Manila, Philippines: Amid doubts about multilateralism and regionalism, ASEAN has proven itself to be the motor of peace and regional stability. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a statement to the plenary session of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Manila, Philippines (5/8).
In the plenary session on ASEAN community building, Minister Retno emphasized that during the last 50 years, ASEAN has succeeded in creating an ecosystem of peace, stability and prosperity in the region. The success of ASEAN has prevented open conflict, triggered economic development and regional welfare that made ASEAN a growth engine for the region and the world. “ASEAN’s success can be seen from our peaceful and stable region with economic growth above the world average,” she said.
Furthermore, Retno stated that the success of ASEAN is due to several ASEAN powers in developing institutions that lay emphasis on peace and stability. ASEAN has also managed to avoid megaphone diplomacy and to promote diplomacy and dialogue. In addition, ASEAN has succeeded in establishing a rule-based association. All of this is part of the ASEAN Way that succeeded in making ASEAN to interact well among members and also countries outside the region. “ASEAN has become a respected regional and global actor through the ASEAN-led mechanism to build dialogues with countries in the region and outside the region,” said the RI Foreign Minister.
Nevertheless, in order to keep maintaining the success achieved, the RI Foreign Minister affirmed that ASEAN should also be successful in facing various challenges that exist as well as new challenges. One such challenge is related to the existence of geopolitical rivalry, such as in the South China Sea. In this regard it is emphasized that ASEAN should continue to be able to manage the situation by respecting the basic principles and international law and maintaining good relations with all parties.
In addition, ASEAN must also be able to overcome the challenges that come from the threat of transnational crime and terrorism. In this case the RI Foreign Minister emphasized the importance of ASEAN to increase cooperation, both at regional and sub-regional levels.