President Jokowi: Indo-Pacific Cooperation Should be Inclusive and Promote ASEAN Centrality
The development of Indo-Pacific framework should be open, inclusive, transparent, and promote cooperation as well as friendship. At the same time, the concept of Indo-Pacific cooperation should continue to maintain centrality of ASEAN.
This was enunciated by President Joko Jokowi Widodo in his remarks at the 32nd ASEAN Summit held at the Acacia Room, Shang-La Hotel, Singapore, on Saturday (28/4).
ASEAN must continue to play its role in developing the concept of Indo-Pacific cooperation. The ASEAN Indo-Pacific concept is crucial for ASEAN to remain relevant, to be able to perform its centrality and to demonstrate ASEAN’s ability to manage strategic environmental change, said the President.
President Jokowi also said Indo-pacific regions face great challenges ahead. If (those challenges) are not well managed, the President continued, the situation could disrupt and even destroy the achievements of ASEAN.
ASEAN should be able to contribute in both Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. This contribution can only be realized if we maintain the unity and centrality of ASEAN, he continued.
Indonesia had conveyed a proposal of the concept of Indo Pacific at ASEAN Foreign Minister’s Retreat Meetings, in January 2018. Indonesia has also communicated with several dialogue partners to discuss Indo-Pacific cooperation.
Three Indonesian Proposals
President Jokowi proposed three efforts for ASEAN on Indo-Pacific cooperation in the future. First, ASEAN should be able to become a driving force for the creation of enabling environment.
We must continue to encourage all partners to respect international law and norms, to develop a habit of dialogue, to prioritize peaceful dispute resolution and avoid the use of violence, the President explained.
Second, ASEAN should be able to utilize various modalities to overcome security challenges, including transnational crimes. Some threats that need attention are radicalism, drug trafficking, human trafficking and piracy.
Third, ASEAN must be pro-active to create a new center of economic growth, particularly in the Indian Ocean. Therefore, President Jokowi continued, ASEAN should maintain an open and fair economic system.
Some cooperation that can be promoted include maritime sector, connectivity, and achievement of SDGs. Therefore, business interaction in the Indian Ocean and Pacific region needs to be improved, the President concluded.
Also present at the event were Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi and Director General of ASEAN Cooperation Jose Antonio Morato Tavares. (BPMI / EN) (STU/MMB/Naster)