The ASEAN Chairmanship in 2023 carries the theme ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth, based on which Indonesia is determined to make the regional organization important and relevant for the people of ASEAN and beyond.
Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesia wants to see ASEAN resilient and become a barometer for cooperation that would contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said.
“With this spirit, the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2023 carries the theme ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,” Retno said at the Annual Press Statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs 2023 in Jakarta on Wednesday.
With ASEAN Matters, according to the minister, Indonesia is determined to make ASEAN important and relevant for the people of ASEAN and beyond.
In this regard, ASEAN must be prepared for ASEAN 2045, the centrality of ASEAN must be reinforced in order to maintain peace and stability in Southeast Asia and Indo Pacific, cooperation in tackling cross border crimes must be strengthened, and the same goes with the ASEAN Human Rights dialogue, she added.
On the sub-theme of Epicentrum of Growth, Indonesia is determined to make Southeast Asia the center for regional economic growth, she saifd, adding that the history and story of ASEAN is always related to economy.
Amidst the threats of recession, Southeast Asia’s economy is projected to perform better than global average economic growth. Economists say that South East Asia is likely to stay a bright spot on a world edging toward a recession, she noted.
Retno pointed out that ADB (the Asian Development Bank) predicts that ASEAN’s economic growth would reach 4.7 percent in 2023.
Under the sub-theme of epicentrum of growth, a number of cooperation that will be strengthened includes food security, energy security, health and financial stability, the minister said.
The Indo-Pacific region that is peaceful, stable, respecting international law and prioritizing inclusive cooperation is a key for ASEAN to become the Epicentrum of Growth in the region and the world, she said.
Therefore, the implementation of the AOIP (ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific) will be the spirit of Indonesia’s Chairmanship priorities.
According to the minister, many countries adopt their own Indo-Pacific concepts, and therefore, a synergy is required so that these concepts do not exacerbate rivalry.
She further said that a paradigm of collaboration will be Indonesia’s approach in the Indo-Pacific.
Indonesia will continue to emphasize that the Indo-Pacific region must be approached not only from a security aspect but also from the aspect of inclusive economic development, she said.
Indonesia will hold flagship events, that is the ASEAN-Indo-Pacific Forum which will focus on Creative Economy, Youth Conference on Digital Economy for SDGs, Infrastructure Forum and Business and Investment Summit, she explained.
During the course of the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2023, Indonesia will also continue to strengthen ASEAN relations with the Pacific Island States.
On Myanmar, as Chair and in accordance with the mandate of the 5PC (five-point consensus), Indonesia will make every effort to help Myanmar exit from the political crisis.
The Office of Special Envoy will be established and led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Measures that will be taken by Indonesia will be entirely based on the 5PC and the fundamental principles of the ASEAN Charter in its entirety, among others adherence to the rule of law, good governance, the principle of democracy and constitutional government, she added.
In accordance with the 5PC and the decisions of the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh last November, Indonesia will engage with all stakeholders, as only through engagement with all stakeholders can the 5PC’s mandate on facilitating the creation of a national dialogue be carried out, Retno said.
Collaboration with the UN Secretary General Special Envoy will be continued, and Indonesia requests that the ASEAN Secretary General and the AHA Center to be given access to all stakeholders so that they can continue their mission to deliver humanitarian assistance, she said.
The Indonesian chairmanship will also ensure that the development of the ASEAN community shall remain the priority focus, the minister said, adding that the issue of Myanmar must not hold the ASEAN community development process to hostage.
Reporting by Indonesia Window