Tuesday, September 20, 2016


“Aspire to Inspire: Internationalism through Nationalism”


The IME International Conference is the first English speaking conference fully created by students of the British School Jakarta which is intended to inspire the future generations to have a greater sense of nationalism as well as a willingness to develop Indonesia and their own countries in the future.

This conference is intended to induce international tolerance amongst students hence the theme being “Internationalism to Nationalism.” In the welcoming speech, Simon Denis, the principal of the British School Jakarta, congratulated students who made this conference happen. Simon said that Indonesia had just commemorated the 71st anniversary and that, as an educational institution, the British School also wants to play a part for a better Indonesia.

Dr. Marty Natalegawa, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, delivered a speech about 'Understanding Our Interconnected World'.  Dr. Natalegawa said that we need to be aware of local, regional, national, and global issues such as the security domain, health issues, environmental issues, and many more fields. He also said that it cannot be denied that the development of technology has an impact on the approach we use to gain information. “Having more information does not guarantee that we are well-informed.” Thus, we should be able to be selective in getting and analyzing any information.  In addition to understanding our connected world, we need to improve the quality of listening. "Not only to hear, but we should also listen.” I had a chance to ask Dr Natalegawa what the young generation can do to take action when we are obstructed by government bureaucracy such as the educational system. He said that as the young generation, we need to find out what our concerns are and keep taking actions on them. “Don’t lose hope.” At the end of his speech he said that change is a permanent state of affairs and it is in the hand of everyone.

General Dr. Moeldoko, Former Commander in Chief of the Indonesian Armed Forces, delivered a speech about Innovating the Youth Generation: Turning Indonesia into ‘Macan Asia.’ Nowadays we face instability in political issues; youth can play a big role in creating change. “Don’t feel worried about taking action as long as you are doing the right thing.” At the end of his speech, he stated that we need challenges.

The third speaker of the conference was Nabiel Makarim, the Former Minister of Environmental Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. Nabiel Makariem presented 'The Role of Culture in the Development of Societies'. He said that we should start creating cultures of hard work, an ethical code, and time management to develop our beloved nation, Indonesia. He concluded his speech by encouraging the young generation to adopt the right work ethics, to learn and talk about it with others, to internalize it, and to spread it among others. “Start now! The fate of the nation depends on you!”

Yenny Wahid, a political activist and international advocate for religious tolerance, and the first daughter of Abdurahman Wahid, the Former President of the Republic of Indonesia, delivered a speech about Managing Diversity in an Increasingly Intolerant World.  She said we cannot just leave any issues in our country in somebody else's hand; we need to make an effort ourselves. Through the Wahid Institution, she has been organizing programs to promote peace and tolerance such as: youth initiatives, community empowerment programs, and a day of peace. In conclusion she mentioned the saying of her father, Abdurahman Wahid, “God needs no defense because He’s already the Almighty. Let’s defend those who are treated unjustly.”

The audience was also entertained by student performances, namely singing, band and the harp.  At the end of the conference, Gustika Jusuf Hatta, the Youth Delegate of IME 2016, presented about Youth Diplomacy: Fighting for the National Goal on an International Platform. Gustika said that the qualities needed to become a youth delegate are a profound  understanding of issues and projects that are happening globally and in our home country, an awareness of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and MDGs (Millenium Development Goals), languages skills including Bahasa Indonesia, dedication and willingness to learn, and confidence. As the granddaughter of Mohammad Hatta, the Former Vice President of the Republic Indonesia, she quoted what her grandfather said, “There is only one country that deserves to be my country. He grew up with actions and deeds, and the deeds are my deeds”.

Attending this conference was a good opportunity for Initiatives of Change (IofC) to build a network with the British School Jakarta and communities which have the same vision in creating peace in the world.

Reported by Yofrina Octika Gultom