Statement by H.E. Mr. Salman Al Farisi,
the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Republic of South Africa;
Republic of Botswana; the Kingdom of Eswatini and Kingdom of Lesotho on the occasion of the 76th Anniversary of Indonesia’s Independence Day
17 August 1945 – 17 August 2021
Warm greetings to Your Excellencies, Distinguished Colleagues in the South African Government and Agencies, and esteemed member of the Diplomatic Corps in South Africa.
In these times of hardships, I would like to send my prayers to you and your family, may you always be healthy and safe while enduring this difficult pandemic situation.
It has been more than a year now since we first saw the spread of the virus in one place, and until this moment, the pandemic is still with us. It has, indeed, created devastating impacts to our daily life, socially as well as economically.
Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen, Brothers and Sisters
If anything this pandemic has taught us, is to be resilient. Meaning that after the hardships that we have been through, we must be able to bounce back even stronger. We have had many setbacks during the initial periods of the pandemic, and now, have started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Secondly, we have now adjusted with these kinds of situations, where we would call them the ‘new normal’. These circumstances deem us to grow with and from them. We must be able to see opportunities in the midst of challenges, and capitalize it for the betterment of our world.
Excellencies and Distinguished Colleagues,
On 17th August 2021, Indonesia commemorates its 76th Anniversary of its Independence Day, which come with a national slogan “Indonesia Tangguh, Indonesia Tumbuh”. This slogan has two key words, resilience and growth. I believe, those two key words are not only applicable to Indonesia, but also relevant for every country right now, especially for our South African counterpart. Resilience in facing all of the challenges, and at the same time trying to achieve sustainable growth.
Therefore, it signifies the importance of having a cordial relationship and strong cooperation between the two countries. Indonesia and South Africa are undoubtedly no strangers to one another. We have established a strong relationship that have lasted for more than 25 years, forged by shared common values of unity in diversity. But now, it is time for us to utilize our strong bonds and turn it into concrete cooperation that aims to win us the battle against this pandemic and drive us out of these difficult circumstances.
Similar to South Africa, Indonesia also believes that access to vaccine and affordable health care for all are the key to win this struggle. In this context, Indonesia stands in line with South Africa in many multilateral forums to fight towards that end. This issue was thoroughly discussed by Her Excellency Dr. Naledy Pandor and her counterpart, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Her Excellency Retno L. Marsudi recently during their bilateral talk.
At bilateral level, Indonesia sees huge potential in establishing a stronger and more robust relationship with South Africa. Indonesia stands ready to cooperate in various strategic issues such as defence, health. Investment, and trade with our South African counterparts.
Last but not least, I would also like to take this opportunity to highlight the historical landmark of the signing of the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation by the South African Government which took place on November last year. In this regard, Indonesia welcomes South Africa as the new member of ASEAN family. I believe Indonesia and South Africa could play a key role in bringing the two regions closer.
Together to be resilient!
Together in growth!
I thank you.