Foreign Minister Maas will meet Indonesian Foreign Minister Marsudi in Berlin on Friday (14 September). They will both be speaking at the Bali Democracy Forum – Berlin Chapter (BDF BC) at the Federal Foreign Office. The meeting, the first of its kind in Europe, will focus on the relationship between democracy and migration, an issue which poses major challenges for both countries, while at the same time opening up tremendous opportunities.
Indonesia is driving regional cooperation in South-East Asia
Berlin and the Indonesian capital Jakarta are over 10,000 kilometres apart, but Germany and Indonesia have shared interests and are on the same page in numerous international issues. Indonesia has long been an important guarantor of stability and cooperation in South-East Asia.
Indonesia is working particularly hard to strengthen the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Since its foundation, ASEAN has developed into a central forum for regional cooperation on economic, political and social issues. The creation of a common economic space along the lines of the European Union has been on the agenda since 2009.
Together aiming to reform the United Nations
Indonesia and Germany want to work together to preserve and promote global rules-based institutions and structures. Their membership of the United Nations Security Council in 2019/2020 will afford a good opportunity. They want to see the United Nations adapt to current challenges and changes and thus make itself fit for the future.
Migration as a challenge and opportunity
Another area where Indonesia and Germany can cooperate and benefit from each other’s experience is in confronting and managing global migration. The two countries agree that there can only be joint responses to this international challenge. Berlin and Jakarta therefore support the Global Compact for Migration, the text of which was agreed by 190 states in July. The Compact is due to be adopted properly in Marrakech in December.
The Bali Democracy Forum – Berlin Chapter, too, is looking this year at the tension between migration and democracy. For example, it will consider the issue of cohesion in diverse societies, a challenge greatly exercising both Germany and Indonesia just now.