ASEM members prepare for Poznan

14 October 2014

Source: Jakarta Post, the (Indonesia)
Source type: Newspaper
Published on: 17 Apr 2010

Indonesia has proposed that members of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) step up conservation efforts to prevent historical sites from being destroyed.

The meeting, attended by 60 delegates from 20 countries, was held in preparation for the 4th ASEM Culture Minister Meeting in Poznan, Poland, in September.

Director General of American-European Affairs at the Foreign Ministry, Retno L.P. Marsudi, said on Friday that the meeting was of great importance because the outcome would be developed as part of Indonesia's foreign policy.

"We usually engage in soft diplomacy, such as cultural dialogue," she said, adding that the declaration draft formulated in the meeting would be presented at Poznan.

The ASEM, an informal forum of Asian and European countries, is comprised of 43 countries, 16 from Asia (10 ASEAN states and six North, East and South Asian countries), 27 European Union (EU) countries and the ASEAN Secretariat and European Commission.

"We are expected to share our experience in managing heritage conservation," Retno said.

Director General of History and Archeological Affairs at the Tourism and Cultural Ministry, Hari Untoro, said Indonesia had benefited from the forum as it could engage in cultural diplomacy to secure the interests of the Indonesian government.

"ASEM can also be a forum to exchange information that could facilitate cooperation between Indonesia and Asian and European countries, such as technical cooperation and to further improve bilateral and multilateral ties," he added.

The ASEM Culture Ministers Meeting (ASEM CMM) is held once every two or three years in an effort to improve cultural cooperation.

Beijing hosted the inaugural meeting in 2003, followed by Paris in 2005, Kuala Lumpur in 2008 and Poznan, Poland, will host the next round from Sept. 9 to 10 this year.

Indonesia is hosting the second Preparatory Senior Official Meeting prior to the ASEM CMM.

The first preparatory meeting was held in Krakow, Poland, in October last year.

Apart from the workshop, delegates also discussed the planned agenda for Poznan and several other issues associated with the meeting, such as the call to develop Asian and European communities based on culture and issues of equal policies in the field of cultural heritage.

Polish Ambassador to Indonesia Thomas Lucaszuk said Poland and Indonesia harbored the same interests in that both countries were concerned about preserving their many respective historical heritage.

On Saturday, participants are scheduled to ride the Jaladara steam train that crosses the city. They will also visit the Danar Hadi Batik Museum that boasts a vast collection of batik cloth, and the Surakarta Keraton Palace, an Indonesian cultural heritage site.

Author: Suherdjoko and Blontank Poer