The message was conveyed by President Widodo during a working meeting with heads of Indonesian representatives that was attended by Indonesian ambassadors, consul generals, and high-ranking officials at the Pancasila Building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday.
"Becoming a diplomat in this era is not easy, for there are so many uncertainties in the world," President Widodo pointed out.
According to the president, uncertainties exist in the form of conflicts, wars, humanitarian crises, refugee crises, trans-border crimes, threat of terrorism, human trafficking, drugs trafficking, and economic rivalry through protectionism, among others.
"Those are the challenges faced by diplomats, especially our diplomats. Hence, a new approach in our diplomacy should conform to challenges of the era," President Widodo noted.
President Widodo opined that diplomacy should be faster and more responsive.
President Widodo also believes that a country`s diplomacy should stand for its citizens abroad and not give up on fighting for the nation`s sovereignty and contribute to world peace and welfare.
President Widodo noted that Indonesia`s diplomacy in peace and humanity had been lauded by leaders across the world and the international community, such as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who praised Indonesia`s diplomacy in the struggle for Palestine`s independence, and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, who commended Indonesia`s involvement in promoting peace in Afghanistan.
Indonesia has also been active in providing humanitarian assistance, such as for the Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh`s Cox`s Bazar and Myanmar`s Rakhine State.
"I urge all (heads of Indonesia) representatives to continue our peace diplomacy. Indonesia has a major responsibility to become part of the solution to various global problems," Widodo noted.
President Widodo reiterated that although Indonesia`s diplomacy in peace has gained acknowledgment of the international community, the country should review its economic diplomacy by, for instance, exploring more non-traditional markets, making innovative products, and improving exports and investment.
"We have become a member of G20. (We should) no longer harbor feelings of inferiority that we are a small country. We are a big country," President Widodo told the diplomats.
To strengthen Indonesia`s economic diplomacy, Indonesian diplomats were also scheduled to attend a networking meeting with chief executive officers of Indonesian enterprises.
During the working meeting, President Widodo also encouraged diplomats to improve and standardize protection services offered to Indonesian citizen abroad.
On the occasion, President Widodo also had the opportunity to observe consular service and smartphone application for protection services offered to Indonesian citizens by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi noted that the working meeting was themed Diplomacy "zaman now," a popular and viral term for "current generation."
Though a short theme, but "zaman now" is the key to changing the mindset, or popularly known as "mental revolution" by the president that should be undertaken by all Indonesian diplomats, Marsudi explained.
"To ensure that Indonesia leaps forward and that the benefits of such leap can be felt by our people and the world, a change in the mindset is needed by everyone and every Indonesian diplomat," Minister Marsudi explained.
The working meeting with Indonesian heads of representatives was also attended by Minister of State Secretariat Pratikno, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Wiranto and other high-ranking officials of the Indonesian government.