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Pidato Menteri Luar Negeri

Lecture by H.E. Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia on “Challenges and Opportunities of Timor Leste’s Membership in ASEAN” Dili, 28 July 2010

Rabu, 28 Juli 2010

Secretary of State of National Resources, his Excellency Mr. Alfredo Perez,
 
Secretary of State of Social Solidarity, his Excellency Mr. Victor da Costa,
Excellencies,
 
Ambassadors,
 
Dear friends, and colleagues,
 
I would like to begin by thanking all, especially my good friend Minister Zacharias, for making possible this morning’s occasion. We’ve had, all of us, the Indonesian delegation, the most wonderful experience over the past two or three days, here in Dili, in furthering our bilateral relations, and, of course, as I said before on previous occasions, in experiencing the warmth and hospitality of our brothers and sisters in Timor Leste.
 
I have been asked this morning to say a few words—I am afraid to use the term lecture because I wish very much to have an occasion to have a dialogue and conversation, interaction even, with all concerned to elaborate and to exchange views on the subject matter of challenges and opportunity of Timor Leste’s membership in ASEAN.
 
But with your permission, I’d like to bring the subject matter somewhat broader, to put into context the impending or the present ongoing efforts by Timor Leste to join ASEAN by looking at the broader framework as well.
 
And as an organizing thought, I’d like to use, or adopt, the word “change” to describe what we are all about today.
Because I think the word “change” or “transformation” reflects well the state of affairs of where we are just now.
 
Obviously, our friends, brothers, and sisters here in Timor Leste would be familiar with their own transformation within the country. Over the past 10 years, post-1999, Timor Leste, obviously, has undergone tremendous changes, exciting changes, and opportunities before it that will no doubt propel Timor Leste to even greater height.
On our part, in Indonesia, I think it’s not an exaggeration to say that we have also undergone changes as well, in parallel with the changes that have taken place in Timor Leste. Just by way of signaling some of those changes, Indonesia has transformed itself over the past 10 years from what was then an authoritarian state, to what is now, undoubtedly, the third largest democracy in the world. A country that is proving that democracy, Islam, and modernity can go hand-in-hand. A country that is now making very much democratization, human rights, and all the other important universal principles of that type very much part of our national endeavor, and not least, part of our global endeavor as well-in other words the democratization of our foreign policy.
I think, both Timor Leste, as well as Indonesia, have benefited from undergoing changes, transformation, and indeed we are beginning to reap the democratic dividends of those changes.
The changes in Indonesia have not only been about politics—it’s not only about people being able to vote, being able to express themselves freely. But we’ve also seen changes, or democratic dividends, in the economic domain as well.
 
Contrast with the situation 10 years ago, in 1998-1999, Indonesia’s economy was in a challenging situation. We had the International Monetary Fund (IMF) come into, basically to rescue, in quotes, our “economy”. And 10 years later, we are now a permanent member of the Group of 20 Nations, the 20 main global economies that now has become the premier global economic forum.
Those changes, in other words, the democratic changes, the political changes, the economic transformation, I think, is one of the most transformational, one of the most significant changes that has taken place in our region.
Indonesia, Timor Leste, Both countries are undergoing transformational changes, exciting changes that make it possible even for us now to really have a relationship that’s never been closer than before.  I think our discussions over the past two days have proven that point, that not only have we now begun to enjoy a close relationship, but that the future promises even more.
 
Now, the quality of change, or transformation, is also affecting ASEAN. The ASEAN that Timor Leste is intending to join, hopefully sooner rather than later, is certainly not the ASEAN that existed say, 10 years ago, let alone in 1967 when it was founded.
Because over the past 10 years, ASEAN itself, has undergone tremendous changes and this happens not by accident. Certainly from our perspective, from our national perspective, we systemically, and by design, and purposefully begun to project the changes that have been taking place in our own national domestic society in Indonesia on to our regional paradigm and regional efforts as well.
 
This is not to say, of course, that we are imposing our national experience, exporting it to the regional domain. But simply an effort on our part to ensure that the democratic changes that’s been taking place in our country, in Indonesia, does not experience a disconnect with the regional level, that ASEAN itself hopefully can also undergone somewhat more gradual changes so that there is not too much of a difference, or disconnect, between the national changes and the regional milieu or the regional setting.
I’d like to take our memory back to 2003. At the time Indonesia assumed chairmanship of ASEAN early on in our democratization process, and the question was raised by my distinguished predecessor of the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Dr. Hassan Wirajuda whom opposed the question, “Are we simply going to chair ASEAN, or are we going to provide leadership in ASEAN?” And I think the answer was quite obvious, despite the rhetorical question. We wish not only to chair ASEAN, but we wish to see some changes, transformational changes, at the pace comfortable to all, as we all say in ASEAN lexicon.
 
