Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Opening Ceremony of the 43rd ASEAN Summit in 2023, Jakarta Convention Center (JCC), Jakarta, September 5, 2023
Your Majesty, Your Excellencies ASEAN leaders, leaders of partner countries;
Honorable Chairpersons and Heads of High State Institutions;
Ladies and gentlemen,
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Welcome to Jakarta for the 43rd ASEAN Summit. All the people of Indonesia and I are delighted to welcome the big ASEAN family. I am sure that not only Indonesia, but all ASEAN member states have the same sense of pride, have the same sense of love for the family that we call ASEAN.
Certainly, 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 auspicious occasion, as a member of the family and as Chairperson of ASEAN, I would like to underline that ASEAN’s unity is still well maintained. Unity should not be interpreted as no dissenting opinions.
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. I realize that equality has become a rare commodity globally. Many injustices and conflicts have occurred due to the absence of equality. 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.
We realize that the world is indeed not doing well. The challenges ahead are more severe and lead to a struggle for influence by major powers. But, 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,
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.
By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I hereby officially declare the 43rd ASEAN Summit and other summits open.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.