As the first woman to take office as Foreign Affairs Minister, Retno Marsudi admitted that the responsibility she has to take is not easy to do. But her experience as a diplomat for almost 30 years and awareness of her duties have made her step forward confidently.
“All types of work will meet challenges, so is the role to be a diplomat. Being Foreign Affairs Minister takes a huge responsibility, but hard work is not a choice, it’s a must,” she said in the Inspiring Talk Emtek Goes to Campus 2016, on Wednesday (2/11) in Grha Sabha Pramana Hall UGM.
To the attending students, Retno recounted her experience as a professional diplomat, particularly in the past two years as Minister. She wanted to form a down-to-earth foreign politics that can benefit the people and contribute to world peace, stability, and welfare.
This vision has driven Retno and other cabinet ministers in the Joko Widodo government to always work swiftly since the beginning. Three days after being installed, the government issued four foreign policy: protecting the integrity of Indonesian territory, protecting Indonesian citizens and legal entities abroad, improving economic diplomacy, and enhancing participation and contribution to regional and world issues.
“In the past two years, we have done 19 negotiatons on state borders; 13 negotiations for land borders and 6 for sea borders. Why is this important? If our borders are clear, the potential for conflicts with neighbouring countries will diminish,” she said.
“Every time we would come on a negotiation, as a diplomat I always walk on confidently, no feeling of being undermined. We have to have the spirit and pride to be Indonesian, and we are convinced that Indonesia will get better,” she said.
To the students, Retno asked them to always work hard and be the players for state advancement through innovative and creative ideas. She hoped her experience would inspire the students to work hard and take responsibillity as well as to contribute to the nation.
The Emtek Goes to Campus series of events are a collaboration between UGM and PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi, Tbk (EMTEK), offering activities such as Inspiring Talk, Jobfair, seminar, and workshop. This is also a forum for the students to equip themselves with soft skills.
“This event is very suitable to supporting the learning of soft skills, especially in ICT, and preparing the students for work,” said Rector of UGM, Prof. Ir. Dwikorita Karnawati, M.Sc., Ph.D.