STATEMENT BY B. LYNN PASCOE
AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE TO INDONESIA
SUBMITTED TO THE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
SEPTEMBER 10, 2004
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
I am deeply honored to appear before you today as the President's nominee to be the next U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia. This is the third time I have had the privilege to come before this committee seeking consent to represent our country as ambassador, and I greatly appreciate your willingness to schedule this hearing. The future of Indonesia is of great importance to the United States and the world. I am grateful for the trust that President Bush and Secretary Powell have placed in me and, if confirmed, I will do my utmost to uphold their confidence in promoting U.S. interests in Indonesia.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
If I may, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce my wife, Diane, who will -- as always -- play a critical role in promoting our efforts in Jakarta and one of our daughters, Gwen, a Foreign Service Officer, currently serving in the Department's Executive Secretariat here in Washington.
I am fortunate to have spent many of my 37 years in the Foreign Service working on Asia, including ten years in Chinese-speaking posts as well as a tour in Bangkok and recently as our Ambassador in Malaysia. Since September 11, 2001, I have been working to promote U.S. interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, areas with large Islamic populations of critical importance to the United States in the fight against terrorism. If confirmed, I look forward to applying some of this experience to the challenges and responsibilities of serving as our nation's Ambassador in Jakarta.
The U.S., and indeed the world, has a critical interest in seeing Indonesia -- the world's fourth-largest country with the largest Islamic population -- succeed as it moves to build a modern, democratic, and prosperous state. Indonesians, of course, will create their own future and be responsible for their own successes, but with careful management of the U.S.-Indonesia relationship, we can help them accomplish their worthy goals. In the war against terrorism, the U.S. and Indonesia are committed to working together. We have a broad counterterrorism program that includes assistance to police, military, prosecutors, banking regulators, and others. Indonesia has taken vigorous actions to pursue and prosecute those responsible for the Bali and Marriott bombings, and the Indonesian police have made significant progress in combating the indigenous terror network responsible for these attacks, Jemaah Islamiyah.
As President Bush noted during his visit to Bali last October, our countries share a belief in democracy and agree on the importance of observing human rights. Indonesia has made important strides in its democratic development in the past six years, as evidenced by the successful holding of dramatic legislative and first-ever direct presidential elections of the past few months. Indonesia enjoys a well-deserved reputation for diversity, and while separatist sentiment and inter-religious communal violence continue to pose concerns for stability in several provinces, Indonesia has taken notable steps to advance cooperation and defuse tensions in those areas. If confirmed, I pledge to continue our efforts to work with the Indonesian Government, non-governmental organizations, and civil society to assist them in the further promotion of democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law.
Indonesia's strides in consolidating democracy have been dramatic and deserve our full support. At the same time, we remain very concerned with aspects of the human rights situation there. The Malukus, Sulawesi and Papua have suffered from inter-communal strife and incidents of human rights abuses. In Aceh, where armed conflict continues, the lifting of martial law has brought little effective change, and we believe the Indonesian Government will only be able to restore peace and stability in Aceh through a non-military, broadly inclusive solution. I believe the U.S. can encourage and help facilitate a peaceful outcome to the violence in Aceh while promoting an approach that simultaneously protects the territorial integrity of Indonesia and the human rights of its citizens.
We continue to support efforts to ensure justice for the atrocities committed in East Timor in 1999, which remain unaddressed. Encouraging a culture of accountability among the military, police, and courts is an area where we can be of assistance by making appropriate expertise available. Mr. Chairman, obtaining justice for the murder of two Americans at Timika in Papua province is important to the bilateral relationship and those responsible must be brought to justice. Cooperation from the Indonesian authorities, especially the police and military, has now made it possible for the FBI to make significant progress in its investigation: the Department of Justice announced on June 25 the indictment of Anthonius Wamang, an alleged member of the separatist Free Papua Movement, in connection with the attack. If confirmed, I will press for Wamang's arrest and trial, and will urge continued cooperation until all the perpetrators of this outrageous attack are brought to justice.
Our relationship with Indonesia includes important economic and business ties. The United States is the second-largest export market for Indonesian products and there is over $10 billion in U.S. investment in Indonesia, with U.S. companies such as ExxonMobil and Unocal playing an important role in the oil and gas industry of this OPEC-member nation. A thriving economy is essential for the long-term prosperity and stability of the Indonesian people, and it is essential that we make this a reality. There is an urgent need in Indonesia for fundamental economic reform and improvements to the investment climate, especially in ensuring impartiality and the rule of law. This is a matter of importance both to US firms and to Indonesians themselves. If confirmed, I will pursue American interests in these areas in a manner that also promotes key goals we share with Indonesia -- economic growth and political stability.
The next few years are a critical time of transition, both for Indonesia itself, and for aspects of our relationship. Our assistance to counter-terrorism efforts as well as to economic, judicial, and military reform all play an essential role in helping Indonesians themselves make progress. Indonesia's education system is struggling, and the President's $157 million education initiative will play an important role in bolstering the education of Indonesia's youth, an invaluable component of Indonesia's democratic development. If confirmed, I look forward to working with you in carrying out U.S. interests in improving our relationship with Indonesia.
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, thank you for considering my nomination. I would be happy to respond to your questions.