Nationalism and Internationalism Walks Side-by-Side to Find Solutions for Global Problems

Jakarta, IORA – All countries will surely fight for their interests. However, President Joko Widodo reminded the statement delivered by the founding father of Indonesia, President Soekarno, more than half a century ago. “He said, internationalism cannot be fertile, unless it is rooted in the soil of nationalism, but, we must also acknowledge, that nationalism also cannot flower, unless it grows in the garden of internationalism,” the President stated.

It was extended by the President when delivering the opening remarks of IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association) Summit 2017 at the Jakarta Convention Center, on Tuesday, 7 March 2017.

Yet, at the moment, because of technology, globalization cannot be turned back. “And it is precisely because globalization cannot be turned back, that we have a greater need than ever for internationalism, to find solutions for obstacles and challenges resulting from globalization,” the President said.

The President also reminded the statement of President Soekarno that Indonesia’s internationalism must be rooted in the soil of nationalism that is healthy, wise, and tells the truth to our people.

 “A sincere and brave nationalism that does what is right for the long-term prosperity of our people, not for the emotional heat of the moment,” the President said.

Starting his remarks, the President warmly welcomed the participants of the IORA Summit. “This Summit, that marks two decades of IORA, is held in a critical moment for the world’s economy, even for all mankind,” the President said.

The President reminded that the world is in the middle of a global revolution. First, a technology revolution that heartlessly penetrates and causes a lot of changes and

Second, a political revolution that may signal the beginning of an era of populism. “And when these two revolutions meet, they like two explosive chemicals flowing into each other,” the President said.

Indonesia believes that Indian Ocean region has the potential to be a new power in the world.

“We believe that now the countries bordering Indian Ocean show their strength through the development of their people and economy as well as their role in East Africa, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Australia,” the President said.

However, it is not easy to reach the dream. The Indian Ocean as a region that has abundance natural and human resources also must deal with poverty problems.

 “IORA community is unique. This is a rich region, but it still has poverty problems. Modernization in a lot of aspects must always be carried out,” the President affirmed.

IORA actually has started its effort to realize prosperity in Indian Ocean region. It has produces a lot of important initiatives in various sectors.

 “In 2015, IORA issued Declaration of IORA Maritime Cooperation in Padang, Indonesia. IORA has also facilitated a lot of concrete progresses in disaster mitigation sector,” said the President.

Moreover, empowerment and equality for women have also been discussed by IORA member states. They believe that women have a significant role in the development of a country.

 “Last year, in the Island of Paradise, Bali, our Foreign Ministers issued Declaration on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment,” the President said.

Environmental preservation that now becomes a global issue is also discussed in the Summit. To the heads of state/government, and delegates, President Joko Widodo mentioned the efforts of Indonesia to handle this issue.

 “Since I took office as President in 2014, my administration has applied firm actions to fight against illegal fishing,” he said.

In addition, the Government of Indonesia has also worked hard to prevent peatland fire to reoccur. These are serious measures of Indonesia to preserve the environment.

 “We have also taken concrete measures to reduce peatland fire that every year pollutes the air with smoke and fog,” the President firmly said.

However, there are other urgent issues related with environment that must be handled, both by Indonesia or international world. Therefore, President Joko Widodo invited international world, particularly IORA member states, to actively take part in finding practical solutions for these problems.

 “I invite our ministers, high-rank officials, and the participants of this Summit to find practical solutions,” he said.

Concluding his remarks, President Joko Widodo extended his appreciation for the participation of IORA member states in the Sumit. He also invited all members to realize the objectives of IORA through this first IORA Summit.

 “Let’s organize a constructive and productive conference to materialize IORA Concord and IORA Action Plan that have been launched,” the President concluded.

After delivering his remarks, the President, accompanied by Vice President Jusuf kalla, together with a number of Heads of State/Government, among others, the President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull, President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, President of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak beat tifa to officially open the IORA Summit.


Jakarta Concord: Joint Commitment of IORA Member States

In the meantime, in her report, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said that the Council of Ministers Meeting yesterday produced several documents, among others the Jakarta Concord, that signed by the leaders of IORA member states.

 “This document is the first action plan since this organization was established 20 years ago. This important document contains the importance for IORA member states to implement the action plan,” the Minister said.

She also said that other documents signed on this occasion are Declaration on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism.

 ‘This declaration aims to achieve peace and stability, as well as to promote positive message of tolerance and diversity,” the Minister said.

She expects those documents can enhance regional relations and cooperation amongst countries bordering the Indian Ocean, and maintain peace and stability in the region in the upcoming years.

At the end of her remarks, Minister Retno Marsudi presented a book, titled “IORA at 20th: Learning from the Past and Charting the Future”; a compilation of working papers of IORA Symposium in Yogyakarta in September 2016.

 “This book represents the views of IORA member states on the development of organization in the future. I hope this book can contribute to the future of IORA,” the Minister concluded.

The Summit that features a theme Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable & Prosperous Indian Ocean” is successful to raise up the participation of its members, including the heads of state/government, ministers, business delegates, and dialog partners. This high level of participation is also a prove of the success of Indonesia’s Chairmanship in IORA.

Jakarta, 7 March 2017

Head of Press, Media, and Information Bureau of Secretariat of the President


Bey Machmudin