You are reading: Meet Salma Husna Meet Salma Husna
27 March 2024 |
Meet Salma Husna

Salma Husna is a Diplomat (Attaché) from the Directorate of International Security and Disarmament in the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (KEMLU).

During her time as a secondee at the RSO from October 2023 to February 2024, Salma worked to connect programme teams at the RSO, KEMLU, and the Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok to deliver shared objectives.

Salma led the delivery of the RSO and KEMLU joint Training on Identifying and Protecting Victims of Trafficking in Persons and played an active role in supporting the RSO Roundtable on Combatting Maritime People Smuggling in the Andaman Sea Region. As countries in the Bali Process region continue to face complex and emerging challenges relating to trafficking in persons, Salma’s role as a secondee from the Indonesian government demonstrated the benefit of strengthening cooperation between Bali Process Member States and the RSO and how close working can support multi-lateral cooperation around priority issues.

Can you tell us about your career at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then some of your career highlights so far?

Since 2022, I’ve been a diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Indonesia. I report to the Directorate for International Security and Disarmament under the Directorate General of Multilateral Cooperation, where I contribute to initiatives around counter trafficking in persons, people smuggling, maritime and cyber security, and transnational organised crime. In my role, I work closely with my colleagues to contribute to Indonesia’s coordination for the Bali Process. In this regard, one of the highlights of my career was being able to be part of the preparation, planning, and delivery of the Eighth Bali Process Ministerial Conference in Adelaide, Australia in February 2023.  

What led you to consider a secondment at the RSO?

When the Ministry of Foreign Affairs nominated me to be a secondee at the RSO, I felt that it would be a valuable opportunity that would help me gain a deeper understanding about the RSO, the Bali Process, and the issues that impact Indonesia and the wider Bali Process region.  

Also, I felt that my participation in the secondee programme—supporting the RSO in practical implementation of commitments around countering trafficking in persons, people smuggling and transnational crime—would contribute to joint initiatives between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the RSO, as well as highlight Indonesia’s ongoing commitment to addressing these issues as Co-Chair of the Bali Process.

Which pieces of work have you been involved in at the RSO?

During my first few months at the RSO, I worked closely with the Communications and Engagement Team on projects which contributed to the RSO’s visibility and stakeholder engagement initiatives, such as launching the new RSO website, crafting social media content, and stakeholder outreach. I also assisted with the delivery of the RSO’s annual events—the 2023 Constructive Dialogue, the 2023 Border Forum, and the inaugural Alumni Day. 

I worked closely with the Counter People Smuggling team to deliver the Roundtable on Combatting Maritime People Smuggling in the Andaman Sea Region. I also coordinated with KEMLU and the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia to plan and deliver the Training on Identifying and Protecting Victims of Trafficking in Persons, aimed at enhancing the capabilities of consular officials from Bali Process Member States in identifying, assisting, and protecting victims of trafficking in persons. 

This training is the result of a pledge made by the Indonesian government during the Bali Process Working Group on Trafficking in Persons annual meeting in 2021. Leading the delivery of this training alongside RSO and KEMLU colleagues has been a fulfilling experience that I will look back on as one of the highlights of my time as a secondee at the RSO. 

Through these diverse experiences, I gained a better understanding of how issues that affect Indonesia also impact the wider region. I also saw how programme teams at the RSO collaborate to organise events and promote coordination between member states, contributing to the work of the Bali Process as a whole.  

What pieces of advice would you give anyone considering a secondment to the RSO?

I feel that the RSO secondee programme is a valuable experience that enhanced my practical skills and knowledge, especially around issues of Trafficking in Persons.  

My advice to anyone considering a secondment to the RSO is to take advantage of the capacity building and networking opportunities, because these learnings and connections can have a meaningful impact on the work you do back in your organisation or ministry. 

What is on your 2024 wish list for your career or professional development?

There are many skills I learned during my time at the Ministry which helped me adjust to the RSO. Likewise, there are many relevant skills and experiences I can now bring back to the Ministry in Indonesia, for example, how to navigate a multicultural setting and maintaining professionalism in challenging situations. I am grateful to have had the chance to work with a truly international team at the RSO in a multi-cultural hub like Bangkok and hope to continue to have opportunities to gain exposure to new working environments in the future.  

Looking beyond my experience as an RSO secondee, I would love to continue to delve deeper into issues of countering trafficking in persons and people smuggling and continue to contribute to finding solutions to these issues, which impact Indonesia and the region, through the Bali Process and other forums.