On 19th January 2017, H.E. Dr. Rizal Sukma, Ambassador of Indonesia to the UK, delivered a keynote address on the theme of International Community Cohesion at Brasenose College, University of Oxford. The seminar was convened by Shailen Popat from the Oxford University Department of Education, and the panellists were Dr. Therese Hopfenbeck, Director of the Centre of Educational Assessment at the University of Oxford, and eminent Hindu leader, Sister Jayanti. Principal of Brasenose, John Bowers QC commenced proceedings by welcoming everyone, before Shailen introduced the panel and other guests, and set the context. Dr. Sukma emphasised the need for human values such as tolerance, understanding and compassion to be guides for behaviour between states; and advocated the importance of supranational bodies in bring states together. He said that although the cohesion between states may not be perfect, it is possible. Referring to previous articles that he has published, Dr. Sukma, reiterated the need for states to have the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P) their own and each other’s citizens. Dr. Hopfenbeck called for the need to create an atmosphere of trusting teachers, and collaboration among pupils and parents. Sister Jayanti emphasised the need to developing self-esteem based upon the inner qualities of peace, kindness and generosity. The seminar explored rich content and it was agreed to have future seminars.
The event was attended by over 40 delegates, including Principal of Brasenose, John Bowers QC, Dr Dave Leal, Dr Sonali Nag, Mr Wayudin (Minister Counsel), and Professor Aziz (Education Attache). The dignitaries had earlier enjoyed a tour of the college and tea with the fellows, and ended the evening dining at High Table with Principal John Bowers QC.