Peru have commenced;
• The feasibility study on developing cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union has been completed.
Economic Diplomacy is also supported by the strengthening of promotion and cultural cooperation. Indonesia was honored to be the Guest Country in the 2017 Europalia Festival, from October 2017 to January 2018. This festival is one of the biggest in Europe with more than 250 performances in 7 (seven) European countries.
With regard to investment, the new generation of the Bilateral Investment Treaty has been concluded with the United Arab Emirates.
All in all, the Indonesian government has signed 78 international agreements in the field of economy in 2017, which included trade, investment, finance, technical cooperation and double taxation avoidance.
As its new innovation, the Foreign Ministry has launched the Treaty Room site which can be accessed online. Through this site, people can access every single international agreement that have been agreed upon since Indonesia’s independence.
In this dynamic and turbulent world, protection for Indonesian citizens abroad has its own challenges.
In the past three years, the government has exerted tremendous efforts to ensure the presence of the state for all its citizens, wherever they may be.
Protection, care, and commitment to side with the citizens is implemented based on the principle “beyond protection.”
Throughout 2017, our citizen protection diplomacy has:
• resolved 9,894 legal cases;
• saved 14 Indonesian citizens from death penalty;
• repatriated almost 50,000 Indonesians abroad;
• recovered the financial rights of Indonesian citizens valued over Rp120 billion; and
• released two hostages from Southern Philippines.
We are aware that the better our performance in protecting Indonesian citizens, the higher public expectation will be. Therefore, the Foreign Ministry will continue to innovate towards a better citizen protection system.
Throughout 2017, some innovations included:
• Overseas Indonesians database, which for the first time is fully integrated with all other national database;
• Overseas Indonesians service and protection system and standard based on a Single Identity Number;
• A full version of the SafeTravel application to be a travel partner for all Indonesian citizens traveling abroad.
Today, I officially launch the Overseas Indonesians Service and Protection Portal, which can be accessed online.
By launching this, then:
• There will only be one overseas Indonesian citizens database;
• A single system, a single data, and a single standard consular service;
• Gradually, all population and civil registry service can be done in Indonesian missions.
As part of the preparation for 2019 elections, the Foreign Ministry has signed an MoU with the National Elections Commission on Dec. 6, 2017 to assert its readiness in supporting the 2019 elections.
Another priority is to protect and safeguard Indonesia’s sovereignty by, among others, concluding boundary demarcation negotiations.
Throughout 2017, we have conducted 35 boundary demarcation negotiations:
• 11 maritime boundary settlement meetings;
• 5 meetings between the Special Envoys of the Indonesian President and the Malaysian Prime Minister;
• 19 land boundary settlement meetings.
Some significant progress in 2017:
• The ratification, exchange of ratification instruments, and Joint Registration of maritime boundary agreement between Indonesia and Singapore at the UN.
• The ratification of Exclusive Economic Zone boundary agreement between Indonesia and the Philippines by Indonesia. We are currently waiting for the Philippines to ratify.
• The signing of an MoU on Survey and Demarcation of the International Boundary No. 20 between Indonesia and Malaysia.
• The final ratification process of the Basic Agreement on Border Arrangements 2013 for the land boundary between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
That was an illustration of Indonesia’s diplomacy in 2017.
Now, we are in a new year, 2018.
The world in 2018 will still be faced with various challenges. There is an optimism surrounding world economic growth. In 2017, it was estimated to be 3.6%, whereas in 2018, 3.7%.
However, uncertainties remain.
Political security instability at the global level will still be the biggest risk in 2018. The potential of proxy conflicts in many parts of the world still exists. Many countries are backtracking from their international commitments, which leaves behind a big question mark.
Therefore… we need to keep on developing partnership to respect international law and multilateralism… that partnership should be strengthened in order to avoid “the mighty takes all.”
Democracy and global governance must always be upheld. We have high expectations of the UN’s role in maintaining world peace. The spirit of co-opetition, co-operative competition, or the spirit of cooperation in a world of competitions to yield optimum results needs to be encouraged.
Building partnership is key to restore and enhance the essence of regional and global cooperation.
In the midst of regional and global geopolitical changes, Indonesia, along with Southeast Asian countries, which are located at the crossroads of the Indian and Pacific Oceans MUST continue to be the prominent player in the creation of a regional architecture.
With regard to the future regional architecture, I would like to offer my views. Indonesia wants the ecosystem of peace, stability, prosperity to be established not only in ASEAN, but also in the Indian and Pacific Oceans Rims or the Indo-Pacific.
Therefore, together with ASEAN, Indonesia will continue to contribute in advancing a strong positive cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. INSTEAD of a cooperation that is based on suspicion or worse, a perception of threat.
In this regard, Indonesia will work together with countries in the region, to develop an Indo-Pacific cooperation umbrella aimed at:
• Supporting confidence-building measures and a mutually-beneficial cooperation.
