Category Archives: Diplomasi

Mencicipi Kopi Pemalang

Apa yang anda lakukan saat mudik kemarin? Tentu saja berlebaran dan bersilahturahhmi dengan sanak saudara di kampung halaman kan? Nah disamping melakukan aktivitas tersebut, hal yang saya lakukan saat mudik kemarin adalah berkunjung ke perkebunan kopi rakyat di Kabupaten Pemalang.  Banyak orang tidak mengetahui bahwa Pemalang ternyata juga menghasilkan kopi. Padahal, percaya atau tidak, produk kopi Pemalang, memiliki citarasa yang khas dan tidak kalah dengan citarasa kopi asal daerah lain di Indonesia.

Dibandingkan produk kopi Aceh, Toraja atau Mandailing, produk kopi asal Kabupaten Pemalang, Jawa Tengah memang kalah tenar. Keberadaan tanaman kopi di Kabupaten Pemalang yang dikelola intensif oleh warga memang belum dikenal luas. Tanaman kopi dibudidayakan warga di desa-desa seperti Gambuhan, Penakir, Jurangmangu, Batursari dan Gunungsari yang tinggal di lereng Gunung Slamet yang berketinggian di atas 900 mdpl. Di pedesaan tersebut jumlah areal tanaman kopi milik warga diperkirakan mendekati 1.000 hektar.

Alhamdullilah Indonesia Menjadi Anggota DK PBB

Menteri Luar Negeri Retno Marsudi tidak dapat menahan haru dan langsung  kedua merapatkan kedua tangan di depan wajahnya sebagai tanda syukur setelah Presiden Majelis Umum PBB Miroslav Lacjak mengumumkan perolehan 144 suara untuk Indonesia dari total 190 negara anggota PBB.

Dengan perolehan 144 suara, Indonesia dipastikan akan menduduki kursi anggota tidak Dewan Keamanan Perserikatan Bangsa-Bangsa (DK PBB) periode 1 Januari 2019-Desember 2020 mewakili Asia Pasifik. Indonesia akan menjadi anggota DK PBB bersama-sama dengan Jerman, Belgia, Afrika Selatan dan Republik Dominika yang mewakili berbagai kawasan lainnya.

Dibandingkan keempat negara lainnya yang terpilih tanpa persaingan berarti dan masing-masing meraih lebih dari 180 suara, Indonesia terpilih setelah melalui persaingan ketat dengan Maldives, sebuah negara kepulauan kecil di Samudera Hinda dan sebelumnya tidak pernah menjadi anggota tidak tetap DK PBB.

Selamat Ulang Tahun Bung Karno Sang Pemimpin

Hari ini 6 Juni 117 tahun yang lalu di Surabaya (bukan Blitar) telah lahir seorang anak lelaki bernama Koesno Soesrodihardjo dari pasangan suami istri Raden Soekemi Soesrodihardjo dan Ida Ayu Nyoman Rai. Koesno Sosrodihardjo yang kemudian berganti nama menjadi Soekarno atau akrab dengan sebutan Bung Karno merupakan salah seroang bapak pendiri bangsa yang menghabiskan sebagian besar masa hidupnya untuk berpikir dan berjuang atas nama kemerdekaan bangsa Indonesia.

Sebagai pendiri bangsa dan Proklamator/Presiden RI pertama banyak tulisan yang mengisahkan sosok Bung Karno, mulai dari kisah masa kecilnya, masa perjuangan, masa kejayaan, himgga masa keterpurukannya. Dari sekian banyak tulisan mengenai Bung Karno, salah satu tulisan yang menarik adalah tulisan “Soekarno Head to A Nation” yang menjadi artikel utama majalah Newsweek terbitan 15 Februari 1965. Sebuah tulisan faktual yang mengisahkan kebijakan Bung Karno di tahun-tahun yang dikenal sebagai “A Year of Living Dangerously”, masa dimana terjadi pertarungan politik memperebutkan kekuasaan yang dipimpin Partai Komunis Indonesia.

Diplomasi Publik Kerukunan Beragama

Sebagai bagian dari kunjungan ke Sumbawa, Nusa Tenggara Barat, sebanyak sembilan orang diplomat senior asal Australia, Kamboja, Laos, Korea Selatan, Kroasia, Mexico, Myanmar, Timor Leste, dan  Vietnam, peserta Sekolah Staf dan Pimpinan Kementerian Luar Negeri (Sesparlu) internasional dan para peserta Sesparlu Kemlu RI angkatan ke-58 menghadiri kegiatan interfaith dalogue yang diadakan oleh Pusat Pendidikan dan Pelatihan Kemlu RI dan Pemerintah Kabupaten Sumbawa pada 30 April 2018 di Istana Dalam Loka, Sumbawa. Dialog menghadirkan dua orang nara sumber setempat yaitu Rektor Universitas Samawa (UNSA), Prof. Dr. Syaifuddin Iskandar M.Pd dan Ketua Forum Kerukunan Antar Umat Beragama (FKUB), Drs. H. Umar Hasan.

