Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh,
May God peace be upon all of us,
Honorable Senate Council of Professors of Korean Maritime and Ocean University;
Prof. Park Han-il, President of Korean Maritime and Ocean University;
Excellency Ministers of Working Cabinet, Republic of Indonesia;
Indonesian Ambassador to Republic of Korea;
Civitas Academica of Korean Maritime and Ocean University;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
I am extremely honored to receive Doctor Honoris Causa Degree from a prestigious higher education institution, such as this Korean Maritime and Ocean University. It is undeniable that a long history of this University has given a significant contribution to the development of marine science and technology in Korea, enabling the country to achieve its status as the world’s largest producer of ships and the fifth largest maritime transportation nation in the world. Through its world class education and research activities, this University has also helped Korean nation to cruise and explore five oceans and five continents across the globe.
Indeed, Korean universities – this university in particular – have long been renowned to become the world’s centers of excellence producing countless of technological innovations including those in shipping, electronics, information technology, fisheries, and biotechnology industries, regardless that Korea possesses somewhat limited natural resources, relative to Indonesia. On the contrary, Indonesia as the world’s largest archipelago is blessed with abundant coastal and marine resources. Indonesia is geo-economically also located in a very strategic location – between Pacific and Indian Oceans, and between Asia and Australia Continents. Because of such a strategic location that 45% of the total commodities and products traded globally with an economic value of about US$ 1,500 per year are transported through Indonesian seas. Unfortunately, its marine-based technologies and industries are still lagging behind Korea. It is within this context that I see the potentials for the two nations to work jointly to develop coastal and ocean resources for the utmost benefits of human beings on an inclusive and sustainable manner, are enormous. Nowadays it is even more pressing as the needs for food, energy, minerals and other natural resources continue to rapidly increase due to the ever increasing human population and greed. While finite natural resources are steadily dwindling.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Because of such a global trend that the 21st century global landscape is dramatically changing, mainly driven by the world’s insatiable needs for food and energy consumption, which leads to destruction of environment and global warming. Access to world’s finite natural resources has therefore started to narrow, pushing for stiffer competitions among nations. I therefore would like to use this special moment to call on all nations across the globe to impose self-restraint in their quest for energy and consumption, and at the same time to increase productivity and cooperation, instead of competition. The international community has witnessed the suffering of the Mother Nature and humanity during the previous conflicts and wars, and the on-going ones. We need therefore to manage our global affairs by advancing mutually beneficial cooperation in order to fulfill our needs, enabling to free the world from conflicts as mandated by the United Nations Charter.
I will not be surprised, if the world’s urge to exploit the existing natural resources is not carried out on a sustainable basis, then conflicts among nations will loom large while irreversible damage to the environment – upon which our life absolutely depends – is also unavoidable.
Ladies and Gentlemen
This coveted degree in the field of politics, particularly in international relations has pushed me to think and contemplate upon my life-long bumpy political journey.
For me, to get involved in politics is meant to nurture civilization. A journey, which is dedicated to the creation of a just and prosperous society based on our national ideology, Pancasila. Pancasila itself embraces five sacred values, namely: Believe in One God, Humanity, Nationalism, Consensus-based Democracy, and Social Justice. Not only serving as a foundation of the republic, Pancasila is also the state ideology, way of life, and philosophy of the Indonesian nation. I firmly believe that the creation of the civilization – I have previously alluded to – has to be conducted by all political parties. Political parties are based on a collective commitment, which is referred to as ideology. It is this ideology that drives the political parties to achieve their common goals. Ideology also determines the character to be possessed by a given political party leader. Ideology becomes the driving force and the empowering “living spirit” when political parties encounter challenges and to attend to its historical calls. For us, that ideology is Pancasila. It is because of Pancasila, PDI-Perjuangan (Indonesia Democratic Party of Struggle) – the party that I have the privilege to lead – can and will always survive over the years.
