Pembukaan Regional Dialogue on Interfaith and Cooperation
oleh Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, dan dalam sambutan
beliau telah digarisbawahi bahwa ketika prejudice
etnik dan agama diperburuk oleh situasi ekonomi dan politik,
maka konflik memang tak terhindarkan. Karena itu kita menganggap
penting dialog antar civilisasi dan kita tahu bahwa agama
dan budaya merupakan core atau elemen pokok dari
peradaban. Dan karena itulah interfaith dialogue ini
diadakan, saya sudah menyebut asal muasal dari gagasan ini.
Selain itu juga dilatarbelakangi keberhasilan upaya bersama
Indonesia-Australia dalam menyelenggarakan berbagai konferensi
regional di bidang penyelundupan manusia, money laundering
terrorism, maka kali ini kita lihat peluang Indonesia
dan Australia untuk sekali lagi mempromosikan dialog antar
agama di kawasan. Dan karena itulah kita lihat kehadiran
dari negara-negara anggota ASEAN, Australia, Timor Leste,
New Zealand dan Papua New Guinea.
Dari tiap negara juga telah diundang 10 anggota
delegasi. Dialog ini juga, bagi Indonesia, merupakan suatu
upaya terus menerus untuk mendorong upaya memberdayakan
kelompok moderat, baik dalam agama maupun dalam masyarakat.
Pada bulan Februari, Deplu bekerjasama dengan organisasi
terbesar Islam, NU, telah menyelenggarakan International
Conference of Islamic Scholars, dan dengan begitu Indonesia
ingin mendorong pemberdayaan kelompok moderat dalam Islam.
Kali ini konferensi telah mengundang organisasi Muslim lainnya,
yaitu Muhammadiyah, untuk menjadi mitra dalam penyelenggaraan
dialog ini. Jadi kita juga menyaksikan bahwa dalam pertemuan
ASEAN Summit dan juga dalam pertemuan para Menteri Luar
Negeri anggota SwPD di Adelaide, Australia Selatan, terdapat
sambutan yang baik atas penyelenggaraan dialog, bahkan ada
harapan dialog seperti ini juga merupakan kegiatan yang
berlanjut. Jadi Presiden juga menyebut kemungkinan untuk
melembagakan proses ini. Nantinya kami akan pikirkan bagaimana
pelembagaan proses seperti ini ke depan.
Juga Indonesia telah memastikan untuk melakukan,
bersama dengan pemerintah Inggris, untuk menyelenggarakan
dialog antar agama ini dalam kerangka ASEM yang akan dilaksanakan
pada bulan Juni tahun depan dan melibatkan 38 negara anggota
ASEM. Jadi kita ingin mendorong proses dialog ini bahkan
tidak hanya kawasan atau antar kawasan tapi juga secara
global. Terlebih lagi kita juga menyadari bahwa di dalam
situasi global saat ini dengan mencuatnya isu terorisme
dan upaya menanggulanginya maka hanya dengan kerjasama internasional
melalui suatu global coalition yang melibatkan semua
civilisasi dan semua agama maka kita akan mampu memenangkan
perang terhadap terorisme. Kita telah melakukan banyak kerjasama
bilateral di dunia internasional, dan tidak kalah penting
kerjasama bilateral dengan Australia dalam konteks counter-terrorism.
Tapi pada jangka menengah dan jangka panjang perang melawan
terorisme akan tergantung pada apakah kita berhasil memberdayakan
Colleagues, I have said in bahasa Indonesia
what basically has reflected in the joint-press-statement
that we have prepared and distributed to you. I simply say
in a few lines, that this is the first kind of regional
interfaith dialogue we have hosted in cooperation with the
Government of Australia and this dialogue interfaith dialogue
is welcomed not only by the ASEAN Summit but also by the
SwPD prior to this meeting which was held in Adelaide, Australia,
two days ago.
And as President has said this morning in his
inaugural address that we are thinking on how to institutionalize
the process, and at ministerial level we have to yet 
certainly in cooperation with Australia with the thinking
and translating this into actions in the future.
We see the importance of this interfaith dialogue
because the success in our joint or collective efforts in
combating terrorism in the medium and long term will depends
on, to large extent, if we are able to successfully empowering
the moderates, not only the moderates within one religion
but also in all religions and societies. Of course there
is a need then to also translate this dialogue at this level
down to the grass roots and in practical level. This is
a challenge, but I believe, as I met with quite a number
of participants, they are very enthusiastic about this process.
Again I believe that this will be a process that deserves
support from communities at large, including the press,
but also of all countries and all religions.