So what we did then, our conscious effort was to transform ASEAN from an association to a true community of nations.
Colleagues, you would recall at the time in 2003, there was already a discussion of community building in ASEAN, but it was essentially an economic community rather than any other community. It was Indonesia that brought the subject matter of a socio-cultural community, as well as security-political community as well.
 
Because based on our national experience, we felt that it was not good enough for a country to simply develop economically, but we must also develop our political institutions, we must develop a sense of “we feeling” among the community, a sense of kinship and ownership, and all that is positive in that way so that we can have an ASEAN that is truly widely all encompassing and comprehensive.
As a result, therefore, 2003 onwards, as we all know by now, we have had this vision of an ASEAN community by 2020, and then moved forward to 2015, made up of three pillars: economic community certainly, socio-cultural community, and as well, security and political community as well.
 
And within those three pillars, now we see an ASEAN that is truly deepening and developing integration on all those three pillars, the economic pillar, the socio-cultural pillar, as well as in the political-security pillar as well.
 
In other words, the ASEAN that Timor Leste is intending to join has changed itself in terms of the three-pillar community building aspect of ASEAN. But at the same time it is also an ASEAN that is changing vis-à-vis its external policies, so to speak.
 
Many of you, Excellencies and dear friends, would be aware of the so-called regional architecture debate that we have been having over the recent past, about where we are heading in terms of the regional milieu.
I remember when I took up this responsibility last October, this was certainly one issue that has been out there, constantly debated, especially thanks to the initiative by the government of Japan vis-à-vis it’s East Asia community concept, and the government of Australia vis-à-vis it’s Asia Pacific community concept.
 
Now architecture building is not unfamiliar to ASEAN. If you were to look at ASEAN’s existence, we’ve had a period where ASEAN has come up with policy statements, policy outlooks, that has helped shaped our region. The Zone of Peace and Freedom (ZOPFAN) proposal in 1971, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone proposal, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, for example, these are all part and parcel of ASEAN’s contribution to regional architecture building. And
in addition to that we’ve had the “Plus-One” processes: ASEAN with India, ASEAN with China, ASEAN with Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, United States, European Union, Russia. Again, ASEAN actively building connectivity, building regional frameworks and ASEAN “Plus-Three”, and of course, not least, in 2005 when Malaysia hosted the ASEAN Summit, we saw the birth of the East Asia Summit.
 
In addition, we’ve had the ASEAN regional forum as well. In other words ASEAN, from its very inception, has been very much taking the so-called leadership role, driving-seat role, central role, in promoting regional architecture building.
More recently the debate has also come to the forth in terms of, especially to respond Australia’s and Japan’s initiatives on East Asia community.
 
And I think ASEAN has responded. We have reasserted our leadership, in terms of discussions, on this sort of issue.
Post Da Nang ASEAN Ministerial Retreat in January of this year, the Summit of ASEAN in April of this year, and just last week in Hanoi the Foreign Ministers met and basically came to some kind of closure, conclusion, on this entire debate wherein, among other things, we decided, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers decided, to recommend to their leaders to expand the East Asia Summit to include the United States and the Russian Federation.
 
Just by way of illustration, I’d like to share with you all about Indonesia’s worldview on this matter, or regional view or perspective on the matter. We are for what we call a “dynamic equilibrium” in our region--a state of affairs marked by certain qualities. One obvious quality is one where our region is not dominated, or there isn’t a preponderant power in our region.
 
By saying that, we are not going back to the old vision of containment or Cold War revisions for our region. On the contrary, what we meant there is that a state of affairs in which countries interacts with one another in a state of positive engagement and not the policy of “either-or” as if there is always constant competition, but rather a state of balance, equilibrium, where all of us can pursue our efforts of development for peace and stability in line with the various ASEAN principles and structures.
So, that vision is now to the fore, with the extension of the East Asia Summit to include the Russian Federation and the United States to be formally endorsed hopefully by our leaders at the next ASEAN Summit in October.
 
In other words, as I said, the basic theme is about change—change in Timor Leste, change in Indonesia, change in ASEAN, in ASEAN internally vis-à-vis ASEAN community building, change in terms of ASEAN with the world in terms of its various relationships with its dialogue partners. That is the kind of milieu that I think Timor Leste is now facing when it aspires to join ASEAN.
 
