Sunday, April 22, 2018

GUEST OF HONOUR REMARKS at the Europe Day Reception - 9 May 2017

by H.E. Dr. Siti Nurbaya,
Minister for Environment and Forestry
at the Europe Day Reception
Dharmawangsa Hotel, Jakarta
9 May 2017 at 19.00
Your Excellency Mr. Vincent Guérend [véngsong gérong], Ambassador of the European Union to Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam,
Your Excellency, Mr. Francisco Fontan Pardo [fransisko fontan pardo], Ambassador of the European Union to ASEAN,
Excellencies, Ambassadors of the European Union Member States,
Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Members of Parliament’s Upper House,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening, Selamat malam,

I am greatly honored to be with you tonight to celebrate the Europe Day.
Let me first convey President Jokowi’s warm regards, as he is in the field work now from Aceh to Kalimantan, North Maluku and to Papua. I was just back from accompanying him to the field work in South Kalimantan.
The day marks the birth of Europe as a political entity and a unique union of nations with common institutions and community values of peace, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The European Union has also grown to be part of the major economic powers of the world with high level of social protection and welfare.
The day symbolizes the spirit of cooperation, peace, and prosperity among EU Member States which have been extended to its neighbors and partner countries.
Ambassadors, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to highlight that Indonesia-EU relations are getting stronger and deeper, in which both sides have enjoyed mutually beneficial relations over the years.  The Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (PCA) between Indonesia and the EU provides a strong foundation for cooperation. In addition to our bilateral relations, Indonesia and the EU are both dedicated to promote peace, stability and prosperity in broad cooperation both regionally and globally.
Indonesia and the EU have successfully convened the First Joint Committee at the Ministerial level to oversee the implementation of the PCA and the overall Indonesia-EU relations. Under my purview, I am delighted, again, to inform all of you that on November 15, 2016, Indonesia became the first country in the world to have FLEGT License with the EU. The FLEGT licensing scheme is the first of its kind in the world, and is the result of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between Indonesia and the EU. This is a viable proof that Indonesia and the EU have worked closely on forest sustainable management and fighting illegal logging, as well as related illegal trades.
For such relevant issues let me inform you our efforts on managing environmentally sounds development. We have had great efforts, I could say, to manage our landscape, peatland and primary forests, we will continue as resulted the moratorium agenda, no more new license in peatlands, no more new license for palm oil from forest land relinquishment, even from un-productive secondary forest.

Our President has announced the moratorium for palm oil. In following up this direction, we had cancelled almost 1.2 million hectares for new licenses. All the processes were ended. We only followed up the process for smallholder plantations, these are ongoing process from the previous administration of 370 thousand hectares, but we only processed for 50 thousand hectares. So, prior to the issuance of Presidential Instruction, from April 2016 to April 2017, we have stopped the process of forestland relinquishment requests about 1.6 million hectares for new license on palm oil. This is really a serious effort, serious policy from our President Jokowi. Very serious.

Meanwhile, ISPO (Indonesian sustainable palm oil) is also on going process to be internationally acceptable and is planned to be arranged in the Presidential Decree.
As well as I am delighted to share with you that after the moratorium declared by President Jokowi last year, we, myself and the Governor of Aceh as well as Wali Nangroe Aceh declared the moratorium for Leuser Ecosystem. There are three main and important peat swamp landscapes we protect: Tripa peat swamp, Kluet and Singkil. We also include the Kawasan Ekosistem Leuser (KEL) legally as part of forested area with Ministrial decree, so that means KEL is included in RTRWA (Aceh spatial plan).
Regarding climate change agenda, I am pleased to inform you that the first meeting of the Working Group on Environment and Climate Change was launched last February by H.E. Commissioner Karmenu Vella and my-self in Jakarta. This also signals enhanced cooperation of both parties under the PCA.
In relation to the broader economic cooperation, Indonesia and the EU is currently negotiating the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. The Agreement would hopefully bring greater opportunities and balanced outcome for the people of Indonesia and the EU Member States.
On security issues, there are great interests from both sides to expand cooperation. As an example, the Indonesia National Defense Forces Peacekeeping Centre organized the Hostile Environment Awareness Training (HEAT) in Sentul to train 20 EU diplomats from EU Delegations around Asia. Both sides have agreed to continue this contructive and mutually beneficial program.
Ambassadors, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Similar to family and friends, all relations need effort to enhance and promote and sometimes there might even be differences and challenges in the relationship.
I would like to express concern on the recent resolution issued the European Parliament, which tend to undermine the close and warm relations between Indonesia and the EU. In this regard, I urge the European side to work closely and be more engaged with Indonesia including on decisions of high interest for Indonesia. It is very important to undertake inclusiveness in such decisions.
We have witnessed that existing bilateral mechanism do work and there are many commonalities and mutual interest for both sides to explore issues of common concern.
Ambassadors,  Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me reiterate to you that overall I am delighted to see that Indonesia and the EU enjoy close relations based on shared values of peace, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We also share the importance of achieving the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
I am convinced that strong commitment and political will by both sides can confront daunting common challenges that arise ahead.
I therefore see a bright future for Indonesia and the EU.  Happy Europe Day!
Minister for Environment and Forestry,
Dr. Siti Nurbaya
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