It’s now been 15 months since I took up this post as Papua New Guinea’s Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia.  Since its inception, and consequently its official launch on 17th September 2012, our website:  www.kundu-jakarta.com has been in the cyber space for approximately 5 months.  Having gone past its trial and error period, with morefine-tuning of appropriate information and services, the website is now ready for regular updates, and new ideas.

The time is now right to post my first Blogg, after allowing for the initial idea to better utilize the right technology to enhance our core business of diplomacy.  The diplomacy in essence is about relationships.  Nations enjoy good relations through good diplomatic practises, and effort.  Throughout the history of mankind there has never been a time like now that technology is now a way of life.  Just as social media is now impacting the way of doing things in public organizations, private enterprises, non-government organizations, and the individual.  Kundu Jakarta will endeavour to make good use of its website to achieve four important pillars of the embassy’s role:  Firstly, inform the public what Kundu Jakarta is about, as an Embassy, and what the Embassy can do and provide with relations to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea;  Secondly, , inform the public domestically, and globally, about the country of Papua New Guinea, the Independent State, and all related national information and links with Government, Public Institutions, Private Sector, and citizens and residents;  Thirdly, continuously highlight our bilateral relations, activities, contributing to improving and strengthening the Papua New Guinea/ Indonesia Bilateral Relations.  Fourth, provide some useful online services, among others, visa application.

My first 18 months as the Ambassador has passed fairly rapidly.  This has been an exciting first year of new experiences as a diplomat, in a country that is relatively a new democracy, with fast changing political, economic and social trends.  The Republic of Indonesia (RI) is in my view a very interesting country that has handled its domestic and global challenges, in terms of the ongoing global financial woes of many countries today,  has managed handle its own challenges well, and continues to improve and strengthen as a strong economic player in the region, and the world.  This is a country, according to the Jakarta Post early this year, experiences 1,500 new motor bike registrations every working day, and 600 new motor vehicle registrations every working day as well.  Jakarta city alone has now a growing population of 13 million in the day time, and 2 million goes home outside of Jakarta at night.(Statistics from the Governor of Jakarta, Dec 2012,)  this numbers were advised during the Diplomatic Corp brief by the Governor and his key staff.  There is also friendly speculation, that Jakarta may have more Super Shopping Plazas compared to New York.  True or not, Jakarta is certainly are very fast growing city by global standards.

Giving the above back ground to my first 18 months, I have also taken the liberty, and that is with sincere thanks to the Government of Indonesia for the timely approval to visit the Papua, and West Papua Cities, and communities of Jayapura, Manokwari, and Merauke.  In both Jayapura and Merauke, I had the opportunity to visit the common border establishments apart from other important engagements with local authorities.  In future blogs I will write on specific issues during this visits, and future visits.  I have also had the opportunity to visit Surabaya, witnessing PNG Defence Force personnel training, and the CASA 502 repair and maintenance, and some upgrade work been done.  In early September 2012, I accepted an invitation to witness the annual International Students Program in Jogyakarta.  20 new Papua New Guinea students were also present for the event.  There are almost over 40 students studying in various Universities and colleges throughout Indonesia.  The scholarship program currently on offer to young Papua New Guineans continues to be improved and sustained for future intakes.

The Embassy hosted a successful 37th Independent Anniversary Celebrations at the Sultan Hotel on 17th September 2012.  Because 16th September fell on a Sunday, the celebration was move back to Monday to ensure most invited guests were able to attend, and enjoy.  The Anniversary was a great success and was truly an eye opener for many who did not know where PNG was, and including those who thought PNG was somewhere in Africa.  It may sound ridiculous to many educated Papua New Guineas in this day and age, but there are still many who do not know where, and who Papua New Guinea is.

Hence, www.kundu-jakarta.com; will provide a smart and intelligent media to inform people where, what, why, how who Papua New Guinea is, including what it is made of, its diversity, it’s abundant blessings of natural resources, flora, and fauna, encased with towering mountain ranges, valleys, waterways, and widely spread 600 Islands, and Islets.  Not forgetting, the 1,000 different tribes, with 800 different languages, and dialects, that typifies the unpredictability and vulnerable nature of PNG.  More to come in the next Blogg!