Recently Dr Stephen McLoughlin was invited to take part in a Diplomatic Training Course in Indonesia, sponsored by the Indonesian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. He was honoured to be one of nine international participants, consisting mostly of senior diplomats from around the globe. The delegation also included 22 key participants from Indonesia.
Participants were involved in a variety of workshops and seminars on topics such as Terrorism, International Security, ASEAN and Maritime Security. They not only had presentations on these topics but also had time for collaboration with fellow participants. Additionally they spent time visiting major centres for business in Indonesia- Bank of Indonesia and the Stock Market; as well as cultural centres including South Kalimantan, and Bandung.
The participants were taken on an early morning boat cruise through the water markets in South Kalimantan. Here Stephen witnessed the unique way the people of this region live and work. In Bandung participants were involved with a Ceremony to commemorate the birth of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The experience gave Stephen the opportunity to interact with various diplomats from all over the Asia Pacific. It gave him new perspectives on the current issues faced by the region both economically and politically. Indonesia has become a major player on the world stage. It was enlightening for Stephen to see the changes this country has made over the past decade.