Budi N

Budi N

Budi Nugroho P.

 

05
April

 Indonesian President's Special Envoy to the Middle East and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Alwi Shihab hopes Indonesia will take up the Palestinian issue at the UN, especially in its capacity as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2019-2020.

"It is certainly better if there is an opportunity for improvement. Especially now, when we are very concerned about the situation in Gaza, and with President Trump recognizing Golan as part of Israel," Shihab said at the Embassy of Palestine in Jakarta on Thursday.

Shihab, who was interviewed on the sidelines of Palestine’s Land Day and the Isra’ Mi’raj celebration at the Embassy of Palestine, stated that Indonesia’s current position as a non-permanent member, which will assume presidency of the UN Security Council in May is strategic, as it could voice the rights of Palestinians on the international stage, along with Indonesia’s national interests.

“We expect Indonesia, who is a member of the UN Security Council, to call on (the world) and reject Trump for his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Golan’s annexation, which are against international norms and laws,” he noted.

The former foreign affairs minister, part of President Abdurrahman Wahid's administration, added that Indonesia's support to Palestine is in line with the 1945 Constitution, which states that independence is a fundamental right for every nation.

Interviewed separately, Ambassador of Palestine to Indonesia Zuhair Al Shun appreciated Indonesia’s continuous support for Palestine’s independence, both bilaterally and internationally.

“Not only is Indonesia supporting our political interests on the international stage, but it is also preparing us to become an independent nation," said Al Shun.

Regarding Indonesia’s support at the UN, where Palestine is still an “observer", Al Shun hoped that Indonesia's presidency at the UN Security Council could benefit the Palestinian struggle, and help it become an independent state.

However, Al Shun was yet to answer whether Palestine would submit its candidacy as a member of the UN during Indonesia’s presidency in May 2019.

“Let's see the progress, but we certainly appreciate any kind of support from Indonesia,” he noted.  (ant)

05
April

 The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has persuaded Southeast Asian nations to reposition family farming viewed as a central tool in realizing the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger (SDG-2) by boosting food security.

"Let us make it clear that family farming is synonymous with Southeast Asia.  Through the empowerment of family farms and family farmers, we will be able help address the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition in this region," FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Kundhavi Kadiresan said here on Thursday.

Kadiresan delivered the statement at the opening session of the Regional Conference on Strengthening Southeast Asia Food Security, Nutrition, and Farmer Welfare through the UN Decade of Family Farming, with the Indonesian government covening the meeting.

Kadiresan pointed out that family farms play a predominant role in the production of most of the world's food, or some 80 percent, and are the biggest employment providers across the world.

"Family farms sustain productivity on, what is often, marginal land, and provides local consumers with fresh food, including poultry, livestock, fish, fruits and vegetables, along with other staple foods, which are critical to achieving good nutrition," she stated.

Nonetheless, the FAO pointed to the yet impoverished condition of several family farms that reel under the impacts of food insecurity. Smallholder farmers largely own a significant chunk of farmland of below five hectares in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, farms are comparatively smaller, and a considerable majority of them occupy below one hectare of land.

Furthermore, family farmers, who particularly bear the brunt of rural poverty, have to encounter significant hurdles in getting access to credit, services, technologies, and markets that will assist them in boosting productivity of their natural resources and labor.

Another area of concern is that available agricultural sector employment opportunities are linked to less and unstable incomes, low levels of safety and health, gender pay and opportunity gap, and restricted social protection.

"Significant challenges pertaining to family farming and climate change, gender, youth and decent work call for taking a hard look at policies," Kadiresan remarked.

Hence, Kadiresan further emphasized the significance of innovating, providing access to rural credit, specifically for womankind, in addition to bringing about changes in the rural social protection programmes as the key to assisting Southeast Asia's family farmers boost their livelihoods and realize greater food security.

"Innovation is necessary for boosting the welfare of family farmers and strengthening their resilience. Innovation in policies and the enabling environment. Innovation in technologies, and innovation in institutions. Most importantly, family farmers must be at the heart of these innovations," she stated.

Identifying the principal roles of family farming, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution that officially declared the 2019-2028 period as the Decade of Family Farming. The resolution has given acknowledgement to family farmers as the key leaders in the path to achievingg the world's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly to guarantee global food security, end poverty, eradicate hunger, conserve biodiversity, realize environmental sustainability, and assist to tackle migration. (ant)

04
April

Three new Marine Conservation Zones (KKP) in North Maluku were declared by Indonesia and the United States to commemorate seven decades of diplomatic relations between both nations, specifically in the marine and fishery sector.

"Indonesia's marine resources are the most unique in the world. When we mark the 70th anniversary of our relations with Indonesia, we reflect on the success in partnership in the course of several decades, including protecting the biological diversity and improving Indonesia's precious marine natural resources. The unified efforts remain crucial for sustainable earning, given our resources, and for the welfare of the current and future generations," US Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph R. Donovan Jr remarked during the declaration on Morotai Island District, here, Wednesday.

Donovan Jr and Deputy Governor of North Maluku Muhammad Natsir Thoib and Morotai District Head Beny Laos declared the three new KKP, spanning 226 thousand hectares, in North Maluku.

The USAID and Indonesia's Maritime Affairs and Fishery Ministry have cooperated for the implementation of the Sustained Ecosystems Advanced (SEA) project to boost fishery production and reinforce food resilience in the provinces of North Maluku, Maluku and West Papua.

Maritime Affairs and Fishery Minister Susi Pudjiastuti commended the decades-long cooperation between the governments of Indonesia and the United States.

The minister affirmed that the cooperation has assisted Indonesia in bolstering efforts to safeguard marine biodiversity in various regions.  (ant)

04
April

To facilitate the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement and enhance trade cooperation between the two countries, Indonesia and South Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Electronic Certificate of Origin Data Exchange.

Director General of Foreign Trade at the Trade Ministry Oke Nurwan, Director General of Customs and Excise at the Finance Ministry Heru Pambudi and Chief of the National Single Window Institution (LNSW) Djatmiko signed the MoU on behalf of the Indonesian government with Korean Customs Services (KCS) Commissioner Kim Yung Moon.

Nurwan said that through the MoU, the two countries agreed to exchange data in order to improve trade services, implement trade facilities and reach an efficient cost in terms of trade transactions.

The MoU is also meant to enhance trade and economic relations between Indonesia and South Korea and stop the misuse of certificates of origin for Indonesian products, he said.

"To increase international trade, the Indonesian government has revised its regulations and adjusted its policies to accommodate the exchange of electronic data. This was done by simplifying procedures and documents with the parties involved," he said.

The growing competition from the global and domestic markets has forced Indonesia to adopt more innovative trade practices and standards, he said.

The signing of the MoU is relevant to President Joko Widodo's order to implement a digital service program in an effort to increase trade and investment between Indonesia and South Korea, he said.

"Later, improvements will be made to the methods of exchanging trade information, an open telecommunication system and the development of procedures, standards and practices in keeping with trade documentation," he said.

Meanwhile, Pambudi said the MoU would pave the way for the two countries to establish cooperation in many other areas as well. In fact, the Directorate General of Customs and Excise and the Korean Customs Services have agreed on an exchange program for employees to attend training programs and gain experience.

"The signing of the MoU means one step closer to attaining the common goal of better trade facilities within the framework of the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement to ensure the development of legal trade, economic growth and to maintain public protection. In addition, it will also allow the quick flow of information between the two governments and offer benefits to those involved in international trade," he said.  (ant)