Farewell speech for H.E. Ibu Retno Marsudi

13 Jan 2015

Your Excellency, dear Retno,

It was and is such a privilege to know you, Retno.

I remember so well when I first heard about you, an Indonesian friend told me: ‘Imagine Ibu, she bikes from Wassenaar to the Embassy in The Hague’.

The second thing I heard about you was: ‘Imagine Ibu, she is always at time, on the dot’.

The third thing I heard was during an incident in the Dutch parliament with Indonesia (not for the first time) about ‘tanks’. I was told: ‘Imagine Ibu, she – that was you Retno – went straight up to the MP who was in the midst of causing the upheaval and she – that was you Retno – talked it straight out’. Not difficult to understand that you are admired and respected by all the women parliamentarians in Den Haag – and surely also by the men.

The fourth thing was when I asked you to have diner with Peter who was a few days in Wassenaar. You told me ‘Another time Ibu, as I am fasting’. So I asked ‘how come, it is not Ramadan’. Then you told me: ‘My son is doing an examination in Jakarta, so I am fasting to support him’. What a beautiful thought!

Dear Retno, we are a little bit sad that President Jokowi gave you another job, because we all respect and love you so much. But we are all also very happy and victorious because you not only have become the new Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia, but also in ‘spirit’ we hope a little bit our own Minister of Foreign Affairs and Europe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in the vast continent Asia, were half of the people of the world live.

Many people want to say something to you, so I keep it short.

Retno again, it is and was a great privilege to know you, Agus and your family.

I hope and expect that the coming years together with your President and your team will be a success. You will be a blessing to Indonesia, Asia and the world.

Joty ter Kulve.