KOREANENGLISH
- 연구원소식 - JPI PeaceTalk
JPI PeaceTalk
Subject JPI PeaceTalk with Marty Natalegawa, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia
Author JPI  (admin)
File
  Marty Natalegawa.JPG  (116KByte)
2019-08-09 오후 5:01:20


 

 


Former Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa explained that Indonesia itself, much like Southeast Asia, defines diversity. We are a country that is diverse and yet united, in the same way as our region is so diverse and yet united under the ASEAN theme. ASEAN is a collective effort—for it to be relevant, there needs to be a sense of common ownership. It can’t be just one country pushing its agenda, he said, but, there is no one-size-fits-all. Every region, every subregion, has its own unique features, its own unique challenges, and unique opportunities, based on historical pasts and possibilities for the future. When you look at Northeast Asia, the common advances that all the economies of Northeast Asia made, it is extremely important for that to become ingrained in Northeast Asia, he said.


 

 


Q1. You have consecutively filled various posts including the Indonesian Ambassador to Great Britain, the Permanent Representative to the UN and the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia. You’ve also obtained a bachelor’s and the Master’s degree from the UK, and PhD in nuclear weapon free zone proposal. How does the scholarly perspective differ from diplomatic perspective?


There are similarities and there are differences. There are similarities in the sense that both professions attach importance to the power of analysis—your capacity to quickly analyze certain situations, define the nature of a problem, and try to seek a solution or how to address those challenges or opportunities. But the key difference is that in the case of diplomacy, or as a practitioner, you can go beyond analyzing a certain situation. You can have an impactful difference in the sense that you can influence policy, you can shape and mold and hopefully implement policies on the basis of your analytical results


 


Q2. Southeast Asia is a melting pot of different politics, economies, societies, cultures and religion and so it created the regional community with diversity called ASEAN. How do you evaluate the role and contribution of Indonesia in establishing ASEAN?


Indonesia itself, much like Southeast Asia, defines diversity. We are a country that is diverse and yet united, in the same way as our region is so diverse and yet united under the ASEAN theme. For us to promote unity and diversity at the ASEAN level comes naturally. If you would look at ASEAN’s history over the past five decades, since 1976 onwards, almost all the key moments in ASEAN’s evolution has some kind of Indonesian footprint. Its very foundation in 1967 10 years later when ASEAN signed what has become known as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation the expansion of ASEAN to the ASEAN 10 and then the promotion of the ASEAN community—all of them have some sort of contribution by Indonesia. But ASEAN is a collective effort—for it to be relevant, there needs to be a sense of common ownership. It can’t be just one country pushing its agenda. As the ASEAN case has shown, this is a process, not an event, and it’s not something that can happen simply by convening a conference or a meeting. It has to be a mindset, a perspective to be nurtured and promoted constantly.


 


Q3. ASEAN established the Asia Regional Forum (ARF) and has contributed to regional peace and stability. Northeast Asia is trying to follow suit but the regional peace seems far-fetched yet. What do you think Northeast Asia can pick from Southeast Asia’s successful peace building story?


There is no one-size-fits-all. Every region, every subregion, has its own unique features, its own unique challenges, and unique opportunities, based on historical pasts and possibilities for the future. But at the same time, it’s always useful to compare notes on what others have done, especially to learn from others’ mistakes as well as successes. One thing for sure, in the case of Southeast Asia, is the emphasis on the importance of resilience and persistence of efforts. This is a process, not an event, and it’s not something that can happen simply by convening a conference or a meeting. It has to be a mindset, a perspective to be nurtured and promoted constantly. When you look at Northeast Asia, the common advances that all the economies of Northeast Asia made, it is extremely important for that to become ingrained in Northeast Asia, and the efforts of the Republic of Korea in recent years in promoting reconciliation and cooperation, in promoting peace in Asia, is one that has to be strongly commended.


 


Q4. How do you think ASEAN can contribute to make peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia?


We have done our modest contributions. For instance, ASEAN introduced the ASEAN+3 that includes dialogue with China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan collectively. Prior to the ASEAN+3, which was set up in 1998 and 1999, there was no mechanism of consultation between China, ROK, and Japan. Even without ASEAN now, the three countries have their own process of dialogue, although in an infancy stage. In the ASEAN Regional Forum, DPRK is a member—it’s the only forum where all the Northeast Asian parties sit together. ASEAN has convening power but we must proceed beyond convening power to promoting leadership to how we bring peace to Northeast Asia.


 


Q5. Since President Moon Jae-in took an oath of office in 2017, his administration has been trying to beef up its relation with ASEAN by carrying out the New Southern Policy to the level of the relationship between U.S., China, Japan, and Russia. What is your view on the Korean government’s New Southern Policy so far?


One can look at the policy in at least two ways: internal to the Republic of Korea and external. The first one is very important. It reflects the ROK’s recognition of the importance of ASEAN and India within ROK’s internal priorities. Externally, for ASEAN, it simply reaffirms our belief and indicates our policies of the past that consistently bring in Korea to ASEAN’s architecture-building in the region. It reaffirms ASEAN’s efforts, that it’s not only ASEAN reaching out but there’s a clear recognition from Korea itself that they want to be part of it.


 


Q6. The current Sino-American power struggle is throwing a challenge to the world. What is ASEAN’s strategy for coping with US-China trade war and its impact?


Although must attention has been given to US-China dynamics—whether in the traditional geopolitical sense or in the more geo-economic, trade, finance, technological sense—at the same time, such competitive dynamics is not new for ASEAN. In the past, such as in the Cold War, we had the US and the Soviet vying for influence in our part of the world. We have had a good script to respond to this by basically saying we are not going to be pulled apart by one side or the other. We are going to promote the idea of inclusion to prevent one power from becoming dominant not through alliances or containment but through the promotion of a dynamic equilibrium.


 


Q7. Some say that Korea is focusing too much on investment in and trade with Vietnam. Do you think Indonesia can make an attractive trade partner to Korea?


I wouldn’t share the idea as if Korea’s investment in Southeast Asia has been focused too much on one country. I think the figures suggest Korea’s engagement with Southeast Asia has been rather diversified. Recently, there’s been some tension on Vietnam, but it’s a win-win proposition. It’s not a mercantilist “either-or”. If Vietnam and Korea prosper by having greater investment and trade, all of us benefit. It’s not a problem. Of course, it reminds the other Southeast Asian economies to be competitive for South Korea’s engagement.


 


Q8. SLastly, how can the Korean government, people and Jeju Forum do to strengthen South Korea and Indonesia relations?


The Indonesia-ROK relationship has been one of the most important that Indonesia has been promoting the strategic partnership, the comprehensive partnership. Forums such as the Jeju Forum are important because the inter-governmental relationship is already well established—there are regular meetings at the leader level and the ministerial levels—but any bilateral relationship would be meaningless and would lack substance without strong people-to-people relationships. The Jeju Forum allows for greater interactions between the Track 1.5. It will make for more robust relationship between the two countries. I’ve been to the Jeju Forum for the past three or four years, and I’ve been constantly pleasantly surprised how each year the quality of the discussion is enhanced.