President Jokowi: ASEAN is Not a Proxy for Any Power

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 5 September 2023
Category: News
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President Jokowi

In response to doubts on whether the ASEAN ship is still able to keep going amid differences, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has underscored that the unity of ASEAN countries is still maintained to this day.

“Indeed, lately I often hear public questions related to ASEAN, whether ASEAN will be divided and cannot be united or whether the ASEAN ship will be able to keep going. On this good opportunity, as a member of the family and as Chairperson of ASEAN, I would like to underline that ASEAN’s unity is still well maintained,” the President said at the opening of the 43rd ASEAN Summit, at the Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), Jakarta, Tuesday (09/05).

According to the President, unity cannot be interpreted as the absence of differences of opinions, but rather the ability to remain united amid the diversity of ASEAN countries.

“As a country with various ethnicities, cultures, languages, and religions, for Indonesia, unity is a harmony in differences, including differences of opinions. This is because differences of opinions actually nourish democracy, showing that we as a family have an equal position,” he said.

The President said that currently, equality has become a rare commodity globally, triggering many injustices and conflicts.

“But in ASEAN, it is different. Equality is actually the main value that we respect and uphold together within the framework of unity and togetherness, so that the big ship of ASEAN can continue to sail,” he said.

The President added that despite unfavorable global circumstances and future challenges that are getting more severe and leading to a struggle for power by major powers, ASEAN is committed not to become a proxy for any power and is ready to cooperate with anyone for peace and prosperity.

“Do not make our ship, ASEAN, an arena of rivalry that destroys each other, but make this ASEAN ship, a field to foster cooperation to create prosperity, create stability, create peace, not only for the region but also for the world,” he said.

In that same spirit, the President also invited ASEAN countries to establish cooperation with various parties in order to realize ASEAN as an epicentrum of growth.

“The ocean is too vast to sail alone. On our voyage, there will be other ships, ships of ASEAN partners. Let us together realize equal and mutually beneficial cooperation to sail together towards the epicentrum of growth,” he remarked. (TGH/UN) (FI/MUR)

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