Indonesian Foreign Minister in Vienna For Ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and Recognition of Palestine

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: July 4, 2024; 10:15 ♦ Updated: July 5; 15:21 ♦ (Vindobona)

During her visit to Vienna, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), Dr. Robert Floyd, and her Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg. Ms. Marsudi's agenda included supporting the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) and strengthening bilateral relations with Austria.

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (l.) received his counterpart from Indonesia Retno Marsudi (r.) in Vienna. / Picture: © BMEIA Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres / Michael Gruber / Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Retno Marsudi emphasized the importance of ratification of the CTBT by all countries in order for the treaty to enter into force. Nine Annex II countries, including China, North Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the USA, have not yet ratified the treaty. Russia is the youngest member of the Nine and most recently de-ratified the treaty, as reported by Vindobona.org. Indonesia itself ratified the treaty back in 2011.

"In a world full of uncertainties, it is our responsibility to strengthen multilateralism," said Marsudi. She emphasized that Indonesia operates six CTBTO seismic stations, which are beneficial for the tsunami early warning system in Indonesia.

Bilateral meeting with Austria's Foreign Minister

The year 2024 marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Austria. Over these seven decades, both countries have developed a positive dynamic on both a political and economic level. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg emphasized the importance of this long-standing partnership and the need to further intensify and expand cooperation. Particularly in view of the recently signed memorandum of understanding on the recruitment of skilled workers and the increasing economic cooperation, new opportunities and synergies are opening up for both nations

Bilateral relations and global issues, in particular the Middle East conflict, were also at the forefront with Foreign Minister Schallenberg. Marsudi called on Austria to recognize Palestine in order to demonstrate support for the two-state solution. She praised Austria's humanitarian aid to Palestine, including recently resumed support of 3.4 million euros for UNRWA.

"A ceasefire must be implemented immediately to save the lives of innocent people in Gaza," Marsudi said. Schallenberg supported the US proposal for a ceasefire to free hostages and allow more humanitarian aid to Gaza. At the same time, he emphasized the role of Hamas in the escalation of violence.

Economic and educational cooperation

Trade and investment cooperation between Indonesia and Austria is growing continuously. In 2023, trade reached a value of USD 458 million, an increase of 9.8% compared to the previous year. The value of Austrian investment in Indonesia increased by 51% to USD 102.2 million.

Both ministers agreed that the Indonesia-EU CEPA negotiations should be finalized soon. Marsudi called for increased Austrian investment in renewable energy, digital economy and tourism infrastructure.

Cultural and personnel exchange

In the field of education, both countries welcomed the intensified cooperation and agreed to expand it with new elements such as teacher training and dual study programs. An agreement on the recruitment of skilled workers from Indonesia for the Austrian labor market was also signed.

The strengthening of intercultural relations will be further promoted by the 8th Indonesian-Austrian Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (IAID) in Bandung in July, which will focus on topics such as climate change and women's rights.

The visit of the Indonesian Foreign Minister to Vienna underlined the importance of multilateralism and international cooperation in an uncertain world. Bilateral relations between Indonesia and Austria, which can look back on 70 years, are to be further deepened and expanded, with a focus on economic cooperation, education and cultural exchange.

Austrian MFA

Indonesian MFA