On the occasion of the 67th Anniversary of the Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia
InterContinental Hotel, Nairobi
Monday, 10 September 2012
REMARKS BY THE AMBASSADOR
Excellencies Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic community in Nairobi,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to bid all of you a very warm welcome, and thank you very much for joining us here this evening to celebrate the 67th Anniversary of the Indonesian Republic.
As I am relatively new here, allow me to begin by introducing myself. My name is Sunu Soemarno, arriving here in Nairobi on the 17th May and I have presented my credentials to President Mwai Kibaki in June. During the period since my arrival, I have met quite a number of ambassadors and officials, but I have yet to meet many others. For me, this Reception is not only important as a celebration of our national day, which actually falls on the 17th of August. But personally, the event also makes it possible for me to meet more people, ambassadors and officials. For which, I would like to once again convey appreciation for your presence.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
With your indulgence, I would like to share a little bit of our country. The Republic of Indonesia came into being on 17 August 1945 when our founding fathers declared our independence, followed by nearly 4 years of war to uphold the Declaration. Now, Indonesia is the biggest archipelagic country in the world, with 242 million people living on three different time zones, the third largest democracy with three peaceful elections during the last 13 years, and, as the world’s 16th biggest economy, is also a member of G-20 with an ever-expanding middle class which currently numbers 134 million people.
On international settings, Indonesia sees itself as a committed member of the international community. We contribute to joint efforts in addressing today’s global and regional challenges, and we will be part of the solution. Later this evening, you will have the opportunity to see cultural performances including from Indonesian troops currently serving as the UN Blue Helmets in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These soldiers attest to our growing responsibility towards maintaining international peace and security.
Bilaterally, we highly value our relationships with partner countries, and I am proud to say that Kenya is one of the countries we call friends. Indonesia and Kenya have enjoyed long and cordial relations, and we have many things in common. We have succeeded in striving for our freedom and sovereignty; we have both embarked on national reforms, and we are now striving for development and prosperity. We align ourselves with the Non-Aligned Movement, and we both are fellow members of the G-77 and China, a group of countries that continue representing the interest of developing countries in the international fora.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The relationship between the Indonesian archipelago and Africa goes a long way. Experts estimate that the first settlers of Madagascar around 1,200 years ago were people from Borneo, later joined by migrants from East Africa.
In more recent times, the Bandung Conference took place in Indonesia in 1955: a meeting of newly-independent Asian and African states representing more than half of the world’s population. The conference was a milestone in establishing economic and cultural partnership between the two continents: a strategic partnership that is underpinned by principles of equality, national ownership and non-conditionality; a strategic partnership that is beyond rhetoric, as we the developing countries strive to pursue its implementation through various programs of cooperation.
And this is exactly how we see our relations with Kenya: an equal partnership based on trust and common interests; an efficacious blend of political goodwill, growing economic relations, increasing people-to-people contacts, and technical cooperation in forms of capacity-building under the scheme of South-South cooperation.
Let me conclude my remarks by reiterating that we will continue to extend a hand of partnership on equal footing, with one thing in mind: the betterment of bilateral relationship between Indonesia and Kenya for the benefit and prosperity of our two peoples.
Now, I would like to propose a toast for the continued progress and prosperity within the partnership of Kenya and Indonesia.