Indonesia as Chair of ASEAN attends UNSC Meeting on border clash between Cambodia and Thailand
The Indonesian Foreign Minister on behalf of Indonesia as the Chair of ASEAN was specifically asked by the President of UNSC to provide an explanation regarding the good will efforts it has extended to resolve the conflict between Thailand and Cambodia.
"Sounds of gun shots and artillery bursts in Southeast Asia must be silenced,” that was the statement of Indonesian Foreign Minister, Dr. Marty M. Natalegawa, in a closed meeting conducted by the United Nations Security Council at the UN Headquarters in New York this morning (14/2) local time.
The meeting was held as response to Cambodia’s request that the UN specifically discuss the development after the border clashes between Cambodia and Thailand.
Previously, from 7 to 8 February 2011, the Foreign Minister conducted a shuttle diplomacy to Phnom Penh and Bangkok, to prevent the escalation of conflict at the border of the two nations. Besides that, the trip was also intended to foster a conducive climate so the two countries might resolve their dispute through peaceful means.
“Military approach is not the solution for the border issue between the two nations. There is no doubt about the complexity of the border issue between Thailand and Cambodia. However, and I wish to emphasize this point, there is absolutely no reason why the issue cannot be resolved through peaceful means; through dialogue and negotiations”, said the Indonesian Foreign Minister.
Further in his speech, the Foreign Minister conveyed three conclusions from his trip to Cambodia and Thailand.
First and foremost, there lies a will and commitment from both sides to settle their differences through peaceful means.
This is line with the basic undertaking all ASEAN member countries have made as reflected in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) and the ASEAN Charter.
Second, both sides recognize the need to stabilize the situation on the ground (the border region); to ensure that the ceasefire holds.
There is a need to build a more reliable local and higher-level communications system between the two sides.
Third, create the necessary conditions conducive for diplomatic negotiations to take place.
Bilateral and regional, and indeed, global efforts, do not have to be seen as exclusive to one another, nor are they an ‘either/or’ choices; rather they can be made complementary and mutually reinforcing.
Ten days after the conflict started, the situation is relatively stable. “This is due to the quick initiative by Indonesia in containing the conflict while simultaneously maintaining communication with the UNSC,” stated the majority of UNSC members in the session.
A number of parties have expressed their appreciation for ASEAN’s new posture, i.e. providing a more direct response to security situation involving its members.
“Since the beginning, we shun a vacuum in response at regional level which may lead to direct intervention by the UNSC. Now, it is the other way around, the UNSC involvement is in support of Indonesia’s efforts as the Chair of ASEAN”, said the Foreign Minister.
ASEAN’s Foreign Ministers Meeting
During the Security Council Meeting, as Chair of ASEAN, Indonesia called for a meeting among Foreign Ministers of ASEAN member states in Jakarta on 22 February 2011 to discuss and to follow up the outcome of the UNSC Meeting (source: Secretariat of the Foreign Minister).
For more of the Foreign Minister’s speech in English click here