It is because of this ideology also why PDI-Perjuangan has been present as a solid political force and continues to preserve the four pillars of our nationhood and statehood lives, namely: Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, Unitary Republic of Indonesia, and Unity in Diversity. Indeed, Pancasila, which was genuinely toiled and developed in the country, has been able to become the way of life of the 253 millions Indonesian people, scattered across more than 17.500 islands around the country. This is a country that houses more than 300 ethnicities, more than 746 local dialects, and endowed with unique and rich cultures as well as natural resources. All of these precious national mosaics have contributed to the formation of One Nation, One Country, and One Language: Indonesia.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The large part of my challenging political journey has been dedicated to developing and nurturing a political party named PDI-Perjuangan. This political party continues to consolidate its ideology, organization, including its members as critical ingredients in managing the state affairs. Going through ups and downs, PDI-Perjuangan has transformed itself from a “laymen political party” to become a pioneer political party and won the elections in 1999 and 2014, putting the current government in place. PDI-Perjuangan has proven itself to be able to overcome the challenges and fulfill accordingly its historical calls.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I have to convey to you that the conferment of this Doctor Honoris Causa Degree has strengthened my fighting spirit to further advance political traditions to accelerate the formation of democracy not only in politics, but also in economics for the welfare of the people. All responsibilities inherently embedded in this coveted degree shall be utilized by me to form a more democratic Indonesian political order that shall put the people’s interests at the front. As leader of a political party, the 5th President of the Republic of Indonesia, and as a citizen, it is incumbent also upon me to continue striving for the achievement of our national goals, namely: to protect the nation and the country, to promote people’s welfare, to enlighten the livelihood of the nation, and to help promote the world’s order based on eternal peace and social justice.
Indeed, striving for eternal world peace is an inherent constitutional duty of Indonesia aimed at forming the world’s brotherhood. This is not a new mission for Indonesia. History has rightly recorded when Indonesia together with other pioneering countries, such as Egypt, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India, organized the Asia – Africa Conference in 1955, which managed to encourage the emergence of common solidarity among nations across Asian and African continents to champion that independence is the fundamental right for all nations.
Colonization should therefore be eliminated as it is against humanity and justice. These two fundamental principles continue to drive Indonesia to be active in promoting a new world order, free from exploitation and colonization in any ways or shapes. It was because of these fundamental tenets when the world divided by the two blocs – West and East – during the Cold War, Indonesia also pioneered the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement, a movement that is still relevant to the today’s world, taking into account what is happening between the Russian Federation and NATO countries, including the United State of America, in the Middle East region.
If we are not vigilant, another chilling new cold war can erupt the consequences of which will be far beyond our imagination. It is only sound therefore to stress that the Non-Aligned Movement is still relevant and expected to play an active role to avoid this doomsday scenario.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Indonesian active role in promoting the world’s peace can be seen from its continued commitment to send peacekeeping contingents to various troubled countries. Driven by this sense of noble mission, Indonesian government and I personally will always attach utmost importance to the efforts to bring peace to this Korean Peninsula. Indonesian history has taught us that each and every nation has actually the right to be politically independent, economically self-sufficient, and culturally distinct. In our “political lexicon”, these three principles are known as TRISAKTI invented by President Soekarno, a founding father of Indonesia. In trying to achieve such an objective, each and every nation needs a peaceful, conducive, and empowering world order.
It is against this backdrop that I really hope that enduring peace would reign in this great and beautiful peninsula. This goal is achievable for the two Koreans have the same root, culture, language, and above all strong familial ties. I have a strong sense that the hope to live together is now getting stronger by the day, albeit politically they are still divided. My inner sense tells me that millions of separated families are now longing for family unity and reunification, based on a new brotherhood spirit as a united Korean nation. This reunification is a driving vision for the two-divided nation. Those people in the streets, I am sure, always question and will continue to question why they are divided.
