RI-Vietnam Agree to Eliminate Illegal Wildlife Trade

Indonesia and Vietnam have agreed to tighten their partnership to eliminate illegal wildlife trade, which is over time becoming the largest operating black market in the world. The two countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Wildlife Law Enforcement in Ho Chi Minh City several days ago (27/12).
In a press release to the MOFA Portal, it was said that this MoU aimed to promote coordination and cooperation between the CITES Management Authority of Vietnam (Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development/MARD’s Administration of Forestry) and Indonesia (Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation of the Ministry of Forestry) in battling illegal trades of rare specimens of plants and animals which were under the protection of both countries.
The MoU signing was held during the third dialog between the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and the Vietnam MARD.
This cooperation was expected to be a stepping stone for a more extensive collaboration between the two nations. This was especially true in order to build an understanding on sustainable use of plants and animals, including in anticipation of the 16th CoP in Bangkok.
The Indonesian delegation was led by the Director General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, and the team consisted of representatives from the Ministry of Forestry, MOFA, Indonesian Police and the Indonesian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. (Source: Indonesian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City/Ed.PY)

Indonesia Extends Assistance to the Victims of Typhoon Pablo in Southern Philippines

The government of the Republic of Indonesia extended its assistance in the form of rice amounting to 2,000 tons, 12 tons of tarpaulins, foods and blankets intended for the victims of typhoon Pablo in Mindanao, Southern Philippines.  The said assistance shall be symbolically handed over by the Coordinating Minister for Social Welfare of the Republic of Indonesia Agung Laksono, to the government of the Republic of the Philippines in Davao City 29/12/2012).
The government of the Philippines is represented by Under Secretary Vilma Cabrera of the Department of Social Welfare.
The said assistance  given to the people of the Philippines shall serve as a gesture of friendly and solidarity between the people of Indonesia and the Filipinos as well as among people of ASEAN countries.  This assistance is to implement the mandate of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono  of Indonesia.
During the hand-over, the Coordinating Minister of Social Welfare was  accompanied by the Governor of North Sulawesi, Sinyo H. Sarundayang, Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines H. E. Kristiarto Legowo, Secretary General of the Indonesia Red Cross,  the Indonesian Consul General in Davao City, Mr. Eko Hartono and other officials from  Indonesia.

The Coordinating Minister of Social Welfare and his party also  visited  New Bataan, Compostela Valley province to turn-over the government’s assistance in the form of 1 ton or rice, blankets and tarpaulins to the people of the said municipality.

Rice assistance from the government of the Republic of Indonesia was shipped  from the Port of Bitung, North Sulawesi to Davao City Port.  Meanwhile, tarpaulins and other goods were brought in from Banten, West Java,  utilizing regular shipping lines.

Those goods is scheduled to arrive in Davao Port by the end of December 2012.  The Indonesian government has  also depatched a humanitarian assistance  team  composed of the following:  6 civilian  volunteers, 4 personnel from the Indonesian Red Cross, 1 personnel  from the Social Welfare Department.

Beforehand, the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Davao City had  extended assistance to the victims of New Bataan and Monkayo in which each municipality received 1 ton of foods and water.

On December 9 – 10, 2012, the Commander- in- Chief of the Armed Forces of Indonesia and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of Indonesia also delivered  assistance in the form of ready to eat foods, powder milk, blankets and bath soap, women’s personal needs and medicines at about 4 tons and financial aid amounting to one million U.S. dollars. (source: Indonesian Mission in Davao City/Infomed/PLE)

The Foreign Ministry to Expedite the Repatriation and Gradual Move of Indonesian Citizens (WNI) from Syria to Lebanon

The repatriation process of Indonesian citizens (WNI) living and working in Syria has entered a new level. All Indonesian citizens who previously have been accommodated at the Indonesian Mission in Damascus are being moved gradually to Beirut, Lebanon before returning to Indonesia. That was stated by the Indonesian Ambassador for Lebanon Dimas Samodra Rum in Beirut, last Wednesday (26/12/12).
According to Dimas, the security situation in Syria was deteriorating rapidly as reflected by the Alert I warning issued by the Indonesian Embassy in Damascus, and it has prompted the Indonesian Government to repatriate all Indonesian citizens from Syria.
Just like the previous repatriation, the Indonesian Government would continue to use the route of Damascus-Beirut-Jakarta.
“For security reason, even though the administrative process and the return tickets to Indonesia are still being processed, all Indonesian citizens currently taking refuge in KBRI Damascus will be moved gradually to Beirut. At present, they are numbering more than 600 people, however, the number is expected to rise as the conflict in Syria is deteriorating even further”, said Ambassador Dimas.
Turning the Embassy into Living Quarters for WNI
Furthermore, Dimas explained that his office has prepared all the necessary steps and measures to greet the arrival of Indonesian citizens from Syria. To welcome the arrival of 600 Indonesian citizens, Dimas would utilize most of the Embassy’s office spaces. He added further that if necessary the Embassy would lease apartment spaces to accommodate the arriving Indonesians.
“Every resources of the KBRI are being used to assist the repatriation process of our fellow citizens. In accordance with the directive from the Foreign Ministry, the repatriation process will be the main priority for the Embassy in Beirut for the moment”, he said.
Moreover, Dimas explained that 156 WNI had arrived in Beirut on 24 December 2012, and wherein 70 of them would depart to Indonesia on 26 December 2012. Following that, the next wave of 198 Indonesians would arrive from Syria on 28 December 2012.
Approaching the Lebanese Authority to Provide a Longer Duration Visa
Waiting for the administrative process and obtaining tickets to Indonesia obviously would take some time; therefore, the Indonesian Embassy in Beirut has been making approaches to the Lebanese Government to issue entry visas to the arriving Indonesians with duration longer than 2 X 24 hours.
“The good relation with the Lebanese authority has borne fruit, in this case the willingness of the local authority to provide assistance by issuing visa with a duration from 10 days to one month or in another word, a duration that is longer than the normally issued visa”, said Dimas.
Previously, until 24 December 2012, the Indonesian Government has repatriated around 633 Indonesian citizens from Syria through the same route of Damascus-Beirut-Jakarta.
The approaches made by KBRI have persuaded the Lebanese Government to issue free visas with duration of 2 X 24 hours to Indonesians who would be divided into 14 groups of flights.
For visas with duration more than 2 X 24 hours, the Lebanese Government would be charging some fees. “For a transit visa with a duration of 10 days, the cost will be LBP 25,000 or around Rp 158 thousand and a visa with a duration of 30 days will cost LBP 50,000 or around Rp 316 thousand”, said Dimas.
Managing KBRI’s Resources
On separate occasion, the Coordinator for the Repatriation Process Assistance for WNI Syria Team R.A. Arief said that his team has prepared all the technical and logistical supports for the WNI arriving from Syria and during their stay in Beirut.
Furthermore, Arief explained that the Indonesian Embassy in Beirut has taken a number of measures to accommodate the arriving Indonesians including procuring blankets, mattresses and installing partitions in Embassy’s office to be used as a comfortable sleeping quarters.
“The stock of staple foods and other logistics have also been increased to support the need of the WNI in the Embassy”, explained R.A Arief who is also the Head Chancellery and Political Counselor.
Arief also said that besides prioritizing the repatriation of the WNI from Syria, the Indonesian Embassy in Beirut still needed to undertake its other duties in a normal manner and to the maximum; therefore, the management of the Embassy’s resources must be done prudently.
“Managing the available resources including dividing the work load for the staff or turning the Embassy spaces into appropriate living quarters, to accommodate the arriving WNI and as office spaces to carry out other official duties must be done in a meticulous manner so the main role of KBRI as the Indonesian diplomatic mission could continue to the maximum”, said Arief in his closing (source: Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia Beirut/ ed. Yo2k/ trans. Hari).

