quinta-feira, 24 de março de 2011


Address by His Excellency the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Security, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, on the occasion of The First Jakarta International Defense Dialogue

Excellency, the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr Purnomo Yusgiantoro,
Excellency, Chief Marshall of Indonesia, Admiral Moko Suyanto
Excellencies, Ministers of Defence of the various countries in attendance Honourable Participants and Heads of Delegations,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First and foremost, I would like to express my appreciation at being invited to take part in this very important international event – the first Jakarta International Defense Dialogue (JIDD) – and wish all the success it deserves.

Coming from the country that is one of the youngest in the world, it is an honour for me to be here, among so many distinguished military and non-military personalities from across the globe. This event demonstrates both the great capacity of Indonesia to promote initiatives, such as this one, and the concern of all parties about issues that are so important to our nations, and to our people.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I will be taking this opportunity to speak freely and to express my opinion on topics that, nowadays, cause some anxiety and even uncertainty.

This session concerns the ‘international framework (organizations) for security and stability’. We are talking about ‘security and stability’ in regional and international spheres. As such, we look at a broader security, which may encompass intelligence services, police and the military, and engagement guidelines to be applied in concrete situations.

I am confident that everything discussed here, and in the next sessions, will provide ideas on the establishment of a transnational action framework, enabling better cooperation and coordination between the various countries and actors.

Of course, this is a real challenge: to establish an international common agenda in sensitive and complex areas, such as ‘security and stability’. Therefore, I consider that it is necessary to cover this issue at the following levels:

- at the internal level of each country, so that we can all understand the needs of each other’s country, in terms of armed forces and the other components of national security;

- at the regional level, where possible threats, common to a group of neighbouring countries, should be considered. This would imply preparations to respond to these potential security threats;

- and, at a higher level, the same logic applies, in one way or another, to the entire world.

Allow me to return to the issue of ‘international consensus building on security and stability’. What are the real threats... to the ‘security and stability’... of each country, of each region and of the entire world?

Having covered this issue, we could design cooperation and coordination within a multilateral framework to meet the demand for better transparency of actions. And if we are talking of transparency of actions, then we should agree to start with transparency of ideas, or better clarity of thinking. Thus,

(a) What are really the actual world threats?

- Is it nuclear weapons, which some countries possess and others try to develop, with disastrous consequences for all of humankind?

- Is it Al Qaeda and terrorism, the true threats that justify the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the panic in international airports and the sophisticated security measures that each country tries to improve? Is it the attempted bombings in various countries? Is it the letter and parcel bombs sent even to European leaders?

- Is it also religious fundamentalism, expressed almost every day, through acts of uncontrolled violence?

- Or is it the ideological differences that still divide the world into friends and foes?

- Or maybe the danger of economic influences by countries with different systems which, despite it all, still allow billion dollar transfers with rich countries?

(b) What effectively, are the potential regional threats?

- Terrorism? Religious fundamentalism?

- Or the security of the seas and piracy?

Or still,

- Drug, weapons and human trafficking? And in a different context, is the phenomenon of emigrants and/or refugees also a threat?

- Or money laundering? Not to mention assets valued at billions of dollars, owned by despots and corrupted people, deposited in banks of great credibility.

Or simply,

- Land and border demarcation disputes, which are commonly linked to natural resources? Are they threats, even if just at a petty skirmish level?

c) Lastly, what are truly the potential threats for each country?

- Terrorism, Weapons, Drug trafficking? People smuggling?

- Illegal fishing and illegal transactions of goods?


- Government Systems?

- Corruption? Or is it Poverty, Famine and Disease, which cause social inequalities and injustice?

From all of this, Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe we can agree on the aspects common to these three levels:

- Terrorism
- Security of the seas
- Drugs
- Weapons Trafficking
- Money Laundering
- People Smuggling

Let us then begin to discuss a cooperative approach between countries, for an effective exchange of data and information. Only in this way, can there be true collective action towards the security and stability of countries, which is a pre-requisite for the security and stability of regions, as well as of the neighbouring regions.

Intelligence services from different countries should improve cooperation and coordinate more effectively with the police and other security agencies. Member countries should have a proper roadmap for training and capacity building of human resources through joint exercises, as well as information exchange and technology transfer, whenever necessary.

I fully agree with the concern for securing ‘critical national infrastructure’ for each country, and for everyone. There must be, however, complete honesty when exchanging information, from one country to another, to prevent vulnerabilities in the economies of small and poor countries.

