Seven Issues Raised in ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Laos
Date 6 September 2016
Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi on Tuesday (6/9) at the Lao International Convention Center, Vientiane, Laos, told the reporters that there are three events in the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting.
First, it discussed the accession of Chile, Egypt, and Morocco to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC).
Including those three countries, the number of non-ASEAN countries which annexed TAC reaches 25 countries. Thus, the total number of countries which joined TAC, including 10 ASEAN countries is 35 countries, Retno said.
Second meeting is ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC) in which Indonesia will be represented by Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The ABAC mainly discusses the implementation of political and security pillars in materializing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
According to Retno, there are seven issues discussed in that meeting. First issue is on trafficking in persons. Indonesia implements the ratification process for the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP), Minister Retno said. We spoke on the importance to solve those problems and at the same time we also need to pay attention in respect for human rights, Retno further said.
Second issue is on the distribution of illegal drugs. According to Retno, Indonesia is currently facing serious drugs problems. Therefore, Indonesian Government is favorable towards a new institution in Asia Pasific that assists ASEAN to materialize drug free area. We also said that Indonesia hosted the 1st ASEAN Seaport Interdiction Task Force (ASITF) in July 2012 that resulted an ASITF vocal point for drug trafficking issue, Retno explained.
Third issue is on terrorism and radicalism. Retno added that Indonesia hosted International Meeting in Counter ?Terrorism in August 2016 in Bali. Indonesia also promoted ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism and other mechanism to counter terrorism and radicalism.
Fourth issue is on illegal fishing. According to Retno, Indonesia emphasized the importance of cooperation to address that issue.
Fifth issue is on security in Sulu Sea and its surrounding areas. On that issue, the Indonesian Government called on the countries, particularly the Philippines and Malaysia to enhance their cooperation to ensure the security in Sulu Sea and its surrounding areas. We actually have delivered the issue in the last ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) in July, Retno added.
Sixth issue is on cyber security. We welcome the establishment of new working group on cyber security in ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM-Plus), the Minister said.
The last issue is on respect for human rights. Every time the issue is being discussed, Indonesia always mentions the issue of migrant workers, Retno added.
During his state visit to Laos, Retno said, President Joko Jokowi Widodo is scheduled to attend the Opening Ceremony of the ASEAN Summit, ASEAN Plenary meeting, the launching of Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, as well as the signing of ASEAN Integration Work Plan and Declaration of ASEAN: One Response to Disasters.(EN/ES) (RAS/EP/YM/Naster)