Manila, Philippines: For Indonesia, the accession to the Protocol of the Treaty of the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) by nuclear weapons states is a must, said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi at the SEANWFZ Commission meeting in Manila on 3 August 2017.
Indonesia affirms that after 22 years since the SEANWFZ Treaty was signed by the 10 ASEAN Member States to make the ASEAN region nuclear weapons free, no nuclear weapons state has as yet got accession to the Protocol of the Agreement. “Accession of the nuclear weapons states to the SEANWFZ Treaty Protocol is essential to ensure the effectiveness of the Treaty and at the same time ensure that 600 million ASEAN residents are free from the threat of nuclear weapons,” said Minister Retno.
In this regard, Indonesia encourages ASEAN to increase engagement with the nuclear weapon states to overcome barriers to accession to the SEANWFZ protocol by nuclear weapons owners. Indonesia said that ASEAN already has a matrix that contains various ASEAN positions and the difficulty of nuclear weapon states to get accession. “I propose that ASEAN to increase the intensity of communication with nuclear-possessing countries, discussing the steps forward,” she said.
The SEANWFZ Commission Meeting, which started the series of 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting, is a Ministerial level mechanism to oversee the implementation of the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty. The meeting agreed to extend the SEANWFZ Action Plan to strengthen the implementation of the Agreement which ends this year for the next five year-period.