And in this connection, I’d like to reconfirm once again our view, our position, which is crystal clear. We have said on several occasions, and the point we have reaffirmed again, once again last week in Hanoi, that we support Timor Leste’s membership of ASEAN. We think it is recognition of a natural fact, that geographically, obviously, Timor Leste is very much constituent element of our region of Southeast Asia, geo- politically as well, very relevant, very important, to have a country as important as Timor Leste to be part and parcel of the regional architecture, being able to contribute to the region’s development, stability, and prosperity.
And I’d like to emphasize the word “contribute” because I know that sometimes when we discuss this matter, the issue tended to be reduced to mechanical issues, mechanics. Is Timor Leste up to it in terms of being able to attend so many hundreds of ASEAN meetings each year? Does it have the resources to be able to cover all these various ASEAN meetings all over our region? But to me, personally, I feel that this is not quite the right kind of question that we must pose because all of us must start, sooner or later, we must begin this kind of process. And to identify those as being hurdles, unnecessarily creates hindrances and problems.
 
I’m sure that Timor Leste would have developed the capacity to be able to address those practical challenges.
But the more important question, or strategic question, for us is to be able to ask the question: “What contributions can Timor Leste make to ASEAN?” And I think, if I were to have some friendly advice and input to Timor Leste as it aspires to develop and promote its candidacy for membership to ASEAN, we must, I guess, first and foremost focus on the value added that Timor Leste is to bring to ASEAN in terms of “How can Timor Leste enrich the perspectives within ASEAN?”, “how can Timor Leste’s membership in ASEAN help create a more peaceful, a more benign regional atmosphere in terms of peace and stability?”
 
We are converted. You don’t have to convince us in Indonesia because we know, we are confident actually, that Timor Leste will make that contribution, that value added. But that conversation is yet to be had in a full way with all our colleagues within ASEAN. So if there was to be a friendly input, I think that is what we would suggest. We really zero in, not only about the mechanics, about whether Timor Leste is up to it in terms of attending all these various ASEAN conferences, but more in terms of worldview, what contributions would Timor Leste make to ASEAN.
Change, in other words, Excellencies, Pak Zacharias, dear ministers, is very much prevalent in our region. Change in Timor Leste, change in Indonesia, change within ASEAN. And these prerequisites are inevitable because we are seeing the kinds of challenges we face nowadays, globally I think, are very much of a different character than we have been used to.
 
I don’t have to go in depth at this time, but I think all of you would be familiar with the fact that nowadays when we speak of international relations, when we speak of foreign policies, we no longer are consumed by so-called traditional issues of war and peace, international peace and security. But there are new issues that are very much dominating us like the issues of climate change of the environment, financial crisis, energy security, and the environment in general, and all the various transnational challenges in terms of terrorism, in terms of people smuggling. These are the kind of challenges, some of whose characters essentially one is its trans-border nature, transnational nature, problems that defy national solutions and demands international cooperation, demands all of us to come together.
But, unfortunately or fortunately, depends on where you’re coming from, it goes beyond international cooperation because international cooperation suggests only cooperation among sovereign states, governments. But, in fact, many of these problems or challenges also involve stakeholders that are beyond and outside councils of state. It involve civil societies, it involves non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), think-tanks, media, and the population at large.
 
In other words, we must build a coalition of interests and stakeholders involving governments, involving civil societies. It’s a very messy picture, so to speak. And therefore we must have an ASEAN, we must have countries that have the capacity to think in that way, in a very comprehensive way, to offer itself as part of the solution.
 
And that is the last thought I wanted to share with you that in so far as Indonesia is concerned, I mentioned last night as well, our motto, our predisposition, is “a thousand friends and zero enemies”. We have absolutely no interest whatsoever in building and creating enmity, creating difficulties. We are for the promotion of close relations with all. We are oriented towards solving problems. We are not interested in creating or accentuating differences, but that doesn’t mean we are not principled. We have certain principles that we want to promote, to fight for. But in doing so, we are in the business of finding commonalities, and not wanting to accentuate differences. Part of the solution, building bridges, and the like.
And in doing so, Excellencies, Indonesia very much finds it necessary, first and foremost, to ensure a regional environment that is peaceful, that is stable, that is prosperous. But we also have beyond regional paradigms and perspectives.
 
We have a role within the United Nations (UN) obviously, a traditional role within the UN. We have a role within the G-20 group of nations, a forum that is becoming increasingly prominent. And the happiest fact that I wanted to mention, and I said this to Pak Zacharias yesterday.
I have found now that increasingly not only is Indonesia and Timor Leste working very closely bilaterally in a very good way, taking our relationship each time to a higher level, but we are also finding ourselves working very closely on many global or multilateral issues.
 
In other words, we are increasingly a partner not only bilaterally, a partner within the region, but indeed, a partner globally, as well, in the multilateral setting. And I’d like to assure our colleagues and the government of Timor Leste that you will have, in Indonesia, a reliable partner in that kind of endeavors.
Thank you very much.

 





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Pidato Pernyataan Tahunan Menteri Luar Negeri Republik Indonesia, DR. R.M. Marty M. NatalegawappidDiplomasi Indonesia 2013ASEAN Selayang PandangLPSE
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