ASEAN Now Able To Contribute To Global Agenda

09 , 2011 | Source: ANTARA News

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said ASEAN now had a unique opportunity to transform the region, shape the architecture of Asia Pacific, and contribute to the global agenda.

Speaking to an audience of 300 people comprising among others ASEAN member countries` ambassadors and officials at the ASEAN Secretariat here on Monday, the head of state outlined four opportunities for ASEAN to achieve those goals.

"First, through its various dialogue mechanisms, and like no other regional organization, ASEAN has emerged to become an indispensable diplomatic hub in the Asia-Pacific," the head of state said.

This had placed ASEAN in a very strategic position as an organization that moves and shapes regional affairs, Yudhoyono said.

Second, ASEAN had demonstrated its economic resilience, in the face of the recent global financial crisis, as the region was predicted to grow between 5.7 percent and 6.4 percent this year, or faster than the world average of 4.5 percent, he stated.

The third opportunity was the fact that ASEAN had developed assets that were relevant to global issues, because the region had vast areas of forests, natural resources and commodities, the president added.

ASEAN also had strategic maritime space and resources, as well as a huge population with dynamic youth.

"We are a region with extremely diverse religious and ethnic make-ups. We are open societies and we embrace moderation," he said.

And fourth, ASEAN had increasing ability to speak with a collective voice in international forums, and that enhanced the organization`s capacity to contribute to the resolution of global issues, he stated.

The President gave the presidential lecture to celebrate the ASEAN`s 44th anniversary.

ASEAN was founded in 1967 when the Bangkok Declaration signed on Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand as its Founding Fathers.

Later, Brunei Darussalam joined in 1984, Viet Nam in 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar in 1997, and finally, Cambodia in 1999.

ASEAN Secretary-General Dr Surin Pitsuwan recently said this year`s ASEAN Day would be a historic one.

For the first time that ASEAN Member States and their participating Missions were expected to raise the ASEAN flag at their premises concurrently at 8:30 AM local time. The ASEAN Secretariat similarly rose the flag at its premise in Jakarta.

 

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