• Enhance a habit of dialogue within the regional cooperation architecture.This regional architecture will be built through a building blocks approach, namely:
• In a bilateral and pluri-lateral manner, intensifying cooperation among the countries in the Indo-Pacific in various strategic fields, especially security, maritime, trade, and investment;
• At the regional level, encourage the strengthening of IORA cooperation, in accordance with the Jakarta Concord and Plan of Action 2017 – 2021, to create new growth centers that support the ecosystem of peace, stability and prosperity in the Indian Ocean;
• Create a linkage among numerous bilateral and pluri-lateral cooperation, as well as cooperation architecture in the Indian Ocean, with ASEAN-led mechanisms.
The aim is to create an umbrella for cooperation that is…
• free, open, inclusive, and comprehensive;
• beneficial for the long-term interest of all countries in the region;
• based on a joint commitment by the countries in the Indo-Pacific to uphold peace, stability, and prosperity.
Some strategic steps and focuses of Indonesia’s foreign policy in 2018 include, among others:
First… strengthening ASEAN unity and centrality, Indonesia will fully support the chairmanship of Singapore in ASEAN.
Indonesia shall actively strive so that ASEAN and China could produce a practical and effective COC for the sake of stability and security of the South China Sea.
Indonesia will encourage the establishment of a Plan of Action to implement ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.
The increasing frequency of transnational crimes in the region requires enhanced legal cooperation among ASEAN member countries. Therefore, Indonesia will push for the establishment of an ASEAN Extradition Treaty.
Further develop regional cooperation on e-commerce to assist MSMEs in increasing their trade in goods and services.
Strengthen the ASEAN Secretariat, so that it becomes more modern and effective by enhancing its human resources infrastructure facilities, starting from the “groundbreaking” of the new building of the ASEAN Secretariat 4 days ago.
Democracy and respect for human rights are two important elements that must continue to be developed by ASEAN. ASEAN’s benefit should be felt by its people.
As I have said before, Indonesia will encourage ASEAN to be active in the discussion of bolstering regional architecture in the Indo-Pacific region. Once again, ASEAN centrality has to be maintained.
Second, Indonesia will enhance its peace and humanitarian diplomacy for a more peaceful and stable world. In this context, Indonesia shall enhance partnership with like-minded countries, which will be a tangible contribution for world peace and prosperity.
The enhancement of humanitarian diplomacy, particularly concrete humanitarian aid, will be conducted among others through the management of Indonesian Aid.
Third, Indonesia will ensure the successful hosting of a number of important events in 2018.
• Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang (18 August – 2 September 2018);
• Our Ocean Conference, October 29-30, 2018;
• The annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group (IMF-WB) in Bali, October 8-14, 2018;
• The 2018 World Conference on Creative Economy, in Bali, May 5-7, 2018.
As coordinator of MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey, Australia) in 2018,
Indonesia will continue to encourage creative economy, as a pillar of global economic growth and in order to contribute to world peace.
For the first time, Indonesia will host the Indonesia-Africa Forum, in April 2018.
Fourth, Indonesia will intensify its campaign for candidacy to be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2019-2020 period.
Fifth, we shall continue to safeguard our borders and sovereignty through the intensification of boundary delimitation negotiations.
Indonesia expects our negotiating partners to be flexible so that the negotiations could significantly progress.
Sixth, to strengthen a “beyond protection” protection, the Foreign Ministry will complete and launch safe travel as a means to enhance the protection of overseas Indonesian citizens.
Seventh, to use the momentum of global economic recovery, Indonesia will intensify trade and economic cooperation negotiations in the forms of CEPA, FTA, or PTA.
We will prioritize the conclusions of the RCEP, Indonesia-EFTA CEPA, Indonesia –European Union CEPA, Indonesia-Turkey CEPA dan Indonesia -Australia CEPA negotiations. We will also expedite the commencement of the Indonesia – Eurasia Economic Union (I-EEU) free trade negotiation.
A new generation of Bilateral Investment Agreement negotiation with partner countries, such as Switzerland, will also be intensified.
Eighth, Indonesia’s diplomacy will be further strengthened in combatting transnational crimes, including human trafficking, IUU fishing, illegal drugs, and countering radicalism and terrorism.
Before concluding, I wish to convey my appreciation to all the diplomats and staff, both at the headquarters and in our missions abroad, especially those serving in difficult and hardship posts, for your unwavering dedication and hard work.
I would also like to thank the People’s Representative Council, especially Committee
One, for the excellent cooperation.
To all members of the media, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the solid partnership in the coverage of our diplomatic activities.
I wish to re-convey my highest appreciation to the many elements of the society as well as partner agencies of the government that have supported our humanitarian diplomacy.
Today is also a special day for the Foreign Ministry. Alhamdulillah, today we are able to inaugurate the new canteen of the Foreign Ministry.
After this event, I will inaugurate the Foreign Ministry’s new canteen. I invite all guests to have lunch at our new Diplomacy Canteen.
Moreover, the Ministry is in the process to acquire 10 new buildings that will serve as Indonesian missions. All the high-level officials in the Foreign Ministry are committed to keep improving the welfare of the Foreign Ministry.
Finally, I wish to reiterate the commitment of all the staff at the Foreign Ministry in 2018 to stay focused on working hard and working thoroughly.
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