Keynote Speech By H.E. Retno L. P. Marsudi Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia at the Fifth World Peace Forum “Quest For Peace: Lesson of Conflict Resolution”

Bismillahirrahmanir-Rahim,

Prof. Dr. Din Syamsuddin, Chairman of Centre for Dialogue and Cooperation among Civilizations and President of Muhammadiyah,

Mr. Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew, Founder and Chairman of Cheng Ho Multi-Culture Education Trust,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Assalaamu’alaikumwa-Rahmatullahiwa-Barakatuh,

May Peace Be upon Us,

Let me first begin by extending a warm welcome to all of you to Jakarta. It gives me a distinct privilege to participate at the 5th World Peace Forum, which focuses on the “Quest for Peace: Lesson of Conflict Resolution.”

I would also like to commend the continued initiative of Muhammadiyah, Cheng Ho Multi-Cultural and Education Trust of Malaysia and the Centre for Dialogue and Cooperation Among Civilizations in organizing this Forum. This independent effort complements the efforts of Government, in creating a safe and peaceful world for all mankind, and underscores the value of partnership between stakeholders.

I take this opportunity also to congratulate the accomplishments of Muhammadiyah as it commemorates its 105th anniversary, as an organization that has contributed greatly in the fields of social and sustainable development, to name a few. I am convinced that Muhammadiyah will continue to play an important role in the years to come.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The perrenial quest for peace has always been a challenge for nations and leaders, and this continues to hold true today. In the midst of nations’ quest for peace, the challenges and uncertainties facing nations’ has become more and more complex. Where efforts to attain peace has increasingly been met with political and economic conditions which has left much to be done.

Indonesia has not been imune to the complexities and the challenges of the past and current global condition. However I resist from going in-depth into what Indonesia has faced in her quest for peace, as I understand that during the next few days, you will be discussing at length, various conflicts that have faced a number of countries, including Indonesia’s experience. I do truly hope that the lessons learned from your discussions will be of value to face the challenges that your own countries may currently be facing.

Instead, please allow me to take this opportunity to share with you, in my capacity as Minister for Foreign Affairs, the vision of this Government to address and secure peace. A vision that builds upon the stability that modern day Indonesia is enjoying.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When President Joko Widodo was inaugurated into office on the 20th of October 2014, he immediately went to work on preparing his program for the next 5 years, developing an overall policy for the Government that focused on bringing real and swift benefits (quick wins) for the people of Indonesia.

President Jokowi understood that for Indonesia to become a productive member of the community of nations, we had to develop and utilize our own vast resources. Utilizing and reaping benefit from the land and sea in a manner sustainable for future generations, and in so doing address the welfare needs of the people.

It is the commitment of the Government of Indonesia to develop Indonesia which can be enjoyed by every Indonesian. Growth with equity.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In his first trip abroad recently to 3 Summit Meetings namely the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Beijing, ASEAN in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar and the G-20 in Bribane, President Jokowi sent a very clear message to the world about Indonesia’s plans during his 5 year term ahead. It was made abundantly clear that infrastructure development and maritime issues was top of the priority list.

These priorities are intended to raise the economic growth rate to 7% as part of the economic deliverable target set by the Government.

However a key ingredient for economic growth to flourish is the presence of peace and security. Hence, in order to provide an enabling environment for peace to occur, there is no other option for Indonesia but to continue to play an active role in the promotion of peace in the region.

Through diplomacy, Indonesia will also continue mediating in disputes or conflicts that have existed, with a view to assist in its resolution at the earliest possible moment.

It is therefore without question that Indonesia will continue to believe in the power of diplomacy, as part of her efforts to maintain peace and security in the region. To set aside the use or the threat of use of force as a means to solve disputes.

It is therefore during the ASEAN Summit and all related Summits, President Jokowi made a clear note on the importance of peace and security in the region.

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

During the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Informal Meeting, I conveyed to my colleagues that peace and stability is not a given fact. It shouldn’t be taken for granted. Peace and stability should be nurtured. Constant effort and even extra effort should be taken to create and ,maintain peace and stability.

Furthermore, I also mentioned some ways to attain peace and stability which are:

  1. Peace and stability of each country is of priority – without peace and stability in the country, it is impossible to attain peace and stability in a wider context.

  1. Improving the sense of responsibility of maintaining peace and security. Each one of us has the responsibility to maintain it.

  1. Strengthening communication and dialogue. Diplomacy can play a great role if it is given an opportunity.

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As for our foreign policy, Indonesia will continue to exercise an independent and active foreign policy. Principles like “respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity” remains very valid in Indonesia’s foreign policy.

In the final analysis, conflict resolution is something that is vital to the stability of nations and to the future of the world. In this regard my dear colleague, Prof. Din Syamsuddin stated that “Peace is not merely a situation with no violence, crime or human rights abuses. It is a peaceful cohabitation where people live in harmony, side by side, within a pluralistic society and a fair economic prosperity. ”

We are not saying that we have all the remedies, but we do have several lessons that we would like to share with you.  

  • EVERY conflict is open to a peaceful political solution.  It may not be apparent to all conflict situations, but it is highly probable. Conflicts that remain unresolved for ages do not mean that they are permanently at variance.  Sooner or later, the right formula can come and can disengage the situation.  

  • EVERY conflict has its own character.   Conflicts have pace, have energy, and oddness.  So many conflicts protract because decision makers fail to understand the actual core of the conflict

  • PREVENTING a conflict is more beneficial than treating it once it blows up.  Preventing conflict is inexpensive, safer, quicker and more effective.  

  • CONFLICT resolution requires leadership.  The purpose of leadership is to impel a political process that is usually very difficult to create and implement.   Without leadership, the peace process will be aimless and peace will further be unreachable. 

We have to manage conflict if resolving it is not possible.  In the absence of a solution, it is more pragmatic to contain, manage, and control it.  

Every conflict has its window of opportunity.  It is usually difficult to find and does not come often, but it can lead to possible solutions.  

Adopting a sensible, adaptable, forward-looking method to endorse conflict resolution is more advantageous.  An inflexible method is unlikely to deliver results.  

We can never achieve a peace deal without one key element—trust. Trust must be built between conflicting parties where they should learn to listen and ponder on what each other is trying to say and express. With the establishment of trust and confidence, negotiations can happen and continue into something constructive.  

AS A FINAL POINT, the most vital is sustaining peace.   History reminds us that numerous hard earned peace disintegrate because the stake-holders become imprudent in time.  

I wish you a productive deliberation.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Wassalaamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

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