“Right now, all eyes are shifting towards ASEAN. This spotlight should inspire all of us to work harder in achieving an ASEAN Community 2015, and to transpire a solid regional partnership to address and seek solutions for global issues.” explained President Yudhoyono in the opening plenary of the 18th ASEAN Summit, at Jakarta Convention Center earlier this morning (7/5).
President Yudhoyono highlighted that more and more countries have intensified efforts in realizing cooperation with ASEAN. This is a testament for increase image ASEAN as a regional cooperation. “We have build experience and learnings from over forty years history of cooperation. Thus, we have plenty to offer to other regions and countries outside our region”
In the two days of Meetings (7-8 May 2011), ASEAN Leaders (excluding Singapore) have gathered to exchange views and sharing best practices to formulate ASEAN’s policy.The 18th Summit was attended by ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan, Sultan of Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Mu′izzaddin Waddaulah, Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen, Prime Minister Laos Thongsing Thammavong, Prime Minister for Malaysia Dato′ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister for Myanmar Thein Sein, President of the Republic of Philipines Benigno S. Aquino III, Senior Minister of Singapore S. Jayakumar, representing Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Thailand Abhisit Vejjajiva, and Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung.
ASEAN needs to be more responsive
To conclude its potential, it is hoped that ASEAN continues to stay responsive and becomes solution seeker, while at the same time realising opportunities and challenges that has became more complicated and complex.“We are not only dealing with national problems anymore, so there’s a need for a more comprehensive resolution and better cooperation between countries in South East Asia.” adds Mister President. “There’s a need for better cooperation among nations whether its in regional or in global forums”
In the spirit of seeking solutions, President SBY stresses again the needs to progress Indonesia’s Chairmanship priorities, which includes:
1. Ensuring significant progress in the efforts towards ASEAN Community;
2. Ensuring a sustainable and condusive region for the attainment of development goals, such as through the commencement of East Asia Summit, bearing in mind ASEAN’s centrality; and
3. Succeeding discussions of a vision “ASEAN Beyond 2015”, which elaborate the role of ASEAN Community amongst a Global Community of Nations. Thereof after the realization of an ASEAN Community in 2015, ASEAN will be ready to take a role in addressing increasing global challenges.
These three priorities will be further addressed with a people centeredapproach in order for all elements of the community to have a sense of belonging and strong willingness to participate. “They will be the first, and foremost important beneficiary of our initiative” acclaimed Mster President.
Progress achieving Priorities
To realize these priorities, ASEAN, under the leadership of Indonesia have taken forward measures in preparation for the upcoming East Asia Summit that will contribute to the region’s stability to which entails an increase of welfare to the community.
ASEAN have gained progress in establishing market connectivity by the development of an integrated website which communicates seven stock exchange to increase blue chip equity amongst investor. In the near future ASEAN will be realizing the impelemntation of Credit Guarantee and Investment Faciliteswith a total amount of 700 million US dollar. This is added on the plan to form the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund to bolster infrastructure development in the region.
ASEAN needs to ensure that the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity could be implemented effectively, promote SME and develop trade, investment and tourism amongst ASEAN and with Dialogue Partners.
In the act to encourage people to people interaction, the Summit held a meeting with representative from Parliamentary Assembly, Civil Society Organization and Youth to further progress ASEAN as a people centered and oriented organization.