A Note From Chargé d'Affaires Ardi Stoios-Braken

The pace of activities at the embassy has clearly picked up over the past months. As an improved Covid-19 situation allows travel once again, we see more Dutch delegations arriving from the Netherlands and Indonesian delegations traveling to the Netherlands. Capacity problems in our consular support office in the Hague have led to delays in the processing of visa applications; where possible our consular sector tries to accommodate Indonesian travelers, who have urgent business in the Netherlands.

Erasmus Huis, our cultural center, also benefits from the relaxation of health protocols. Film afficionados have been able to watch over a period of 12 days on average 3 movies a day as part of the annual, and this year for the first time – hybrid - Europe on Screen Film Festival. The festival ends on 26 June, so grab your last chances to watch movies that offer you a window to learn more about what it is that the EU, despite all differences among member states, stands for; the values, culture, history and future that we share and the way in which we see the rest of the world.

Several colleagues (the ambassador, the Director of Erasmus Huis, our financial controller) travelled back to the Netherlands to attend for the first time in 2 years in person conferences to be updated on latest developments in their fields of work and to exchange experiences with their peers.

In the economic field we note both Ministers Luhut and Basuki visiting the Netherlands and meeting with their counterpart Minister Harbers. Ministers Luhut and Harbers opened the 4th session of the Bilateral Maritime Forum at which ongoing and new opportunities for collaboration between the Netherlands and Indonesia in the maritime sector were discussed. The ministers signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on collaboration in the field of water. Trade missions, exploring further potential for collaboration in the fields of agriculture, renewable energy (visiting Medan) and life sciences and health (visiting Jakarta), kept us quite busy as well.

Colleagues from various Dutch ministries came to Indonesia to attend G20 meetings and I myself took part in the first G20 Health Ministerial meeting that was held in Yogya on 20-21 June. I experienced a steep learning curve in matters related to the global health architecture over the past week. In addition to participating in the meeting in Yogya, I hosted an event to support the Global Fund in its campaign to mobilize the resources necessary to support those countries that still face enormous challenges in their ongoing fight against HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

I hope the above, although definitely not a full overview of all that has been going on at the embassy, does give you an idea of what we have been dealing with. Let us hope that the increase in Covid-19 infections that we have seen over the past weeks does not bring to a halt to this increase in activities and in person interaction, that we all had missed so dearly. And let’s all do what we can do ourselves to help stop the spread of infections.