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Jakarta "The 16th International Senior Diplomatic Course" was officially opened by Ambassador Salman Al Farisi, the Foreign Minister's Special Advisor on Institutional Relations  on Monday, at the Ministry's Center for Education and Training, Jakarta (11/4). The ceremony was attended by nine participants of the Senior Diplomatic Training Course (Sesparlu) Batch 54 and eleven participants of the 16th International Senior Diplomatic Course. Also present, Echelon I and II officials from the MoFA as well as Ambassadors from the country of origin of the international participants.

In his remarks, Salman Al Farisi emphasised the importance for the participants to maximize the next two weeks to expand their network and understanding of Indonesia through cross-cultural communication and learn as much as possible from each other's experiences as diplomats. Salman hoped that the program will enrich the international participants' perception of Indonesia considering that this program includes a working visit to Berau Regency in East Kalimantan Province.

Following the opening ceremony, all participants are beginning a Joint Seminar at the Paramadian Graduate School, where they will discuss a wide range of issues concerning the "ASEAN Community & The Economic Pillar." The seminar is scheduled to run until April 13th, 2016 with high-profile speakers including Marzuki Darusman, Dinna Wisnu, Ph.D (Paramadina Grad School of Diplomacy), Wijayanto Samirin (Economic Special Staff to Vice President Jusuf Kalla), Felia Salim (Vice President Director, BNI 46), Dr. Alex Chandra (The Habibie Center), and Dr. Fauziah Aria (ERIA). As part of the seminar, International Paricipants will present a short presentation about their plans for the ASEAN Economic Community, Industrialization, and their countries' plans for cooperation with Indonesia, ina Sharing Session. On Wednesday, all participants will visit the office of "Jakarta Smart City" to meet Catur Laswanto, the Head of Tourism Agency's Jakarta.

On Thursday, the participants are going to see the National Museum along with children under the care of Taufan Foundation befor meeting children from Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa (YCAB) in Grogol, West Jakarta. On Friday, participants will take part in a Cooking Competition organized by the Trisakti School of Tourism before concluding their time in Jakarta with a Networking Evening Dinner at the Garuda Building in the MoFA Compound. They will then leave for Berau Regency on Sunday and spend a packed five days with activities at Derawan Islands, Kakaban Islands, and Maratua Island. The local government at Berau Regency will be organising the aforementioned activities.

Sesparlu is the highest diplomatic training at MoFA Indonesia. Senior diplomats taking part in the program have spent at least 15 years at the Ministry and have been posted twice at overseas Indonesian Missions. As part of the curriculum, the International Senior Diplomatic Course has been routinely conducted as one way to further strengthen ties with Indonesia's partner countries. (Source: UPT Sesparlu/Pusdiklat).