Bandung, West Java (ANTARA) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to strengthen the system for protecting Indonesian citizens (WNI) abroad as one of the diplomatic priorities implemented during President Joko Widodo's administration.

"Over the past nine years, WNI protection has always been prioritized on the foreign policy. We significantly improved the service (for the protection of WNI)," Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi stated at the 2024 Annual Press Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (PPTM) at Gedung Merdeka, Bandung, Monday.

Marsudi highlighted that efforts to strengthen legal instruments to protect Indonesian citizens are carried out through laws and the ministry's regulations.

Moreover, her side has carried out innovations to improve protection services for Indonesian citizens, such as building and strengthening a comprehensive protection system in the form of establishing an Indonesian Seafarer Corner for Indonesian ship crews (ABK) in Cape Town, Montevideo, and Kaohsiung; strengthening the Legal Team for the Protection of Indonesian citizens in countries, with a high population of Indonesian citizens; developing contingency plans in countries at risk of conflict; and prioritizing the curriculum for protecting Indonesian citizens in diplomat education.

"We also carried out several digital innovations to protect Indonesian citizens, including the SMS Blast system, the Indonesian citizens portal, and the Safe Travel mobile application," Marsudi remarked.

In addition, she affirmed that the ministry was able to resolve 218,313 cases involving Indonesian citizens abroad during the same period.

Apart from resolving cases, as many as 360 Indonesian citizens were rescued from death penalty, more than 18 thousand Indonesian citizens were repatriated from various emergencies in conflict zones and natural disasters, 56 Indonesian citizens were freed from being held hostage, and more than Rp1 trillion Indonesian citizens' financial rights had been successfully returned, she elaborated.

The 2024 PPTM is themed "Advancing Free and Active Foreign Policy: A Ten Year Journey."

On the occasion, the minister also drew attention to Indonesia's diplomatic achievements in the last nine years and diplomatic priorities for 2024.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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