On the other hand, there are surely clear definitions in several regional frameworks, enabling the necessary coordination and subsequent cooperation between the various regions of the world.

In regard to the security of the seas, it is obvious that armed forces will have a broad role, which implies close cooperation between countries, as we have seen in many places. In this context, each region should have an effective mechanism in place to ensure that actions do not go beyond the planned missions. It is important to have clear programming of the steps to be taken, in order for the desired cooperation to be implemented at regional and broader levels.

There have been joint exercises, by various countries, with noble humanitarian assistance missions. I think that it is possible to change the perception of ‘strategic presence’ into an adequate understanding, for all, of the ‘security and stability framework’.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is because the world is still experiencing wars, here and there. These wars abide by an ideology – that of supremacy! This supremacy is based on the protection of economic interests.

In this world, in which we breathe freedom, policies are dictated by economic interests. We need only to look at Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen, that needed popular uprisings to express the aspirations of the people and to question regimes, while we all were scrutinizing other countries, under the banner of human rights and democracy. Regrettably, economic interests are also described as ‘national interest’ by some countries.

In every region we are part of, each country should assume the commitment to avoid solving, through war, any differences that may exist in bilateral or multilateral relations. This outcome is vital for this First Jakarta International Defense Dialogue.

We thought the Cold War had ended decades ago! However the new world order is still nowhere to be seen!

We remain divided into North and South, into rich and poor, into Westerners and Arabs, into Asians and Africans. We are still identified as Muslims and non-Muslims, as Christians and non-Christians. And we can see that many of the people, who hold power and influence, are still dominated by the cold war mentality.

The world has not freed itself from the psychological-political-ideological factor of distrust, which drives people further apart from each other and produces feelings of rivalry, that in turn lead to frictions that are some, or most, of the time unnecessary.

Small countries and developing countries, such as Timor-Leste, are worried because they have to live in the constant fear of being considered a non-friendly country. I think that this is just another aberration of this millennium.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are living in a new millennium and everyday developing countries are concerned about the MDGs, which will be difficult to achieve by 2015. And we are here at this First International Defence Dialogue that aims to achieve consensus on how countries and regional and international organizations will interact in the future.

In order to properly reflect on what can be done to ensure security and stability for everyone, I believe that we must look at the following issues:

1 – Are the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan still necessary, taking into account the constant loss of innocent lives?

2 – Should the violence between Palestine and Israel continue, without causing us remorse?

3 – Is it necessary for neighbouring countries to intervene in Bahrain?

4 – Is the operation in Libya truly vital, as some say?

5 – Should the tensions in various parts of the world guide some countries to prepare for open conflicts, while the rest of the world waits for the catastrophic outcomes? As the President of Indonesia yesterday referred to the Korean Peninsula - while we watch the commotion of the elderly people meeting for the first time after half a century… Does this not mean anything to us?

6 – Does the strong military presence, acting as deterrent, remain relevant, as if it actually inspires a feeling of security and stability?

I am simply raising these issues to add my concern to what my dear friend, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said in his opening remarks. And my thoughts come when I see many developed countries make drastic cuts in their defence and security budgets because of the global economic recession.

I do not want to think about the anguish of poor countries waiting for some assistance to alleviate the suffering of their peoples. Where are we headed in this time of uncertainty that affects not only developed countries but particularly developing ones?

Is this something to be considered only by the decision-making political sectors?

What are we, who are responsible for defence and security in our respective nations and perhaps in the regions that we are part of, expected to do? What should we prepare for? What should we organize ourselves for? To respond to what? To contribute to what?

The goal of this Dialogue can only be to create strategies for enhancing security and stability through an international framework. And I agree!

Therefore, I believe the time has come for us to think profoundly about the root causes of the problems throughout the world, which appear to be insoluble. Today we also have the opportunity to, at the very least, reflect on other alternatives, so that we may stop choosing the worst option, which is to use war as a means of solving problems, when we all know that war is never the best solution, and certainly not in today’s times.

I hope that these issues will help us be more responsible in promoting transparency in our actions, thereby correcting any flaws that may exist.

Perhaps it is now time to highlight the need for a new strategy, with a broader and equal standing participation in terms of setting the future path for the world. I see the absolute need to have a policy to promote a more active and comprehensive diplomacy! In my opinion, today’s diplomacy is merely a diplomacy of convenience, where we all try to please each other, compromising in some areas so as to win in others... within a general ambiguity that exists in policies that are guiding the world.

