Foreign ministers of Indonesia and Japan discuss progress toward the WPS agenda

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
January 22, 2024

On December 16, 2023, the Peacebuilding Program of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) hosted the Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi and her Japanese counterpart Yoko Kamikawa at the event Why do we need women's perspectives? Female Foreign Ministers of Japan and Indonesia Talk. In the context of complex, global conflicts, the event explored the critical role of women in building and maintaining sustainable peace and highlighted areas for collaboration between Japan and ASEAN countries.

The event was held alongside the Commemorative Summit for the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, which invited heads of state from ASEAN member states to Tokyo from December 16-18. In recognition of the critical role of women in global security issues, the Joint Vision Statement issued during the summit included support of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda as a central element in pursuit of peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

“We need to have diversity of perspectives to see even greater stability in politics and to have democracy be nurtured in a richer manner," said Kamikawa when speaking at the event.

“As a woman, as a mother, as a grandmother, and of course I'm a foreign minister as well, I cannot see this continue. I promise to myself to defend justice and humanity,” Retno said, referring to the ongoing conflict in Gaza. “In a world becoming more divided, we need inclusive perspective that can enrich our understanding, enhance our actions, and bridge differences, and for sure, we need women perspectives.”

Retno then went on to highlight Indonesia’s active participation in UN peacekeeping operations, with 119 women peacekeepers currently working in 7 missions. This number is expected to more than double based on a recent pledge made at the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial. As part of these efforts, Retno pointed to longstanding cooperation between Indonesia and Japan in training peacekeepers and expressed her hope that this collaboration would continue.

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