Indonesia expressed a firm resolve that it will oversee the achievements of the the three main pillars of its ASEAN 2023 Chairmanship

INDONESIA went on record to express its committment to oversee the achievements of the three main pillars in its ASEAN 2023 Chairmanship. This was outlined in May by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Teuku Faizasyah.

He said for the first pillar, ASEAN Matters, Indonesia has prepared a grand vision of ASEAN 2045 as well as a discussion process on the draft ASEAN Leaders Declaration to strengthen ASEAN’s institutional capacity and effectiveness. This has been adopted during the 42nd ASEAN Summit, 9 to 11 May 2023 in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).”

For the first pillar, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, has emphasised a number of issues that must continue to be pushed, namely the negotiation of the Code of Conduct (COC) text, eradication of Trafficking in Persons, strengthening the institutionalisation of the Human Rights Dialogue in ASEAN, drafting the Timor Leste membership Roadmap, and signing the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Protocol.

The second pillar, Epicentrum of Growth, prioritize issues such as strengthening the health architecture through the One Health Initiative, strengthening food security and strengthening energy security, including through the development of an electric vehicle ecosystem. The commitment to use ASEAN currencies in trade transactions and connectivity of payment mechanisms in the region has also been agreed upon to strengthen regional financial stability.

The third pillar, namely the implementation of ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), the Minister of Foreign Affairs also emphasised the strengthening of concrete AOIP cooperation based on the principles of inclusiveness, economic cooperation, and economic development. To that end, Indonesia will organise a flagship event, the ASEAN-Indo-Pacific Forum.

Through the theme of the ASEAN Chairmanship: “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”, Indonesia is determined to direct ASEAN cooperation in 2023 to continue and strengthen ASEAN’s relevance in responding to regional and global challenges, as well as strengthen ASEAN’s position as the epicentrum of regional economic growth, for the prosperity of the people of ASEAN.

At the recent 42nd ASEAN Summit held in Labuan Bajo from 10th to 11th May, President Joko Widodo gave a press conference following the summit where he outlined a number of results achieved in the implementation of the Summit. One of them is related to how the interests of the people are the main concern of ASEAN leaders including the protection od migrant workers and victims of human trafficking. “I invite ASEAN countries to take firm action against the main perpetrators,” said the President.

Labuan Bajo, (Above): President Jokowi chairing press briefing with Foreign Minister Ratno Marsudi (seated left)

ASEAN Meetings
Complementing these three pillars, a number of important meetings have also been held in the last four months, such as the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in Jakarta which was held on 1st to 4th February 2023. Also held were the ASEAN Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in Yogyakarta on 2-5 February 2023 and ASEAN SOM and Related Meetings in Jakarta on 6-8 March 2023.

In April, at the ASEAN Youth Dialogue on Development for Sustainable Development Goals there was a forum to exchange ideas and formulate recommendations related to digital development in Southeast Asia by around 60 youths from ASEAN and Timor Leste. The recommendations were then submitted to ASEAN Leaders at the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo in May.