I believe reunification may well an enduring task. Negotiating and turning the Armistice Agreement into Peace Agreement is more realistic to achieve in the near future, provided the strong commitment from the two Koreans is there to be invoked, and outside power and relevant countries, particularly China and the United States of America, may lend their helping to push the two Koreans to end the hostilities by signing a Peace Agreement. At the earlier stage, there should be no conditions attached in order to kick-start the intra Korean dialogues. Once peace prevails in the peninsula, the countries in the region will be better positioned to develop their countries.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This hope shall not linger in vain. It only requires a willingness to restart the dialogues – be in the form of direct talks between the two countries or any form of dialogues acceptable to both – in order to push and create a bridge of communication to understand meaningfully each other. Reunification platform, without outside intervention, has to be pioneered based on mutual respect and mutual confidence. I personally, with all of my heart, hope that peace would soon be achievable in this peninsula.
I stand ready – when duty calls – to serve as that “bridge” in order to instill a sense of confidence between the two countries, paving the way for a peaceful solution to this lingering and simmering conflict.
That is my sincere hope and indeed the hope of all Indonesians; a hope which can be ignited by the opening up of your hearts, as one united Korean nation. The time to reignite a united Korean dialogue has come. Mutual visits by peoples from the two opposing borders or cultural exchanges among themselves have to be encouraged again in order to instill, deepen and strengthen their sense for unity. I believe that reunification between the two opposing camps can be carried out gradually, through measured integration processes, by initially promoting the humanity aspect of the conflict rather than its intricate political dimension.
I am personally familiar as well as so attached to this Korean nation. I am a friend to leaders of both countries. It is therefore I dare say that the eagerness to live in peace and harmony is now stronger than ever. It cannot be otherwise as Korea is a highly cultured nation. I believe that employing familial approach – free from outside intervention – the window for reunification will be surely widened. I will continue to echo this hope until after reunification of this great peninsula has been gloriously achieved.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me one again convey my respect and appreciation for the conferment of the degree upon me. My presence in this Korean Maritime and Ocean University has elated me. It is in this University as well I see a much brighter future for Indonesia, the largest archipelagic country in the world beautifully enveloped by oceans as well as amazingly dotted with thousands of islands and inhibited by gentle and friendly peoples.
I do hope that this University will be able to forge bilateral maritime and ocean cooperation for the benefits of the two countries. Korea is a nation with a great maritime culture. Coastal and ocean research centers and marine-based industries at all levels have achieved shining results in Korea.
Similarly, our perspective is that, with more than 95.000 kilometer coastlines (the second longest in the world after that of Canada), Indonesia will only be able to regain its past glory by utilizing its coastal and ocean resources in a responsible manner, with due regard being paid to the protection of the environment. Indonesia is only second to none as far as the richness of its marine fossil and living resources. It has therefore all the modalities to excel into the future together with Korea.
Time for us now to jointly unleash these extremely huge potentials, coinciding with the determination of the Indonesian government to become a global maritime axis. It cannot be otherwise as Indonesia is geo-strategically located, connecting two oceans and two continents. Almost fifty percent of global trades passes through the Indonesian Sea Lanes indeed underlines the fact on how strategic Indonesia is.
Ladies and gentlemen,
To sum up, to all parties, academics, ambassadors of the two countries, especially the Vice-Chancellor of this University, who have made this conferment ceremony possible, I wish to use this opportunity to convey to them my highest appreciation and gratitude.
I do hope that the momentum created by this event will further inspire us and echo our deepest sense of humanity to ensure that politics is a cultural path to be employed to solely strive for the achievement of people’s welfare or, better still, a path to the creation of a new world order, which is prosperous, just, free from conflicts, and above all peaceful.
Our founding fathers had taught us that only through peaceful coexistence can we – as a family of nations - thrive together.
This noble objective is only achievable if and when we employ politics as a cultural path, not otherwise.
Wassalamualikum warrahmatullahi wabarrakatuh,
Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!
The 5th President of the Republic of Indonesia