The Jakarta Post
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi has rejected claims that Indonesia has recently adopted an inward-looking foreign policy based on narrow nationalism, thus losing its focus on international issues.
Retno denied that the Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo administration had adopted narrow nationalism or that Indonesia had chosen to be less involved in international politics. The minister pointed to Indonesia's recent roles in foreign affairs, which included the rapid dispatch of humanitarian aid to earthquake-stricken Nepal and typhoon-buffeted Vanuatu shortly after the initial reports of the disasters, as well as the resettlement efforts made by the country to accommodate Rohingya refugees.
'Commitment to international affairs remains one of our highest priorities. With all the meetings held with world leaders, participation in international summits and providing humanitarian aid to disaster-afflicted countries, how can one say Indonesia is inward looking?' she asked during her keynote speech at the Conference on Indonesian Foreign Policy seminar at the Grand Sahid Hotel in Central Jakarta on Saturday.
She noted that in the first seven months of the Jokowi administration, the President had held official meetings with 25 world leaders, and participated in five international summits. Retno herself has also held 53 bilateral meetings with international leaders.
The recent Asia Africa Conference that was held in Jakarta and Bandung in April, she added, also showed Indonesia's commitment toward strengthening international relations and willingness to integrate with the international community.
As a result of the conference, she said, efforts had been set up to strengthen relations with African, Middle Eastern and South Pacific nations, which Retno said was a particular focus, due to Indonesia being part of the Melanesian identity.
Additionally, during her speech, Retno mentioned that in order to have a meaningful global role, Indonesia must contribute toward maintaining peace in the region. Particularly, in order to forge regional harmony in dealing with pressing issues such as the South China Sea dispute, a timeframe needed to be agreed upon soon by all related parties on a code of conduct.
'Indonesia is recognized by outsiders for its successes in democracy, development and stability. When we lead, we always try and lead by example,' she said.
The 2015 Conference on Indonesian Foreign Policy is a two-day conference organized by the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI), which involves discussion panels with an array of diplomats, officials from the Foreign Ministry and experts.