Indonesia to hold high-level dialogue on Indo-Pacific Cooperation

19 March, 2019 | Source: Antara News

Delegates from the 18 member countries of the East Asia Summit (EAS) will attend the High Level Dialogue on Indo-Pacific Cooperation initiated by Indonesia on March 20, 2019, in Jakarta.

The dialogue was based on the theme "Toward Peaceful, Prosperous and Inclusive Areas", and the meeting would be opened by Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

"The purposes of the meeting, among others, were to increase cooperation and build trust in the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean region, which leads to mutually beneficial cooperation based on the principles of openness, inclusion, and transparency, as well as respect for international law," the Director General for Asia Pacific and Africa, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Desra Percaya, said in Jakarta on Monday.

The meeting was a concrete effort by Indonesia to strengthen the mechanism of dialogue within the framework of ASEAN for in-depth and inclusive cooperation in ASEAN, Desra continued.

The high-level meeting will be divided into two sessions, namely the general debate, which will be chaired by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, and each of the heads of delegation from the countries will deliver views on the Indo-Pacific.

Furthermore, the meeting will be followed by thematic discussions divided into three specific themes, namely the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), maritime cooperation, as well as infrastructure and connectivity.

The thematic discussion will be attended by government representatives such as Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, as well as academics who have expertise in related fields.

Coordinating Minister Pandjaitan will talk about infrastructure and connectivity.

Head of Policy Analysis and Development Agency at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Siswo Pramono explained that the high-level dialogue is Indonesia′s initiative to strengthen the Indo-Pacific concept, which is still being formulated by ASEAN countries.

Similar initiatives were carried out previously by Thailand in June 2018, but at different levels or at the level of high officials.

The essence of the dialogue is a process that will encourage confidence building in the midst of various concepts that have developed regarding the Indo-Pacific proposed by the US, Australia, Japan, India, China, and lately by South Korea.

"However, all of them are our friends in the EAS environment. They are not foreigners so they can still be in line, " Pramono said.

Therefore, in accordance with the spirit of the Indonesian concept and the ASEAN concept of the Indo-Pacific, the high-level dialogue is a dynamic and informal forum that allows each country to explain their concepts openly.

"The aim is not to contend which is better or unite in one concept, but to explain the Indo-Pacific concept. And it is the duty of Indonesia and friends of the ASEAN to synergize the commonalities of each concept," Pramono remarked.

The High Level Dialogue on Indo-Pacific Cooperation will be attended by foreign ministers from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, New Zealand, and Indonesia as the host.

The deputy ministers of China, India, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam attended the dialogue, while Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and the US sent officials at the level of director general.  

Russia and the Philippines will be represented by their respective ambassadors for ASEAN.


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