ASEAN, UN To Take On World Conflicts

27 , 2011 | Source: The Jakarta Post

In an attempt to bring sustainable peace to the world, ASEAN and the United Nations (UN) are scheduled to meet by the end of this week to discuss, among other issues, conflict resolution.

The Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting is scheduled for Saturday in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Foreign Ministry senior official Jose Antonio Morato Tavares said on Monday that the meeting would discuss international issues in which ASEAN and the UN shared “common concerns”.

“We will raise issues that ASEAN ministers agree to discuss in UN forums,” he told The Jakarta Post.

“Mediation in conflict resolution is one of the topics [to be discussed in the UN General Assembly], to which ASEAN is also attempting to contribute through the [planned] establishment of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation.”

The ministry earlier said the institute would likely comprise think tanks — but no military — from member states and would provide consultation for countries seeking peaceful solutions to internal conflicts or conflicts between member states.

The think tanks would then share their experiences based on best practice and lessons learned and issue recommendations in accordance with the respective countries’ experiences and characteristics.

Jose said that if the regional grouping managed to maintain peace in the region, that would be in line with what the UN was also aiming at — global security.

He also said ASEAN wished to work on millennium development goals (MDGs) set up by the UN and have its members meet them.

University of Indonesia international relations expert Hariyadi Wirawan said with its planned agenda with the UN, ASEAN was likely aiming for a global effort that gave more space for a “kind of international economic system” to assist those who were most in need.

“Right now, the world is facing recession, and Africa is dealing with fundamental problems,” he told the Post.

“And ASEAN believes that conflicts emanate from economic problems. For example, Singapore believes that the root of major problems almost everywhere is injustice in dividends from natural resources. Economic justice is one [of the conflict resolution mechanisms].”

In an attempt to achieve economic justice, ASEAN was trying to meet MDGs, though its members have frequently failed to do so in many fields due to different parameters applied by ASEAN and the UN, he said.

“ASEAN is actually trying to prepare things, to help alleviate poverty so that it won’t be left far behind MDGs set by the UN,” Hariyadi said.

Social justice, he said, was also one way to achieve sustainable world security, for example, by giving support to countries not yet recognized legitimately, just as Indonesia was doing through ASEAN.

In response to ASEAN’s efforts in conflict resolution, Indonesia Defense University ASEAN expert Bantarto Bandoro said it was time now for the regional grouping to establish a peacekeeping force as mandated by the UN Charter.

 

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