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30 November 2023 | Event
RSO bids farewell to Sukmo Yuwono, Co-Manager (Indonesia)

The RSO is bidding farewell to Sukmo Yuwono (known as Pak Sukmo), RSO Co-Manager (Indonesia), as he returns to Jakarta this month after finalising his term in Bangkok as Deputy Chief of Mission to the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia. Pak Sukmo will take up a new role as the Head of Bureau of Finance in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta.

In his two and a half years as Co-Manager for the RSO, Pak Sukmo has provided a vital steer as the RSO has sought to reestablish lines of effort and reengage across the Bali Process membership, whilst rebuilding from Covid-19.

In addition to his full-time duties as Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Thailand as well as Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Indonesia to the UNESCAP, Pak Sukmo has supported the RSO team across a wide range of activities.

A vital priority for the RSO over Pak Sukmo’s tenure has been to ensure we understand and reflect the emerging trends and challenges Member States face around countering trafficking in persons, people smuggling and related transnational crime.

Early key efforts were led through flagship RSO events, which brought together hundreds of government delegates across 40 Member States for the first time following the pandemic—the Bali Process 20th Anniversary Constructive Dialogue and the RSO 10th Anniversary Border and Technology Forum. Together with David Scott, RSO Co-Manager (Australia), Pak Sukmo helped to set the agenda and direction for these events, and to facilitate input and engagement from across the Bali Process membership. These events have supported the RSO over the past year to build on priorities set out by Member States.

Pak Sukmo and David Scott further represented the RSO to Bali Process Co-Chairs and to Bali Process Member State Ministers at the 8th Bali Process Ministerial Conference in Adelaide—which set the direction for the RSO’s work over the coming months. At the Ministerial Conference, Pak Sukmo and David Scott updated Ministers on RSO efforts, through a presentation at the preparatory Senior Officials Meeting and an update to Bali Process Co-Chairs and Steering Group Members at the Bali Process Steering Group. The Ministerial Conference also provided the opportunity to reestablish links with many Member States through bilateral meetings and engagements.

Some key achievements over the past year for the RSO where Pak Sukmo has played a vital role include the launch of a refreshed website for the Bali Process, and the support the RSO provided to Member States to respond to the emerging issue of trafficking into online scam centres—with early calls from Indonesia for wider support on this issue.

In early 2023, the RSO provided one of the first regional resources on the issue through the publication of a policy brief Trapped in Deceit, which Pak Sukmo introduced at a launch event at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. This has subsequently supported discussions across regional and national roundtables and has helped to inform national and regional dialogue and policy.

Over the past year, Pak Sukmo has represented the RSO at a number of RSO capacity development workshops, training programmes, and RSO meetings—with recent examples including the launch of the Bali Process Practitioner Guide series to strengthen protection and support for victims of trafficking and training on countering people smuggling and trafficking in persons for Indonesian National Police and Immigration Officers.

RSO training activities over the past year have reached more than 800 frontline officials, and the RSO has led the production or translation of over 20 publications on topics ranging from following the money in trafficking investigations, to best practices to combat exploitation in supply chains.

Pak Sukmo has also played an active role in representing the RSO and building awareness and engagement through bilateral meetings with embassy counterparts and wider regional partners—including this recent meeting with H.E. Amb. Hun Saroeun and colleagues at the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Thailand.

The RSO is also grateful to Pak Sukmo for his support for the first RSO Members Engagement Function, held in Bangkok, Thailand, which brought together more than a hundred consular and government officials from Bali Process Member and Observer Governments, representatives from International Organisations and regional partners, and officials from the Royal Thai Government. The RSO is planning a next Members Engagement Function to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, in June 2024.

David Scott, RSO Co-Manager (Australia) said: “The RSO has evolved significantly over the two years months Pak Sukmo and I have worked together and I am very proud of all that we and our remarkable team have achieved together. Thank you Pak Sukmo for all your support and good humour, it has been a great experience working with you. Salam perpisahan dan semoga sukses, Pak.

Sukmo Yuwono, Outgoing RSO Co-Manager (Indonesia) said: “It was a privilege and great experience being Co-Manager of the RSO with Pak David for over two years working on various Bali Process issues. I have witnessed Pak David and RSO team members’ remarkable dedication and professionalism in organising RSO activities. I want to thank you all for your support, collaboration, and friendship. I am confident that the RSO will continue to make a positive contribution to the continuance of the Bali Process’ efforts in identifying and navigating developing challenges in the region particularly on people smuggling, trafficking in persons, and related transnational crimes. You are an amazing team, and I am proud to have worked with all of you.”