I just would like to add that from Australia's perspective
we are delighted to co-host the dialogue, we see it as a
very important first step towards building confidence and
understanding between various faiths of our region which
incorporate the major faiths of the whole world. I think
we are setting an example not only to ourselves in the region
but to the world, that it is possible to get representatives
of all the major religions together and for them to sit
down and to talk about common values that they share for
all of those faiths and to transmit their positive values
to the people to follow those different faiths in other
region. And of course the war against terrorism and against
violence and extremism was put in different ways that obviously
in the past there have been military and police component,
law and order component, change of legislative component,
multilateral, bilateral, regional components, and these
has been much talk about over the last few years, and I
think we have made a great deal of progress as a region
in addressing some of these issues. That's not to say that
there aren't other substantial problems, because there are.
But I think there is another component and that is to empower
as much as we possibly can, moderate voices, including moderate
voices of faith, moderate religious leaders, and this process
I think is, in time, going to make a very strong contribution
to that particular task.
This is only the beginning, and I appreciate
the president very gracious speech in opening the dialogue.
In fact that the president of Indonesia should come down
from Jakarta specifically to do that, is enormously appreciated
and it sends a very strong message about the weight that
Indonesia, a country of over 200 million people, and fourth
biggest country in the world, 88 percent of the population
as Moslem, and the fact that the president of the country,
democratically elected president, would come and give this
interfaith dialogue the momentum that we stand as a very
important and much more the president made it clear that
he wants this to be a permanent process. So Hassan Wirajuda
has said that we are going to have to sit down and think
about how we actually do that. But I know too from talking
to the Australian participants that they would like it to
be an ongoing process and if it is just for one meeting
it's going to have relatively limited impact compared to
what we can achieve if we set up some kind of a permanent
process. So we are going to have our head together and our
officials put their heads together and work on how we are
going to do that. But I think already that's a very good
And to cover something that Hassan has said
that this is yet another example of Indonesia-Australia
cooperation in addressing regional problem, I think we have
made a great progress in addressing the problem of people
smuggling and we can take a lot of credit, the two of our
governments, for what we have done throughout our cooperation
there, in particular more broadly in our own region by taking
a lead on that issue. We've done the same with regional
counter-terrorism through the counter-terrorism ministerial
meeting that we hold in February and we subsequently seen
working group emerge. But the process is going ahead well
and now dealing this issue is another very positive development
in Australia-Indonesia Cooperation.
you disappointed that the Malaysian delegates did not show
From the very beginning in our consultations we were positive
that Malaysia would send its delegations. Of course we will
find out the problems they have, that eventually Malaysian
delegation will not with us.
it surprise you?
I learnt only this morning, just prior to the opening ceremony.
Ya, sejak awal pemikirannya adalah bagaimana memberdayakan
kelompok moderat. Karena sesungguhnya kita juga meyakini
bahwa sekelompok radikal atau ekstrim terutama di Indonesia
itu merupakan kelompok yang sangat kecil. Tapi karena suaranya
vokal, nyaring, maka sepertinya mereka yang mewakili mainstream
Indonesia. Dengan penyelenggaran konferensi yang dihadiri
oleh kelompok-kelompok moderat termasuk dari Indonesia,
maka kita ingin memperkuat suara moderasi tidak hanya kelompok-kelompok
dari Islam tapi juga semua agama, karena dengan begitu kita
ingin ada message yang kuat bahwa semua agama adalah mencintai
perdamaian, mengajarkan perdamaian dan toleransi, dan bukan
kekerasan apalagi terorisme.
Downer, could you comment on the view of some Moslem leaders
including the moderate ones that western countries like
US and Australia have played a role in radicalizing Moslem
across the world by carried out aggression in Moslem countries
like Iraq and Afghanistan? And what Australia is going to
do to counter this view?
This is what we are doing and what we are doing is getting
other people from different countries, from different faith,
from different cultures together to talk about different
perception they may have. Often in human affairs difficulties
are caused by differences of perception and misunderstanding
not necessarily by the reality, for example, what the US
do to help the people of Bosnia, Albanian Kosovo who are
Moslem people, and protect them, needs to be considered.
Also the US, Australia, Indonesia, and most of the world
support the road map for peace in the Middle East and we
have now I think a great opportunity to take that process
forward and I think if the road map in the end can be implemented
we can get a satisfactory settlement in the Middle East
and obviously it's gonna be a great step forward. And in
the case of Afghanistan, the fact that the Moslem people
in Afghanistan went to vote in a great numbers recently
and elected their own president and have a completely empowered
in their own country, that... is it ideal that they prefer
the Taliban running the country through a repressive regime?
