OPENING REMARKS MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS H.E. RETNO L.P. MARSUDI Asian-African Ministerial Meeting Jakarta, 20 April 2015

I wish to extend a warm welcome to all Ministers and Heads of Delegation.
Indonesia is honored to host this important Asian-African Ministerial Meeting in conjunction with the commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Asian-African Conference and the 10th Anniversary of the Asian-African Strategic Partnership.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
When our Leaders met in Bandung in 1955, our main challengeswere colonialism and poverty.
Today,we sit here 60 years later.
The world remains geo-politically and economically unbalanced.
Palestine has yet to exercise its inalienable right to sovereignty and independence.
We are faced with widening development gaps.
More then 1 billion people living with less then USD2 per day.
Conflicts and instability are continuing.
Intolerance and inequality are increasing.
Let us ask ourselves, what happen with us?
Let us ask ourselves, what happen with the world?
Let us ask ourselves, what can the Asia-African Conference do to address the said challenges.
Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Yesterday our Senior Official’s worked tirelessly on the outcome of our meeting.
The Bandung Message discussed is both a political and moral message to us and to the world.
The Bandung Message elaborates on the three pillars of cooperation and reaffirms our commitment to work towards political solidarity, economic development and stronger socio-cultural relations.
However, I ask you is a mere political message enough to address today’s challenges.
Im sure you would say no.
It is a start but we must go beyond that.
This is why our meeting also discussed the implementation of the Bandung Message under the document on reinvigorating the New Asia-Africa Strategic Partnership.
The NAASP provides a practical approach which focuses on 8 areas of cooperation.
The document does not only stop on priorites areas of cooperation, but goes beyond such priorities. It contains operational mechanisms, which entails the full cooperation of Asian and African countiresso as to ensure its effective implementation.
I am confident that this comprehensive NAASP framework would herald a new chapter in Asia-African cooperation. It would enable Asian African countries to engage in a more intensive, structured and systematic cooperation.
It opens new windows of opportunities for cooperation between Asian and African countries.
It provides bridges for the two continent.
A vast water separates our two continents. As the incoming chair of the Indian Ocean Regional Association (IORA) for the period of 2015-2017, Indonesia will vigorously promote cooperation in maritime connectivity, so as to amongst others shorthen the distance between Asia and Africa.
Colleagues,
An issue that also merits our continuous support and attention is the issue of Palestine. Indonesia remains steadfast in its unwavering support for an independent Palestine within the context of a two-state solution.
In this context, Indonesia strongly belives that ensuring the readiness of the Palestine people capacity to govern an independent state is as important as achieving independence itself. For this reason, it is essential that Asia-Africa countries unite in rendering their support to Plestine as well as developing their cooperation on capacity building programs.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
By the end of the meeting we will have a political message from our leaders, Bandung Message.
To implement it we will have the NAASP.
To support NAASP we have the south-south cooperation.
South-South Cooperation is a manifestation of solidarity among countries. We strengthen ourselves from within .
The agenda and initiatives determined by countries of the south with no conditions. It upholds principles of respects , national sovereignty, equality and mutual respect.
. I believe a strong south-south cooperation will be an effective vehicle to implement the political vision of Bandung message and the NAASP.
But South-south cooperation can be complimented with strong cooperation with our development partners through triangular cooperations.For sure this triangular cooperation should be based on mutual benefit.
Such triangular cooperation must be demand driven and carried out in the spirit of equality.
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Political will to observe the Bandung Message to develop cooperation to implement NAASP will assist us to address the challenges that we face in our region.
We want to see a stable democracy and prosperous Asia-Africa.
We want to see Asia-Africa that respects human rights.
We want to see equality in Asia-Africa and around the world.
Growing together is a must, let us make South-south and triangular cooperations as a means to grow and develop together.
Indonesia is ready to grow together with Asian African countries.
I thank you.

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