ASEAN Academic Days: Online Book Presentation by W.Supriyadi

23 November 2020

November 23rd, within the framework of the ASEAN Center's series of educational events "ASEAN Academic Days 2020", an online presentation of the recently published book "The Lighter and Funnier Side of Diplomacy" by Indonesian diplomat Mohamad Wahid Supriyadi was organized.

H.E. Muhamad Wahid Supriyadi is an experienced and well-known diplomat, who has spent his entire career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and served in a variety of appointments at home and abroad, including as Consul General in Melbourne (2004-2007), Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (2008-2011) and as Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus (2016-2020).

The Director of the ASEAN Center V.Sumsky welcomed the audience and briefly spoke about the career of the invited speaker, underlining the great contribution made by M.Supriyadi to the development of diplomatic relations between Russia and Indonesia.

Mr. Supriyadi began his speech by quoting that “in any crisis situation one should look for opportunities”. Because of the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he managed to complete his book in a fairly short timeframe. Thematically, the book comprises several main sections: the meaning of cultural diplomacy, motivation and personal stories. The author of the book, who has worked in three different countries (Australia, the United Arab Emirates and Russia), speaks about the cultural, historical and psychological specificities of each of them and emphasizes the importance of taking into account these factors when working as a diplomat.

V.Pogadaev, a prominent expert on Indonesia, also commented on the book, noting that M.Supriyadi's work is useful not only for Russian readers, but also for Indonesian ones. The book contains interesting observations that the author collected during his time working in Russia, to which local residents themselves may not pay attention. There are plans for the book to be published in English shortly.

The presentation was followed by a Q&A session, during which participants discussed such topics as the current state of bilateral relations between Russia and Indonesia, the prospects for interaction between ASEAN and BRICS, the specifics of the work and decision-making process of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry, the role of cultural diplomacy under current circumstances.

The event was also attended by representatives of the ASEAN countries' embassies in Moscow, students and faculty members of MGIMO and other leading Russian universities in Russia (MSU, HSE, Diplomatic Academy, RUDN). The remote format allowed participants from Indonesia and other ASEAN countries to easily join the event.

The next events of the educational program "ASEAN Academic Days 2020" are scheduled for December. Announcements will be published ahead of time on the ASEAN Center website and Facebook page.