Indonesia Maintains its Commitment to Provide Assistance in Capacity Building to Afghanistan

Indonesia would maintain its commitment to support the post-conflict and post-war process of reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction in Afghanistan. It was stated by the Indonesian Ambassador to Afghanistan Mayor General (ret.) Anshory Tadjudin when he met the Afghani’s Deputy Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) Mohammad Tariq Ismati in Kabul last Sunday (23/12/12).
Ambassador Anshory said, as a developing country that continue to progress, Indonesia possesses the capacity and expertise that could be shared to friendly nations. Moreover, Afghanistan is one of the priority countries targeted to receive assistance in capacity building by the Indonesian Government.
In response, Deputy Minister Tariq Ismati stated that his country could learn many things from Indonesia.
Afghanistan appreciates the trainings provided by Indonesia, particularly those under the scheme of Third Country Training Program (TCTP) on Participatory Community Development Training for Afghanistan. The trainings are designed to empower the community in development and poverty eradication in rural areas.
Throughout 2012, MRDD has sent two groups; each consisted of 16 people to take part in the trainings.
Ismati further stated that the participants considered the trainings as beneficial and what they learned in the trainings could be used as a model for a community based development in the rural areas of Afghanistan (source: Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, KBRI Kabul/ed.Yo2k/ trans. Hari).

RI and Nauru Open a Diplomatic Relation

Indonesia officially establishes a diplomatic relation with Nauru. The opening of the diplomatic relation was done through the signing of a Joint Communiqué between the Indonesian Permanent Mission to the UN Ambassador Desra Percaya and Nauru’s Permanent Mission to the UN Ambassador Marlene Moses at the office of the Indonesian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York last Friday (21/12).
At the ceremony, Ambassador Desra Percaya stated that throughout this time the two nations have been interacting well and cooperating on a number of issues in the UN forum as well as other international forums.
“With the establishment of this diplomatic relation, then the opportunity for the two countries to strengthen and intensify the cooperation in various fields are getting wider”, he said.
The Ambassador then added that the establishment of diplomatic relation with Nauru, which located in the Pacific region, is a representation of Indonesia’s commitment as a member of the community of countries in the Pacific, to promote cooperation with countries in the region for a common progress and prosperity.
According to Ambassador Percaya, throughout this time Indonesia has been involved in the cooperation on capacity building with the neighboring countries in the Pacific and would continue to utilize the opportunities to cooperate in other fields.
He further added that there are real issues that could be turned into an agenda for cooperation between the two nations, including, among others, the issue on climate change, disaster risk management and collaboration under the context of South-South cooperation.
In turn, Ambassador Moses also expressed her delight on the establishment of the diplomatic relation between the two nations, especially since Indonesia has been a good friend of countries in the Pacific region.
“One thing that stands out and well appreciated by the community in the Pacific was when Indonesia chaired the discussion on resolution regarding climate change in UN forum, which resulted in an agreement that matched the interest of countries in the Pacific, specifically in the context of global warming that is seen as a threat to the existence of such countries”, said Ambassador Moses.
With the establishment of this diplomatic relationship, Indonesia currently has a diplomatic relation with 183 countries out of the 193 member countries of the United Nations.
In 2010, the People Consultative Assembly (DPR RI) had given its approval for the establishment of diplomatic relation with 21 member countries of the UN.
As a follow up, in 2011, Indonesia set up diplomatic relation with nine countries including Mauritania, El Salvador, San Marino, Montenegro, the Dominican Republic, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Antigua and Barbuda, and Bhutan.
This year Indonesia opened diplomatic relation with Botswana, Tuvalu, Haiti and Nauru (source: Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia, PTRI New York/ trans. Hari).