Stop war right now: Indonesian President

Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit at the United States (U.S.) Department of Foreign Affairs, Washington D.C., Friday (May 13, 2022). (The Indonesian Presidential Secretariat)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has called for ending the war in Ukraine right now, according to a press statement released by the Indonesian Cabinet Secretariat on Saturday.

Jokowi made the call at the ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit which was held at the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs, Washington D.C., on Friday local time.

The war in Ukraine has created a humanitarian tragedy and worsened the world economy, the President said, adding that the rising prices of foods, energy and inflation have severely burdened the economy and slowed down the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in developing and least developed countries.

“While the world should quickly recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is facing a new problem, the war in Ukraine. When the world needs cooperation and collaboration, the rivalry and confrontation are getting sharper. When the world needs multilateralism that is getting stronger, it is unilateralism that emerges,” said President Jokowi.

He further said that the war in Ukraine has weakened multilateralism and has the potential to divide relations among countries.

“War won’t benefit anyone. The world has no other choice but to stop the war right now. Every country, every leader has the responsibility to create an enabling environment so that war can be stopped, peace can be realized,” the head of state added.

Economic growth is also concerning, Jokowi said, mentioning that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its prediction for economic growth in emerging and developing Asia by 0.5 percent in 2022 and 0.2 percent in 2023.

The World Bank also lowered its prediction for the economic growth of several ASEAN countries to 1.2 percent, the president said.

“For some ASEAN members, a 10 percent increase in oil prices will result in a 0.7 percent decrease in national income and an increase in wheat prices will result in a 1 percent increase in poverty,” he explained.

The president reiterated what he has said at a meeting with the U.S. Congress, saying, “for more than five decades, ASEAN has continued to build an inclusive security architecture, put forward a collaboration paradigm, encourage a habit of dialogue and rules based orders. We encourage the same spirit in the Indo-Pacific through the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific”.

At the Special Summit which was attended by U.S. President Joe Biden and also the leaders of the ASEAN countries, President Jokowi welcomed America’s initiative through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

“Of course, cooperation under IPEF must be inclusive. I hope there will be synergy between IPEF and the implementation of priority cooperation in the AOIP (ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific),” President Jokowi said.

When Indonesia becomes the chair of ASEAN next year, President Jokowi also conveys his plan to hold the Indo-Pacific Infrastructure Forum.

“I look forward to the participation of the United States in the forum,” he hoped.

Accompanying President Jokowi at the ASEAN-U.S. Special Summit were Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Minister of Trade Muhammad Lutfi, and Indonesian Ambassador to the U.S. Rosan Roeslani.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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