Isu utama yang dibahas dalam dialog ini adalah tentang upaya memelihara kerukunan beragama di Kabupaten Sumbawa. Keharmonisan umat beragama di daerah tersebut menarik perhatian dan menuai apresiasi dari ke sembilan diplomat asing tersebut. Salah seorang diplomat senior yang menyampaikan apresiasinya adalah  Nguyen Thai Hai Yen dari Vietnam. Nguyen yang juga merupakan seorng spesialis resolusi konflik menyampaikan apresiasinya terhadap kerukunan beragama di Sumbawa.  Masyarakat Sumbawa yang mayoritas beragama Islam dapat hidup bersama dengan sebagian anggota masyarakatnya yang non Muslim dan dapat menerima dengan tangan terbuka kedatangan etnis lain dari luar Sumbawa.

Diplomasi Dari Dapur

“Wah enak sekali nih daging satenya, rempah-rempah dan bumbunya terasa menyerap di daging. Dagingnya juga empuk,” ujar Dobravko Zirovcic, diplomat asal Kroasia yang sedang mengikuti pelatihan diplomat senior di Indonesia.

“Di Kroasia juga ada sate daging seperti ini, bahkan daging satenya dipotong besar-besar, tidak seperti daging sate ini yang dipotong kecil-kecil. Tapi di negeri saya, daging yang dibakar tidak diberi rempah-rempah dan bumbu. Daging dibakar langsung dan saat makan barulah diberi saus tomat,” komentar Dobravko terus mencicipi potongan daging sate.

“Iya, daging sate seperti ini enak sekali. Rempah-rempah dan kecapnya terasa sekali,” ujar Nguyen Thai Hai Yen, diplomat asal Vietnam yang juga mengiktui program yang sama dengan Dobravko.

Managing Digital Information for Diplomats in the Era Paradox of Plenty

Technological advances have led to a dramatic reduction in the cost of processing and transmitting information. The result is an explosion of information, one that has produced a “paradox of plenty“. Plenty of information leads to scarcity -of attention. When people are overhelmed with the volume of information confronting them, they have difficulty discerning what to focus on. Attention rather than information becomes the scarce resource, and those who can distinguish valuable information from background clutter gain power. Editors and cue givers become more in demand, and this is a source of power for those who can tell us where to focus our attention” (Joseph S. Nye in “ Soft Power” as quoted by Christian Del Rosso in his article “The  Paradox of Plenty and the Scarcity of Attention).

We are now living in what some people call the digital age, meaning that internet have become an essential part of our lives. People are used to access the Internet, to do research and to communicate with others around the world. Using smartphones people make voice calls, send texts, email people and download logos, ringtones or games. With a built-in camera people can send pictures and make video calls in face-to-face mode. New smartphones combine a telephone with web access, videos, a games console, and MP3 player, a personal digital assistant (PDA) and a GPS navigation system, all in one.

With all these facts, It goes without saying that, in this digital age, we are inundated with an overwhelming amount of information, some of which is good, but much that is not. Google CEO Eric Schmidt was quoted as saying that every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003 – something on the order of five exabytes of data.

Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s Social Media Diplomacy: A Short Review

On Saturday, October 8, 2016, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi attended a bloggers and social media activists meeting (known as “kopi darat”) at the 2016 Kompasianival event. The presence of Foreign Minister Retno at this event was interesting because this is the first time a senior Indonesian diplomat has spoken about the use of social media in diplomacy.

In her keynote speech Foreign Minister Retno said  “Diplomats now live in an era of real time diplomacy. A diplomat must be responsive and able to interact in social media. Interaction in social media is important because it can be done at any time without boundaries with a very diverse substance.”

From Foreign Minister Retno’s statement, it appears that since the beginning of her leadership in the Foreign Ministry, the Foreign Minister has given priority to the use of social media to support diplomatic activities. The Foreign Minister realized that the use of technology and digital tools has changed the practices of diplomacy. New non-state actors are emerging enough rapidly, reshaping the international landscape and forcing foreign policy practitioners to rebalance their focus to accommodate new priorities, engage with civil society, and open the process.

Roles of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Implementing Maritime Economic Diplomacy

On February 20, 2017, Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) signed Presidential Regulation no. 16 on the “Indonesian Ocean Policy (IOP)”. The document embodies a major narrative to develop Indonesia from its ocean. It is founded upon 6 principles, 7 policy pillars and 76 strategic policies ranging from marine and human resources strategy, maritime security policies, ocean governance matters, maritime economy paths and maritime diplomacy strategies. It is an integrated, comprehensive and coherent document that contains strategic vision, measurable policy outcomes and a concrete timeline.

