ASEAN Strengthens Cooperation with IORA, PIF
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Monday (09/04) in Jakarta, signed an inter-secretariat memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Ocean Rim (IORA) and the Pacific Islands Forum.
The signing of the MoU which was held on the sidelines of the ASEAN Ministerial Conference was aimed at strengthening concrete cooperation among secretariats in several priority areas, including maritime, connectivity, SDGs, blue economy, green economy, digital economy, and disaster management.
According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno LP Marsudi, the cooperation is crucial for strengthening ASEAN’s relations with the nations in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
“Those countries in the Indian and Pacific Oceans are an inseparable part of the Indo-Pacific region. We share the same region, whatever happens in this region will affect all of us,” Retno said.
The Minister went on to say that ASEAN and countries in the Indian and Pacific Oceans must join hands to preserve peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, preventing it from becoming a battlefield for conflicts that have occurred in other regions.
“This can only be done if we adhere to the same values and principles, namely the paradigm of collaboration instead of competition. A win-win instead of a zero-sum mentality. An engagement approach instead of exclusion,” she said.
Retno also underscored the importance of cooperation since ASEAN and countries in the Indian and Pacific Oceans also face common challenges and opportunities.
“Keep in mind that if you wish to go fast, you can go alone by yourself. However, if you wish to go further, it is best to go together. I believe we aspire to go the distance,” she stated.
In this regard, ASEAN and countries in the Indian and Pacific Oceans are strengthening concrete cooperation in various areas of common interest, such as the economy, maritime affairs, and climate change, as well as regional resilience to make the region a center of growth.
“Because we do believe in inclusivity. We believe in the importance of walking the distance,” the Minister remarked. (PR of Foreign Affairs Ministry/UN) (RIF/LW)