I think a lot of this is just trying to talk through whether
maybe differences of perceptions talk those things through.
This is what I find the whole time, if we find people share
the values, and nobody wants to see Christian or Moslem
or Buddhist, or Hindus, or whatever persecuted. Actually
no people want to see other people persecuted, they don't
want to see the lack of compassion, they don't want to see
cruelty. The question is how would you address, within that
framework, the problems that the world has today? I am hoping
that this dialogue is just the way of looking these issues
from a different angle. Of course there is disagreement,
you can't expect everybody,... you never will have everybody
sharing one view, and I think the president made that point.
I am not suggesting everyone should hold one view, I am
not suggesting every body to be the same, I am not suggesting
that there aren't differences between human being. It's
not realistic. Pluralism is part of human existence, the
question is how do we get understanding and tolerance, and
cooperation. And this isn't everything, but this is making
contribution to that.
Hassan, apakah hasil dari pertemuan ini akan menjadi suatu
resolusi yang akan ditransform menjadi policy pemerintah
misalnya di dalam kurikulum, atau sekolah agama, seperti
Tentunya kami dari pemerintah Indonesia dan Australia, dan
saya kira pemerintah dan negara-negara peserta menunggu
dengan harapan baik apa rekomendasi yang akan dihasilkan
dari pertemuan ini. Sebagai input kebijakan, tentunya akan
sangat berharga dan sangat dihargai. Sebab kita juga ingin
agar dialog ini tidak hanya terjadi pada tataran para pemimpin
agama, tapi juga pada waktunya untuk diterjemahkan dalam
langkah-langkah praktis. Karena itu judulnya adalah Interfaith
Dialogue and Cooperation.
:  that
indicate deepening sentiment toward a significant  as
some in Australia see it to be a deepening sentiment against
the US and Australia. My question, is it not reasonable
to suggest that Australian foreign policy and the US foreign
policy particularly in Iraq speak far more loudly to extremists
and to people generally in this country then this sort of
Well, may be your view. I don't think that in that in the
end that's a view I share. I have seen some references in
a newspaper, I think, in The Australian today, there
is an article about it, to the survey, I don't see a survey
though. I am not sure how much weight put on it, its an
American survey, as I understand it. I don't know how many
people they surveyed, I don't know what part of Indonesia
they surveyed, I am going to be very cautious with this
thing, I can tell you. An opinion polls can be very misleading.
On the other hand, this is what the dialogue is all about.
Of course there are differences in view, there are differences
of perception, there are different policies, there are different
arguments. The argument about Iraq, there is an argument
for some that it would have been better to leave Saddam
Hussein in power. It's not a view shared by most of the
Iraqis, but it's a view that some would have. There is another
view that it's better to get rid of him. The civilized people
can have civilized discussion about these things. We can
disagree without being disagreeable. I think all of differences
whatever they may be, I suspect the heart of these things
has nothing to do with Iraq, but all of these differences,
may be between faith, and culture, they need to be talk
through. The president is completely right we can't slam
your fist down and demand everybody has the same outlook,
policy or approach, or the same faith. We can't do that.
It will never work. You have to bring people together and
help them to develop some understandings of different perspectives.
The more people talk about these things, the more they develop
an understanding. Not just be driven by the hysteria of
headlines that is designed to sell advertising in newspapers
and so on. But the more people get together and talk about
differences and we'll have a successful regional pluralistic
society. And that's one of the thing out of many things
we need to aim for.
been talking about the people in the other region, lets
look to Indonesia, surely to the rest of people in Indonesia,
a function like this in a hotel certainly does not have
Well, that's an argument for doing nothing, I suppose, or
for changing your own culture, changing your alliance, changing
your policy,...  I think what we are trying to do here
is . One of the thing that we need to do is to get the
religious leaders of the world together and to develop an
understanding and a dialogue among those people. I think
that in itself is going to be a very useful contribution
in dealing with some of the problem we have in the region,
and that does include differences of perspectives. There
are a lot of other thing you can do as well, and this argument
that somehow everybody should agree with everybody, that
there should be one single policy that will always be pursue
by everyone. Even if you though that is possible, I can
give you a firm guarantee that is not what's going to happen.
Different countries have different perspective, they have
a different world view, different history, different culture,
they are all sort of things that drive different policies.