It is interesting that Indonesia finally has a comprehensive documentt to steer all government agencies towards a single, unified direction: to realise the Global Maritime Fulcrum vision of President Jokowi to be a strong maritime nation. Interesting too, apparently in addition to domestic use, the IOP document also attracted the attention of the international community. Many seen the IOP document as a strategic document that projects Indonesia’s interest and adaptive strategy to adapt to and counteract strategies of various key players in the region. As Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and the largest country in the region, it is crucial to observe and examine how this major narrative and strategic document will interact with and affect Indonesian and regional geopolitics.

Challenges on Meeting Sustainable Palm Oil Goal and Standard in Indonesia

Palm oil is an essential contributor to the Indonesian economy,  particularly in rural livelihoods. The Central Bureau of Statistics noted that in 2017, Indonesia’s export of palm oil and its derivative products was still the largest foreign exchange contributor to Indonesia.

Indonesia is the largest producer of palm oil in the world. Indonesia produced more than 35 million tons of palm oil, 25 million tons of which were exported worldwide. The export value of Indonesian palm oil is around $17 billion, making up more than 12 percent of total exports in the country. It is predicted that up to 10 years, the volume and export value of palm oil and its derivative products will continue to increase.

Since palm oil has a positive contribution to Indonesia’s economy and creating benefits to the wellbeing of farmers, so the efforts of many countries to ban the export of palm oil Indonesia can be considered as an attempt to disrupt the national interests of Indonesia.

Indonesia’s Role to Strengthen Global Assets Recovery Cooperation

Nowdays, no doubt that corruption is one of the greatest obstacle of economic and social development around the world. As stated by Lord Acton, “power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupt absolutely”,  corruption does not just steal money from where it is needed the most, it leads to weak governance as well as encourage abuse of power in the government.

Besides causing abuse of power, corruption has also caused huge financial losses to countries where corruptors are suspected of hiding their stolen property in other countries. For example, corruptors in Indonesia are known to keep their corruption in Singapore, Australia, America and Switzerland. Not only the moneu, the property is even protected by bank secrecy rules that are generally applied to developed countries where corrupt assets are kept.

It is very apprehensive and ‘sad’ where corruptors from Indonesia, countries with high corruption rates, their corrupt assets are protected by countries with low corruption rates. This inequality certainly raises the question of whether the borrowed funds of poor and developing countries are derived from corrupt money laundered or stored in the Bank of the rich countries.

Implementing Ethical Leadership in Indonesia Foreign Policy to Resolve Myanmar’s Rakhine State Crisis

In today’s globalized world, all nations are interconnected socially, economically, and politically.  As a result, the dilemma of considering ethics when implementing foreign policy often arises. Many theorists argue that ethics and moral would be considered when implementing foreign policy. The obligations and moral responsibilities of nation State’s were confined to their citizens and this was reflected in the process of foreign policy making. Strategies were also chosen by the State to safeguard its national interests through achievement of its goals in international relations.

In this regard, as I mentioned in my previous blog, in order to contribute to the ecosystem of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and in the midst of the uncertainty of resolving the humanitarian crisis at Myanmar’s Rakhine State, Indonesia has been actively involved to terminate conflicts and violence as well as seek solution of the problem. Indonesia took the initiative to assist the resolution of the crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. While ASEAN and most of the ASEAN countries did not exert adequate pressure to the Myanmar leaders to take back the Rohingyas and ensure peace and security in Myanmar’s Rakhine state,

Then the question raised, is Indonesia’s foreign policy to assist Myanmar’s Rakhine State as a part of Indonesia’s ethical and moral responsibility since ethics and morality are inextricably linked to the practice of foreign policy making ?.

Human Right Issues and Challenges to Create Regional Architecture

During the ASEAN Ministers Retreat on 7 February 2018, in order to contribute to the ecosystem of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi proposed the development of a regional architecture in the Indo-Pacific region. The proposal is a further action of her annual press statement in January 2018 and part of Indonesia’s foreign policy priorities to strengthen ASEAN unity and fostering cooperation and the need to prioritize peace and democracy as well as respect to human rights in Southeast Asia.

The problem is, in the age of 50 of its existence, ASEAN become an organization who can boast economic growth to the highest level outside China and India. But when it comes to human rights, there are many things to note, such as the implementation of human rights in Myanmar.

In late August 2017 when the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine state is becoming increasingly dire and complex. The problem, which was originally a domestic issue of Myanmar, eventually rose to a regional issue as more than half million Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since the Myanmar military began its violent crackdown in the region.