Jakarta (ANTARA) - Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi emphasized that Indonesia's diplomacy in the last decade has demonstrated that it is one of the major players at the regional and global level and not a spectator.

Marsudi made the remark at the 2024 Annual Press Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs held at the Merdeka Building, Bandung, West Java, on Monday.

Marsudi cited the Australia-based independent think tank, Lowy Institute, that placed Indonesia as a middle power in Asia, with diplomatic influence and comprehensive power that continued to increase.

It was also said that Indonesia's diplomacy had the most significant influence in Southeast Asia in 2023. The minister noted that Indonesia's leadership is acknowledged by the world, including in steering ASEAN during its chairmanship in 2023.

"Indonesia's leadership in the region is pivotal in preventing the balkanization of ASEAN as a regional organization," she remarked at the event.

The minister stated that Indonesia's diplomacy in the region continues to work to ensure that the ASEAN remains relevant and to maintain the bloc's centrality in navigating geopolitical dynamics in the region.

In 2019, Indonesia had initiated the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) that encourages concrete and inclusive cooperation as a response to the dynamics of increasing rivalries in the region.

Regarding the developments in Myanmar, Marsudi stated that the issue continues to be a matter of concern for Indonesia.

Throughout Indonesia's ASEAN chairmanship, more than 265 engagements have been carried out with Myanmar stakeholders to encourage progress in the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus to help Myanmar come out of the crisis.

"Democracy and stability in Myanmar will be key to the settlement of the Rohingya issue, so that they can return to their home in a dignified manner," she remarked.

At the multilateral level, Indonesia also continues to voice the strengthening of the multilateral system, including the reforms of the United Nations (UN), which is currently deemed no longer relevant and does not respond to the challenges of the times.

Marsudi further noted that Indonesia, during its G20 presidency in 2022, carried out its tasks well and produced concrete cooperation projects for developing countries amid heated geopolitical tensions.

The minister highlighted that Indonesia was able to effectively play a bridge-building role in the midst of sharp differences in views between countries.

Marsudi also noted that Indonesia continues to increase the number of peacekeepers. In late November of 2023, Indonesia became the sixth-biggest contributor of peacekeepers, which is a huge jump from its earlier ranking of 16th in 2014.

According to the minister, since 2014, more than 20 thousand personnel have been deployed to 13 UN peacekeeping missions.

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Translator: Shofi Ayudiana, Raka Adji
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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