When we analyse what has happened in Egypt and in Libya, we should agree that, in Egypt, the armed forces had a crucial role in stabilising the situation, which ended in a referendum. On the other hand, this was not occurring in Libya.

I hope that the international community had attempted to speak to the Libyan generals to take courageous actions, just like in Yemen, where various generals joined the people. I understand the close circle around Gaddafi is still loyal to the regime, but are there no other possibilities? Let us recall what happened in Portugal, during the Carnations’ Revolution in 1974, where the captains made the change, just as we cannot forget the Philippines Revolution where Fidel Ramos and the armed forces also joined on the side of the people, and of course, Indonesia’s case itself. Are these not the lessons that we should take when dealing with similar problems?

Let us look at what is happening in the Ivory Coast today, a situation that seems to recommend something more than the mere presence of the strong peacekeepers’ armoured vehicles in a climate of complete instability and political violence.

In view of the climate change, perhaps the time has come for us all to think that the international community should make better use of its money, currently used in wars or major operations, to implement a global strategy to improve agricultural production in poor countries.

I raise these issues to help us think how we can contribute to security and stability in the world and how we can inspire peace, tolerance and solidarity between societies and nations. Security and stability will only come as a result of the improvement in the peoples’ lives.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Besides attempting to understand threats to the security and stability of countries, regions and the entire world, over the last few years we have been witnessing everywhere the terrible consequences of climate change and natural disasters. Torrential rains and landslides, hurricanes and floods, drought and bush fires, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis are the real threats of today, and there is no country on earth that can claim to be immune from these.

After Copenhagen, the world leaders met in Cancun and offered carbon credit to poor countries. While looking for money for these carbon credit projects, nature has been mercilessly intolerant of human indecision.

After everything that happened in Pakistan, in Sri Lanka, in several parts of the American continent, in Indonesia, in Australia and in New Zealand, the current crisis in Japan deserves careful reflection by us all.

What has been happening in these last few decades seems to prove that the international community is only ready to act in emergencies. World organizations do not seem to be very capable of contributing to the effective solution of problems. Indeed, these problems drag on, perhaps indicating the use of obsolete systems and the use and abuse of expensive mechanisms.

When we speak of international transparency in international framework organizations, we should agree that there should be, firstly, honesty on all sides… so that we do not always or almost always repeat the same mistakes. We only have to look at the assistance provided to Haiti, which was disastrous in so many aspects. There is, therefore, the need for transparency and accountability for these failures. There is also the need to make changes in the mobilisation of this type of assistance.

And there are more examples everywhere, both large and small. Unless we can break this chain of lack of transparency, in terms of international framework organizations, we will not be going anywhere.

Let us not forget that poverty, famine, disease and ignorance are the tragedies of many countries. And the sad reality is that, sometimes, a population, following a large flow of assistance, ends up poorer than it was before that assistance arrived.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Every year we have had the ‘Shangri-la Initiative’, where one of the agreed purposes designed for armed forces is their participation in disaster response. The ASEAN Regional Forum has also been active and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone involved.

I would also like to praise the joint exercise by 25 countries of the ARF in Manado, north Sulawesi, under the name of ARF DIREx. I think that this is a complex exercise ... in coordination between civilian and military personnel, and above all, because of the involvement of various countries.

In this context, the following debates will serve to improve the mechanisms and procedures currently in place and I believe more countries, including Timor-Leste, would be willing to participate.

However, there is yet another area for action in disaster response. Earthquake detection mechanisms should be available to all countries, and I believe that a training and capacity building program would be important for those countries that are yet to have such technology. Until then, access to information is extremely important to compensate the gap that exists between countries.

In my opinion, the response to the case of radioactivity in Fukushima was very slow, as if the relevant parties were already expecting the worst. History will remember: after Chernobyl, there was Fukushima. And after Fukushima, what next? We must wait for the countries with nuclear reactors to act and hopefully, some of them will decide to close their plants.

The truth is that the world is now saturated with science and technology and humankind has become hostage to its own ambitions.

In conclusion, I apologise to everyone if my intervention has only served as an obstacle to the debates, but coming from a young country that aspires to contribute to world peace, we are unable to offer any better.

Jakarta, 24 March 2011

Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão
Prime Minister and Minister of Defence and Security

Versão portuguesa

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