Morning: Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tuesday morning, the participants started the day at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the Netherlands, in Den Haag. The session was hosted by Hanjo de Kuiper, Deputy Head for South East Asia. Mr. Hanjo gave a presentation surrounding the theme of building bridges between Indonesia and the Netherlands. He started first by making comparisons between geographical differences, and language similarities. He then introduced the names of the key people in each Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The thing he strongly emphasized was that Indonesia and the Netherlands were to establish a relationship between equals for the future, that is not just about aid but also trade, aptly named ‘Partnership 2.0’. ‘Partnership 2.0’ is a joint declaration on a comprehensive relationship between Indonesia and the Netherlands, especially on Business and Trade, Higher Education, Security & Rule fo Law, Human Rights, and Water.
After Mr. Hanjo’s presentation, there was also a short presentation on the Netherlands’ foreign policy, where human rights stands as one of the pillars, the other being security and prosperity. In the Netherlands’, priorities for human rights efforts are protection of human rights’ defenders, equal rights for LGBTI, and equal rights for women.
Following up the presentations were the question and answer session. The several starting questions were questions regarding the MoFA’s foreign policies, and programs. Then an interesting question was raised by a Dutch participant, on why policies and governments always stresses that its’ focusing on the future, without looking much at the history that was built in the past. With the relationship between Indonesia and the Netherlands this is especially important as what has happened in the past with the colonization of 350 years and the Aggression came soon after Indonesia declared Independence. This point was responded by an Indonesian participant, who shared that he felt hurt when his young Dutch colleagues at work did not seem fully aware of what happened to Indonesia because of the colonization, and didn’t regard it as something serious. As the other Dutch participants pointed out, this attitude is quite common because there is a discrepancy of information that is being told in the history lessons, and the government did not sincerely acknowledge what happened in the past. The Indonesian participants also agreed that there are major differences in framing history.
Afternoon – New World Campus
In the afternoon, the New World Campus hosted the group. The New World Campus is a place that incubates breakthrough solutions to local and international challenges. It also greatly supports social innovations and social entrepreneurships. There, the group got to experience a tour of the Campus, and also had lunch there. Afterwards, the afternoon session started in one of the rooms in the Campus.
The session started with a reflection from the previous session, led by Karen. Technically, the group gave suggestions to improve the seminar onwards, including stronger structure and direction. The group also gave ideas on how to expand the exposure of the Frans Seda Foundation, such as:
- Revamping the website
- Activate social media
- Create a blog that shares participants’ experience
- Publish papers and articles regarding the Seminar
Then, each participant shared what was poignant from him or her. Overall, the differences in framing history between Indonesia and the Netherlands were a matter that echoes to mostly everyone. This also sparked ideas on what the group can do to incorporate this matter for their project. The logic was: to build bridges (the theme of the Frans Seda Foundation Seminar), it needs a strong foundation. Strong foundations are built on trust and good relationship. To be able to build this trust and relationship, there also needs to be an understanding on each other’s perspectives and feelings, including on history. This discussion went through until the session ended, and it was decided that the group project would be deliberated more on the next day.
The group then had drinks at Pavlov in Den Haag, followed by dinner at a Chinese restaurant: Full Moon City.