Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Marty M Natalegawa with ASEAN Member States’ ministers held three Ministerial Meetings for the preparations of 18th ASEAN Summit while shared their thought to addresses common issues. Results of these meetings were briefly elaborated by Dr. Natalegawa in a press conference, on the eve of the ASEAN Summit (6/5).
The three mentioned Meetings were respectively: ASEAN Political-Security Council (APSC); ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM); and the 8th ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC).
The APSC Meeting was chaired by Coordinating Minister for Political-Security Affairs, Djoko Suyanto to addresses the progress of sectoral co-operation under the Political-Security Pillar. Several initiative that was address were among others; efforts in integrating the ASEAN Community, counter-terrorism, trafficking in person and conflict resolution. In a separate Meeting, ACC conveyed the report of ASEAN Secretary General regarding issues that will be addressed in the 18th ASEAN Summit.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting
AMM was conducted to make final preparations regarding issues to be discussed by ASEAN Leaders in the Summit. Several issues that were addresses including preparations for the November’ East Asia Summit in Bali later on this year, which will be attended for the first time by US and Russia.
The Meeting also deliberates this year’s theme which was iterated by Indonesia, ‘ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations’. “This vision has been agreed upon (by ASEAN Member States) and there will be a Joint Statement by ASEAN Leaders addressing this issue” explained Natalegawa.
Indonesian initiative for the establishment of institute for Peace and Reconciliation, an institution for conflictprevention and post-conflict reconsiliation measures, was welcomed by the Meeting. “This institution is part of ASEAN efforts to complete measures for conflict prevention and help reconciliate post conflict condition” added the Indonesian Foreign Minister.
An assertive ASEAN
The meeting also became a stepping stone for ASEAN to discuss about issues in more direct way when addressing several formal issues such as the development of Myanmar and Thailand-Cambodia’s disagreement.
Addressing the issue on Myanmar, that was usually conduct in an informal Meeting, was discussed at the plenary in AMM. ASEAN Foreign Minister use this meeting to exchange views and ideas regarding the development of Myanmar that was first formally address by Myanmar’s FM, Wunna Maung Lwin. “We will further pursuit progress for Myanmar to continue its reform, democratization, and reconciliation process, building up on what have been conveyed by President Yudhoyono to Myanmar President. We are ready to share information” explained Natalegawa.
Meantime regarding the issue of Thailand and Cambodia, Foreign Minister stated that the two parties have been agreed upon on the Terms of Reference (ToR) regarding the role of Indonesian observer in the border line of the two countries. In this AMM, all Member States, including Thailand and Cambodia will continue to support ASEAN involvement in resolving the conflict. “We (ASEAN Foreign Minister) think that, in days ahead of the Summit, it will be a crucial time to stabilize the regional situation, after agreeing on the ToR, now we must build up conducive environment for the deployment of the mentioned observers and in the meantime continuing political dialog between the two parties”.
Other than previously mentioned issues, ASEAN Ministers also addresses the issue of South China Sea, trafficking in person, migrant workers,Human Rights and continued democratization process in ASEAN, and also to build a people centered-oriented-driven ASEAN.
This round of AMM is the 5th round of Meeting in the last 5 months period. “This shows a more adapt and time-sensitive ASEAN in addressing international issues”added the Indonesian FM.