Batik-clad Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, second from right, chaired a UN Security Council session in New York on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Foreign Affairs Ministry)

Batik Day at UN Security Council


MAY 08, 2019

Jakarta. Members of the United Nations Security Council came to a session in New York on Tuesday wearing batik and tenun – a traditional Indonesian woven textile – as a mark of respect as the country started its presidency of the council on May 1.

Security Council members who wore batik on Tuesday included UN Secretary General António Guterres and delegates from the United States, Germany, Ivory Coast, France, Peru, the Dominican Republic and China.

"The Security Council meeting today is unique as many of the delegates were wearing batik and tenun, including the Secretary General," Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir told Jakarta Globe.

"They wore batik to honor Indonesia. All the Indonesian delegates were also wearing batik," he said.

The council members were wearing batik and tenun from their own collections which they bought when they visited Indonesia or were given as gifts from Indonesian diplomats in New York, Arrmanatha said.

Secretary General Guterres for example wore a brightly colored Tenun Torso from Bali at the meeting.

"Today's meeting was such a pleasure. There were so much beauty and so many colors because almost all members of the Security Council were wearing batik or tenun, including Secretary General Guterres who was wearing tenun from Bali," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a statement on Wednesday.

Unesco put batik in its Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2009.

Minister Retno delivered a speech titled "Investing in Peace: Improving Safety and Performance of UN Peacekeepers" in Tuesday's session. Improving the safety of UN peacekeepers is one of the key issues Indonesia intends to promote during its presidency of the Security Council.