Press Statement of President Joko Widodo on the Results of the 42nd ASEAN Summit, in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara Province, May 11, 2023
President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
Alhamdulillah, thank God, the 42nd ASEAN Summit has run smoothly and produced fruitful results. Indonesia wants to see ASEAN strong, able to address challenges, aware of the dynamics, and continue to play a central role in the region.
Therefore, yesterday, I invited the leaders to enjoy sailing with phinisi boat, so we can relax and have a sense of family, because ASEAN is indeed a family with a strong bond, and its unity is very important in order to sail to the same destination, to establish ASEAN as the epicentrum of growth and a peaceful, stable, and prosperous region.
Some of important conclusions from the Summit is, first, issues on the people’s importance have caught great attention from the leaders, including protection for migrant workers and victims of human trafficking. Furthermore, I call on ASEAN countries to bring the main perpetrators to justice.
Second, on Myanmar. Damaging humanity values cannot be tolerated, and Five-Point Consensus has mandated ASEAN to engage with all the stakeholders. Inclusivity should be ensured by ASEAN because ASEAN’s credibility is at stake. Moreover, Indonesia is ready to talk to anyone, including the Junta and all the stakeholders in Myanmar for the sake of humanity. It is important for me to emphasize that engagement is not a recognition; to approach does not mean to acknowledge. Therefore, I have mentioned in the meeting that ASEAN’s unity is very important. Without unity, it is easier for other parties to divide ASEAN, and I am sure that no ASEAN countries want it to happen. No parties inside and outside ASEAN that take advantage of Myanmar’s internal conflict. We must put an end to violence and the people should be protected.
Third, on strengthening economic cooperation. ASEAN has agreed to establish an electric car ecosystem and becomes an important part of the global supply chain. So, industry dowstreaming is the key. Furthermore, the implementation of local currencies transaction and digital payment conectivity between the countries should be strengthened. It is in line with the aim of ASEAN centrality, so that ASEAN is getting stronger and more independent.
That concludes my remarks. Thank you.
Kris Mada (Reporter of Harian Kompas)
Good afternoon Bapak President, Ibu Minister [of Foreign Affairs], Bapak [Minister] of State Secretary, I am Kris Mada from Harian Kompas. Earlier, Bapak President mentioned about Myanmar. So far, it seems that many stakeholders and elements in Myanmar have no intention to end violence, shootouts, and so on. What will ASEAN do about it? Thank you. Good day.
Chandni Vatvani (CNA Journalist)
Good evening, Pak. I am Chandni Vatvani from CNA. Pak, my question is also on Myanmar. Myanmar’s military leaders have been excluded from the ASEAN Summit since 2021. However, as you pointed out in the morning as well, there has been no significant progress made. Now, in reviewing its kind course of action, will ASEAN consider inviting them back in to engage with them better? Thank you, Pak.
President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo)
So, we have engaged those who are in Myanmar to seek solutions, and it has been done with many elements in Myanmar. Although we did not always discuss about that, we have managed to do it. Furthermore, we will continue to encourage the implementation of Five-Point Consensus and dialogues, not only with the Junta, because many elements and interests are involved. So, we will encourage more stakeholders in Myanmar to participate to create dialogues as many as possible. Also, we will facilitate AHA Centre to perform their tasks.
And then, for the second question. According to [the] leaders’ decision, Myanmar was not invited to the political level meeting. And, Indonesia has undertaken non-megaphone diplomacy to various stakeholders in Myanmar. This is according to [the] mandate of the Five-Point Consensus. We hope Myanmar also has political commitment to dialogue internally between them. And, what I need to emphasize once again is engagement doesn’t mean recognition. This is clear.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia (Retno LP Marsudi)
Well, thank you, Mr. President. Just to add what President Jokowi already mentioned that during the discussion, the ASEAN member states support, very much, the approach of Indonesia as chair in conducting the inclusive engagement with all stakeholders.
Many said that lack of progress on the implementation of Five-Point Consensus. The lack of progress of Five-Point Consensus, the implementation of Five PC does not mean ASEAN has to give up, especially giving up the principle in the ASEAN Charter.
Since its establishment, ASEAN is bound by the principles that need to be respected, enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, among others, the adherence of rule of law, good governance, the principle of democracy and constitutional government. And, the future and relevance of ASEAN, President Jokowi mentioned during the meeting, would be determined, and some other leaders also mention, would be determined by respect of this principle.
And of course, with the support of the leaders of ASEAN, Indonesia would continue its engagement with all stakeholders. So, President Jokowi mentioned that ASEAN commitment remains firm to help the people of Myanmar through the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and with adopting the principle ‘no one left behind’.
Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you.