An important thing, they talk to each other about that in
different way, and this is a way of doing it out of many
ways. But I don't think that the fact this take place in
a hotel in Yogyakarta means that it is better it didn't
Well we have a very constructive discussion about regional
and bilateral relations, and of course the interfaith dialogue,
and I think he knows from the Prime Minister, there were
reports of the Prime Minister's meeting with the president,
they have met twice or three time actually in recent times,
in the inauguration in APEC meeting in Santiago, and in
ASEAN Summit in Vientiane. We have a very constructive and
closed relationship with President Yudhoyono, and I have
worked with him in his capacity as the Coordinating Minister
for Politic and Security, and he's become a good friend
of ours. In fact President Yudhoyono shared a birth date,
something we know. Unfortunately it is in the month of September,
which was the day of the Jakarta's Embassy bombing. And
we had talked about a full range of issues, I am not going
into the details of the conversation. But I can report to
you there is an extremely positive and constructive discussion.
Hassan, The PM of Malaysia at the weekend said that Australia's
refusal to sign on the TAC could damage Australia's relations
with South East Asia. Do you agree and do you really would
like Mr. Downer to sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation?
To Indonesia that conclusion is a bit too early. We had
had the experience in dealing with Japan, South Korea, and
initially we too had difficulties. And we encouraged them
to accede to the treaty (TAC), this question was raised
in the ASEAN Summit but in Indonesia's view we should let
in this case Australia and New Zealand to the issue. It
may take sometime, but like in the case of the country I
mentioned. But of course we are hopeful that one day in
the near future Australia would respond positively.
On Myanmar we have discussed bilaterally in our meeting
with Mr. Downer. But on the issue discussed at this interfaith
dialogue, not to mention lots problem and the situation
we are facing today. Terrorism is only one but of course
important one, but also important question of development.
And indeed with the very theme of this meeting, interfaith
dialogue and cooperation, so then more then just a question
of terrorism, but also development. We need to translate
efforts to strengthen the moderates not only at the leader's
level but also the grass roots and at practical level of
cooperation So 9 the conclusion and the recommendations
of this conference as important input to us.
Well one of the  was saying that we don't want to focus
on terrorism. Terrorism is obviously a vast issue that confront
and affect us all. But there is also a communal violence
in different part of the region, not just terrorism, and
perhaps in the sense we understand terrorism, in the context
of the Bali bombing, the Marriots and the Australian Embassy
bombing, but there's of course inter-communal conflict,
not only in Indonesia but also in the other part of the
region. The real issue I think is perception and understanding.
Frankly personally I think it is obviously important It's
easy to say but hard to do that those perception and understanding
between religion be developed. So this is not just a question
of dealing with terrorism, though partly it's a question
that is dealing with terrorism, that's why in the President's
speech and our speeches reflected that.
:  they
end up with a statement that he describes as nothing more
but platitude. I just wonder how would you decide whether
this event has been a success, what will need to come out
of it to warrant having another one?
I don't think we'll look so much for a statement as a in
a piece of paper coming out of this first ever regional
interfaith dialogue, because I think the  statement that
would come out of it is... I have had this discussion with
the Australian delegates  easy to produce a statement
which is platitude achievement to the point of being banal.
And that will make people cynical and so whether it wouldn't
be easy to achieve. And I would have though what would come
out of it is the beginning of a process, I think that what's
going to be very important. And this whole notion of establishing
some sort of a permanent dialogue between the great faiths
of the region has the potential to be extremely powerful
and I think those people, well they'll come out with ideas
that we, the o of us, may or may not agree with. They are
bond to come out with ideas from time to time that we don't
agree with. But I think they have the potential to exercise
a good deal of influence, influence on government but more
importantly influence on followers and flocks. And these
people who follow these religious leaders I think could
be significantly influence in time, not this week, but in
time, by the experiences that those leaders have in interacting
with each other in a forum like this. So I don't look at
it in term of having some kind of a spectacular announcement
at the end of it, but surely that's not going to happen.
I look at it in term of setting in place of a process which
is going to have a long term impact on the way different
communities approach each other and think about each other.
Not trying to get them all to agree with each other, we
are not trying to get all people  to agree with each other,
but just to understand where each other is coming from.
The fact that we live in the same neighborhood should not
make us take for granted that we understand each other better.
And this interfaith dialogue is precisely meant to create
an understanding among people in this region. And as religion
is important component of civilization, indeed through this
process we have also created not only better understanding
but in the end also of course the totality peace and 
in this region. I see this meeting as a process and now
we would like to see the outcome, but don't undermine the
importance of the process itself and as I said it is not
a one time... having an agreement but this process will
be institutionalized in the future.
Thank you very much