THE 43rd ASEAN Summit will continue discussions on strengthening the bloc’s capacity and institutional effectiveness to help the organization respond to challenges in the next 20 years. ASEAN chair Indonesia is set to host the summit and related meetings in Jakarta from September 5–7, 2023.
According to the Director-General of ASEAN Cooperation at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sidharto Suryodipuro, said that Indonesia aims to lay the foundation for ASEAN cooperation to address current and future challenges.
“To achieve that, we must strengthen our institution (ASEAN) and its working mechanisms,” he said during a virtual press briefing.
He informed that there are several aspects that need strengthening, such as human resources in the ASEAN community, dialogues on human rights, as well as maritime cooperation among member countries.
He noted that Indonesia has contributed to several agreements during its chairmanship of ASEAN. It previously served as ASEAN chair in 1976, 2003, and 2011.
Some agreements reached during Indonesia’s chairmanship of the grouping have included the establishment of the ASEAN Secretariat, discussions on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty, the ASEAN community, and the establishment of a free-trade agreement among Asia-Pacific nations (RCEP).
Discussions on strengthening ASEAN institutions, which started under Indonesia’s Initiative, began in 2022 with the High-Level Task Force’s Recommendations on the Post-2025 ASEAN Community Vision (HLTF-ACV) on Strengthening ASEAN’s Capacity and Institutional Effectiveness.
ASEAN leaders have also discussed this issue with the high-level task force at the 42nd Summit in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), in May.
The leaders emphasized the need to strengthen the bloc’s capacity and institutional effectiveness, including enabling ASEAN to respond to crises and emergency situations in a timely manner.
The 2023 ASEAN Summit in Jakarta will not only be attended by ASEAN leaders, but also external partners such as China, Japan, South Korea, the United States, Australia, and India.
Suryodipuro said that Indonesia is expecting 27 world leaders and international bodies, including 18 leaders of countries participating in the East Asia Summit (EAS), the Canadian Prime Minister, and executive directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank to join the meeting.
The East Asia Summit comprises 18 participating countries, including 10 ASEAN member states, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United States. [antaranews]