H.E. AMBASSADOR SOEGENG RAHARDJO
ON THE OCCASION OF
RECEPTION IN COMMEMORATION OF THE 71st ANNIVERSARY OF
THE INDEPENDENCE OF INDONESIA AND
60 YEARS OF INDONESIA-MONGOLIA DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS
ULAANBAATAR, 15 SEPTEMBER 2016
Your Excellency Ms Battsetseg Bathmunkh, Deputy Foreign Minister of Mongolia,
Distinguished Government officials,
Esteemed members of the business and academic communities,
Fellow colleagues of the diplomatic corps in Ulaanbaatar,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am delighted to be here tonight, and to have this opportunity to host a reception in commemoration of the 71st anniversary of Indonesia’s independence and 60 years of Indonesia-Mongolia diplomatic relations.
I would like to thank all of you, who have joined us in this celebration. Your presence is a testimony to the growing ties between Indonesia and Mongolia. Our hope is that we continue to take advantage of this momentum to further strengthen our bilateral ties in various areas of cooperation.
I would also like to thank the Mongolian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as many friends of Indonesia in Ulaanbaatar, who have all assisted the Embassy of Indonesia in making this evening’s reception possible. Each one of you play an important role in supporting our common efforts to bring the peoples of Indonesia and Mongolia closer together.
It’s always a pleasure for me to be back in Ulaanbaatar. And each time that I travel here, I am regularly surprised by the rapid economic development shaping this city.
Indeed, Mongolia is undergoing tremendous reforms and changes, and I am confident that Indonesia can benefit from these trends to deepen and broaden our engagement with the Mongolian Government and people.
Ladies and gentlemen,
For those who are less familiar with Indonesia’s history, it was on 17 August 1945 that President Soekarno and Vice President Hatta proclaimed our country's independence.
Since that day, the Indonesian people have continuously worked hard to give meaning to our independence. Along the way, we have faced tremendous ups and downs, caused by internal as well as external forces.
In 1998, multi-dimensional crises hit the Asian region. The impact of the crises was severely felt in Indonesia. Many predicted Indonesia’s balkanization, while others forecasted the ascendance of authoritarianism and repression.
Today, I am proud to say that such forecasts have all been wrong.
Indonesia is now the third largest democracy, the sixteenth largest economy, and the fourth most populated country in the world. Bestowed with cultural diversity and a resourceful geography, Indonesia is thriving as a young, progressive, and creative nation.
Indonesia is also an active regional player, constantly searching for ways to contribute positively towards global peace and stability, through ASEAN, EAS, APEC, ASEM, and the Non Aligned Movement. At the same time, there is tremendous interest in strengthening our network of bilateral relations such as Mongolia.
I am therefore pleased to observe the growing sense of trust and comfort in our 60 years of bilateral diplomatic relations, which we are commemmorating today. In this span of time, such growth is exemplified by the numerous exchanges of high level visits and the organizing of the first joint commission on bilateral cooperation in 2015.
As two young democracies, Indonesia and Mongolia have worked together in various international fora to spread the many values associated to democracy, such as human rights, accountability, good governance, and anti-corruption. At the same time, we both understand that democracy should be home-bred and tailored to the demands and needs of each country.
In the field of defense and security, we are day-by-day strengthening our cooperation in upgarding the capacity of our soldiers as UN Peacekeepers. Indonesia has also participated actively in the annual Khaan Conquest multinational peacekeeping military exercise.
Meanwhile, in the field of people-to-people contacts, Indonesia is keen to welcome more and more Mongolians, whose income is steadily improving. In order to do this, Mongolia has been included in recent changes to our immigration policy. Mongolian tourists can now come to Indonesia with free visa.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our leaders have built a strong framework and a conducive climate for more intensive cooperation. Looking around this room tonight, we have among us the right ingredients to realize this goal.
We have diplomats, government officials, businesspeople, academics, experts, and community leaders. We must be able to work together and build common interests, as we strive towards stronger bilateral cooperation.
In a more integrated world, Indonesia and Mongolia need the support and cooperation of one another and the international community.
And against this backdrop, as well as benefitting from the commemmoration of 60 years of Indonesia-Mongolia relations, I am of the view that both countries are bound together by 6 strands of partnership.
FIRST, an economic partnership to bring prosperity to the peoples of our two countries;
SECOND, a global partnership to sustain a rules based international order;
THIRD, a political partnership to advance open, accountable, and good governance;
FOURTH, a security partnership to advance the message of peace and stability around the world;
FIFTH, a cultural partnership to bring deeper mutual understanding between Indonesians and Mongolians;
SIXTH, a value based partnership to safeguard pluralism and tolerance as the defining norms among nations; and
With this, I would like to invite you to raise your glass and make a toast, for the longstanding friendship and cooperation between Indonesia and Mongolia.