Indonesia Urges ASEAN to Become a Modern Regional Organisation Able to Answer Current Challenges

President Joko Widodo has attended the 30th ASEAN Summit on 29 April 2017 in Manila, where the President participated in the two main sessions, namely the plenary and retreat sessions. In addition, he also attended two Interface meetings of ASEAN Heads of State, with representatives of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) and ASEAN Youth.

During the Summit, the President conveyed that ASEAN has become an indispensable power in the Asia Pacific. At the plenary session, the presented gave remarks on the topic of ASEAN at 50: An ASEAN that is modern and can answer challenges, covering:

  • Enhancing ASEAN efforts in maintaining regional peace, stability, and security, including in the South China Sea and the crisis in the Korean Peninsula.
  • Improving ASEAN’s relevance for people, mindful of the rising inward-looking and anti-regionalism sentiments in America and Europe.
  • Strengthening protection of migrant workers by accelerating finalization of migrant worker protection instruments which have reached the final phase.
  • ASEAN must remain the “hub of regional diplomacy” and not become a proxy in the rivalry between major powers.

At the meeting with the AIPA representatives, the President raised the issue of the importance of AIPA’s support in line with the discussions on strategic issues in ASEAN, such as migrant worker protection, and pushing for adapting legislation in ASEAN member countries with developing ASEAN agreement.

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