STATEMENT BY THE INDONESIAN DELEGATION
At the "Brussels Conference on Afghanistan"
Brussels, 5 October 2016
On behalf of the Indonesian delegation, we are grateful for the opportunity to participate in the session of "Bilateral Statements" this afternoon.
Let me start by commending the Brussels Conference convened by the Government of Afghanistan and the European Union. This conference is preceded by previous pledging conferences on Afghanistan which took place in London respectively in 2010 and 2014, in Bonn in 2011 as well as in Tokyo in 2012.
Indonesia wishes to add its voice to the call made for building a stable, secure and economically sustainable Afghanistan. We join the international community to support Afghanistan's endeavors in fighting terrorism and illicit drugs trafficking as well as promoting democratic institutions, the rules of law and in promoting full respect to the citizens' rights and obligations. In this regard, we commend the presentation made this morning on the Afghan National Peace and Development Framework and the revised Self-Reliance Mutual Accountability Framework.
Distinguished Co-Chairs, we value Afghanistan as a brotherly country which supported Indonesia's independence struggle in 1945-1949 and the two countries have been bonded by the Friendship Agreement since 1955. In the present context, our bilateral relations have been very strong and the two sides are committed to furthering concrete cooperation especially to alleviate difficult multi-dimensional challenges still encountered by today's Afghanistan.
- We are grateful for the visit to Indonesia by President Hamid Karzai in 2012 which laid a stronger foundation for bilateral cooperation. In March this year, our two Foreign Ministers met in Jakarta in which Indonesia renewed its commitment to give priority to Afghanistan in the context of technical cooperation and capacity building assistance by Indonesia.
- In the last four years, Indonesia has welcomed various ministerial delegations from Afghanistan to promote Indonesia's assistance in education, law enforcement, good governance, parliamentary management, women empowerment and child protection. Furthermore, the two sides are also involved in training programs on infrastructure development; technical vocational trainings in agriculture, fisheries, health, disaster management as well as diplomatic trainings.
- Among the 44 capacity building programs to assist Afghanistan, some recently concluded and some other are still ongoing, include police cooperation on public management order; training for women police officers as well as multimedia training course and training for firefighters. We have provided more than 450 scholarships to Afghan participants to pursue their study in Indonesia's universities and education institutions.
- Indonesia and Afghanistan have also established a special forum between Islamic clerics of our respective countries to discuss and share experiences on deradicalization and to cross-fertilize with a view to promoting peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. For that purpose, our two countries are also currently in close coordination to expedite the establishment of the Indonesian Islamic Centre in Afghanistan.
- In order to support Afghanistan in the economic sector, we also provide trainings for SMEs, entrepreneurship and our two Chambers of Commerce have also worked quite closely based on the MoU on business cooperation signed in 2014.
- Indonesia is also exploring possible trilateral cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan and the European Union. At the moment, Indonesia has developed a trilateral cooperation with Norway with the signing of the Joint Statement on Trilateral Cooperation for Afghanistan under the South-South Cooperation in April 2015. Similarly, we also work with other partners including the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), UNESCAP, NAM Center for South-South Technical Cooperation (NAM CSSTC) as well as within the Colombo Plan framework to promote trilateral technical cooperation for Afghanistan.
Distinguished Co-Chairs, we would like to underline that Indonesia is deeply committed to continue providing Afghanistan with technical assistance within bilateral and trilateral frameworks. Indonesia is always keen to share its experience and know-how and we believe the Afghan National Peace and Development Framework and the revised Self-Reliance Mutual Accountability Framework will be a useful guideline for us to adjust Indonesia's capacity building and training programs to make them relevant to Afghanistan's specific needs and priorities.
Finally, for Indonesia, it is of utmost importance that a sustainable, democratic and peaceful Afghanistan will become a reality. In this regard we strongly support the efforts made by international community in working together against the many profound challenges still faced by Afghanistan.
I thank you.