ASEAN-Australia Contribution in the Indian Ocean Area is Important, President Jokowi Says
The ASEAN-Australia cooperation over the last 44 years has contributed to build a peaceful, stable and prosperous ecosystem of the Southeast Asian region.
Therefore, in addition to strengthening cooperation in the Pacific Ocean, ASEAN-Australia should be able to contribute in the Indian Ocean region, said President Joko Jokowi Widodo while delivering his speech at the Special ASEAN-Australia Summit Retreat at Admiralty House, Kirribilli, Sunday (18/3).
According to the President, the cooperation that has been done in the Asia Pacific region should also be done in the Indian Ocean region. On that occasion, there are at least three important points of cooperation proposal made by President Jokowi before the leaders of ASEAN countries and Australia attended the session.
First, ASEAN-Australia should contribute in order to create new economic growth center in Indian Ocean, said the President.
President Jokowi emphasized that economic cooperation with the countries in the Indian Ocean region is mandatory in order to realize a new economic axis.
The second important point by the President is the cross-border security threats at the Indian Ocean rim such as piracy, Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, people smuggling, drug trafficking, and the threats of radicalism and terrorism become a real challenge to be overcome by ASEAN-Australia.
“ASEAN-Australia need to establish effective mechanisms with countries in the Indian Ocean such as in the field of maritime safety and security, Search and Rescue (SAR), and marine resources protection,” said the President.
Furthermore, for the third point, the President also expressed the importance of ASEAN-Australia cooperation in strengthening ASEAN centrality, including in building the architecture in the region.
“ASEAN Centrality never poses a threat to anyone, ASEAN centrality will actually nourish the habits of dialogue and cooperation,” said the President.
At the end of his speech, the President hoped that the cooperation in the Indian Ocean region can be integrated with the Pacific region that can form the architecture of Indo-Pacific region.
An architecture of the region that is inclusive, transparent, and upholds international law, the President concluded.
Joining the event was Ministry of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi. (BPMI/EN) (GWH/MMB/Naster)