President SBY and All Indonesians Receive WEF Global Statesmanship Award and the Philippines Order of Sikatuna- Rank of Raja
The second day of the Presidents visit to Manila bears two agenda, bilateral and multilateral. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono conducted a State Visit to the Philippines Presidential Palace, the Malacanang, and later attended a special session of the World Economic Forum East Asia.
The State Visit started off with laying wreath at the Rizal Park Monument to pay respect to the hero that sparked the Philippine Revolution in the 19th Century. Following that, the President heads to the Malacanang to have a bilateral meeting with Philippine President, Benigno S. Aquino III. Among the topics discussed during the meeting is the state of bilateral relations between the two countries as well as regional and global issues of common interest.
*Indonesia-Philippines Set Example in Upholding UNCLOS-82 and Model for Maritime Border Dispute
Both President Yudhoyono and President Aquino deliver a joint press statement after the meeting. President Yudhoyono began with congratulating the Philippines for its achievements in two areas.
Firstly, on the unprecedented economic achievement by the Philippines that will go into the history books of the country as it moves toward fulfilling its economic potentials.
Secondly, the President commends the recent peace agreement in the Southern Part of the Philippines or the Mindanao that shows how age-old conflicts can be resolved through peaceful means.
These two significant achievements, coupled with Indonesias current economic progress will indeed create more opportunities to enhance cooperation between Indonesia and the Philippines that will benefit the people of the two countries.
On this occasion, the two leaders also witnessed the signing ofthree agreements, i.e. the Exclusive Economic Zone BoundaryDelimitation Agreement, and Memorandums of Understanding on education and counter-terrorism cooperation. On the EEZBoundary Delimitation Agreement, the President states that:
the completion of the negotiation of the EEZ Boundary Delimitation Agreement, which has lasted for 20 years, will be a new landmark (of our bilateral relations) andInsyaAllah will bring concrete benefit for Indonesia and the Philippines. With the signing of this agreement, we can foster more cooperation, for instance in maritime and fisheries sector, combating transnational crimes, eco-tourism cooperation and any other forms of cooperation that will bring mutual benefit to Indonesia and the Philippines.
The President SBY further emphasized that:
this (EEZ Boundary Delimitation Agreement) is also a good model and example that boundary disputes, including maritime boundary, can be resolved through peaceful means without the use of military means that may disrupt peace and stability in our region or elsewhere in the world.
Other topic that was discussed during the bilateral meeting was the state of economic cooperation between Indonesia and the Philippines. Both leaders noted the strong trade and investment between Indonesia and the Philippines, nevertheless it is recognized that there is still room to further enhance economic cooperation, including boosting investments between the two countries.
Both leaders also discussed issues concerning the protection of migrant workers of Indonesia and the Philippines working abroad, cooperation in combating counter-terrorism and making a more effective partnership in the area of disaster management given the two countries vulnerability against natural disasters. The meeting was also an opportunity to continue promoting BIMP-EAGA for the benefit of both people’s namely in the Southern Philippines and Sulawesi.
*Two Awards for Indonesia and All Indonesians
On the final day of the WEFEA event, President SBY was conferred with the Global Statesmanship Award by the WEF, as a recognition of his efforts and contributions towards economic development in Indonesia.
President SBY is now the first Asian leader to receive this award.
In the past, such award has been conferred toformer Brazil President Lula da Silva (2010) and former Mexico President Felipe Calderon (2012).
This award is also given in recognition of SBYs leadership in elevating the countrys rank in the Global Competitiveness Index from 50 (2012) to 38 (2013).
In his acceptance speech, SBY — who will end his term of office later this year — paid tribute to the people of Indonesia whocontinue to inspire and energize him in his service to the nation. Below are excerpts of his speech.
I am well aware that history will ultimately judge my Presidency well after I leave office in October this year, SBY said.
But I do stand before you now with a sense of pride for what Indonesia has become today. In a turbulent world marked by political turbulence, economic uncertainty, strategic tensions, Indonesia does have a good story to tell, one that can perhaps inspire others, SBY said, highlighting the complex global environment he had to navigate during the start of his term.
Indeed we have come to a very unique place in our history. Many pundits designate us as an emerging economy based on our achievements as a trillion dollar economy, and a member of the G-20.
All of these achievements were earned amidst the period o fdomestic democratic transition.
We have achieved that critical point of no return in our democratic development. We have proved to ourselves and to the world that we do not have to choose between democracy and development, and that we can indeed have both political freedom and high economic growth at the same time.
Being able to maintain domestic stability allows Indonesia to play a more active regional and global role. And with the myriad of challenges in the global level, it is impossible to resolve that through conventional means. Time and again, Indonesia has shown a spirit of pioneerism in its leadership, one that challenge old assumptions, constantly push boundaries, and break into new frontiers in addressing global challenges.
This is the spirit by which Indonesia helped break the deadlock in UN climate negotiations with the 26% – 41% formula in 2009. The same spirit by which we finally resolve the 30-year conflict in Aceh. The same reason we convened Global Inter-Media Dialogue during the height of the cartoon crisis in 2006. And the same spirit Indonesia pushed for progressive norms at the heart of the ASEAN Charter, President SBY said.
Such leadership role, both in the regional and global level, has gained numerous recognitions for President SBY, including by the Government of the Philippines.
Later in the evening, President Yudhoyono and Madam Ani Yudhoyono attended a special dinner at the to the Philippines Presidential Palace, the Malacanang, where Philippine high officials and members of the diplomatic corps.
On this day, the 23rd of May, President SBY received the Order of Sikatuna with the Rank of Raja (Grand Collar) from the Government of the Philippines, which is the highest award that can be conferred by the Government of the Philippines to a foreign national.
This award was given not only for SBYs outstanding effort in enhancing bilateral relations between Indonesia and the Philippines, but also for his active contribution in ASEAN; promotion of inter-faith dialogue; as well as the promotion of peace, stability and human rights in the Asia Pacific region.
The evening was followed by music and dances presented by Philippines youths, including Christian Bautista, Klarisse De Guzman and Fitri Cerado, who also sung President Yudhoyono’s composed song- Save Our World.