Pope Francis when meeting with Minister Susi Pudjiastuti at the Vatican

In establishing relationships between countries or international relations, it is normal for each representative from each country to visit each other to strengthen friendships and find solutions to certain issues. This was recently demonstrated by one of Indonesia’s best ministers, Susi Pudjiastuti, during a visit to one of the countries that had a lot of influence in several countries, namely in Rome Italy, precisely in the holy city of the Vatican.

During her visit, Minister Susi was also invited by the Vatican Ambassador, Archbishop Piero Pioppo, to meet Pope Francis on Wednesday (12/12/2018) afternoon. The function of the Cultural Information Embassy of the Indonesian Embassy in Vatican, Wanry Wabang, revealed that Susi visited the Vatican in order to attend audiences with the Pope along with thousands of Catholics and non-Catholic tourists.

Pope Francis received Minister Susi after the leader of the Roman Catholic Church addressing thousands of people at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City. In the event, Susi had the opportunity to shake hands with Pope Francis and express her gratitude for the Pope’s letter which was sent at the Our Ocean Conference 2018 and invited the Pope to Indonesia.

Pope Francis also gave medals or as a memento for Susi.
In addition to giving medals, the Pope also provides moral and spiritual support for the Indonesian Government in combating maritime crime and fisheries.

Also Read: John Kerry: Thank You to President Joko Widodo and His Minister Susi Pudjiastuti for Returning and Protecting Our Oceans

“He said he would continue to pray and pray for the good of our country,” Susi said, conveying the Pope’s message.

“I express my gratitude directly for the Vatican’s support and commitment conveyed by H.E Archbishop Piero Pioppo …,” as reported by Antara, Friday (12/14). To Susi, the Pope said he would continue to pray for and provide support for the people and nation of Indonesia.

After meeting the Pope, Susi met with Vatican Foreign Minister Monsignor Paul Richard Gallagher at the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican. The meeting included discussing mutual understanding between the Vatican and Indonesia regarding efforts to combat illegal fishing and “slavery” in the fisheries sector. The Vatican agreed to assist Indonesia’s efforts to raise the issue of maritime rights at the United Nations forum.

Meanwhile, Susi Pudjiastuti expressed her hopes, especially for the problem of slavery and human trafficking in the fishing industry through Pope Francis.

Because as the Head of World Catholic Religion, Pope Francis, has a strong influence in various countries.

“What is being announced by the Vatican is usually a benchmark for morally binding, I hope that world leaders will become more aware of slavery, human trafficking in the fishing industry in the sea,” explained Minister Susi.

The Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries also hopes that Pope Francis can raise environmental issues about sea damage, on other issues of human trafficking and slavery.

“So fishing is not just theft but also about human trafficking about slavery. Because many children are employed or crews are employed on the boat, they don’t have many choices,” she added.

She also took the example of the issue in Benjina, Maluku, which was a bad face for the Indonesian fishing industry. It is known that in Benjina it is a case of slavery of foreign fishermen who are forced to work 20 to 24 hours a day to become Ship Crew (ABK).

They were forced to work under a Thai company to drain tons of fish in Maluku waters and its surroundings.

This case also became a global warning and the Vatican took note of the case.

“One of the things that happened in Indonesia. In Benjina for example. It was slavery carried out by Thai companies in the territory of Indonesia. If we do not address correctly, we think we approve slavery,” said the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Minister Susi also placed great hopes on the involvement of the Vatican in carrying out the issue of anticipating crime in the fishing industry.
Pope Francis also replied to Minister Susi, he would always support his policies and actions in raising the issue of human trafficking in illegal fishing.

After meeting with Pope Francis, Minister Susi was accompanied by the Indonesian Ambassador to the Vatican Holy See Antonius Agus Sriyono, met with the Vatican’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mgr.Paul Gallagher at the Secretary of State Building in the Pontifical Palace .

The Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries was accompanied by the Indonesian Ambassador to the Holy See of the Vatican, Antonius Agus Sriyono when meeting the Vatican’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (Secretary for Relations with the Holy See), Mgr. Paul Gallagher at the Secretary of State Building in the Pontifical Palace.

Susi showed her amaze because Foreign Minister Gallagher was very following the development of marine and fisheries issues. Including the matter of the crime of foreign ships, both cases of drug smuggling to human slavery. Gallagher’s knowledge of marine and fisheries issues is very up-to-date.

Susi Pudjiastuti hopes that after getting serious attention from the Vatican, this important issue will be of concern to world leaders. Minister Susi considers the Vatican is very concerned about the crimes in the form of human trafficking to slavery carried out by the fishing industry in the sea.


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