Mon, 22 Aug 1994

Foreign ministry needs better human resources

JAKARTA (JP): As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs celebrated the country's 49th anniversary last week, its members were urged to enhance the quality of human resources to face future challenges.

"The foreign ministry continuously tries to improve the ability and proficiency of its employees through training, instructional courses and educational programs both at home and abroad," Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Alatas said Friday.

Alatas elaborated on how the changing global setting compels Indonesia to elevate the quality of its people, including those entrusted with implementing the country's foreign policy.

Throughout the First Long Term Development Plan (PJPT I), the foreign ministry has sponsored 62 Master's degree graduates, eight doctoral degrees and 78 graduates of diplomatic courses from various universities abroad.

Amid humble beginnings on Aug. 19, 1945, the first Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmad Soebardjo, opened the office on the second floor of Jl. Cilacap 4, Central Jakarta.

Building a foreign ministry proved to be a particularly arduous task since it could not emulate former Dutch administrative procedures or resources already operating in Jakarta. Being a colony, such tasks were performed directly in The Hague.

Nevertheless, within five short years the ministry established itself not only as a primly working department but also expanded to 28 representative offices abroad.


The enrollment of the seven young men at a foreign affairs training course at the Miniterie van Buitenlandse Zaken, the Dutch foreign ministry, in the Hague in 1949 marked the beginning of the refinement of personnel as stressed by Alatas on Friday.

"The key factors to improvement not only lie in intellectual sophistication and professional skill, but also on the level of dedication, motivation and mentality," Alatas said.

However the minister was quick to acknowledge that despite his demands for exceptional dedication and professionalism, the ministry still needs to fulfill the material wants of its employees.

"Though still inadequate and not yet equitable, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, despite all its restrictions, will continue to improve the welfare of its employees," Alatas pledged.

During the ceremony on Friday, Alatas bestowed Bintang Jasa Utama medals on Soewarno Danusutedjoas as the ministry's Secretary General, Wiryono Sastrohandoyo as former Dir. Gen. of Political Affairs and current ambassador to Paris, Wisber Loeis as Dir. Gen. of Foreign Economic Relations and Hasyim Djalal as ambassador to Germany.

Alatas also gave 43 Satyalancana Karya Satya medals to 53 employees who have dedicated 25 years of their services to the ministry. (mds)