Asean Summit to Focus on Asean Community Vision, Address Regional Issues

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will discuss implementation and consolidation of the Asean Community Vision at the 31st Asean Summit in Manila. (Reuters Photo/Mark Crisanto)

By : Sheany | on 5:29 PM November 09, 2017
Category : News, Foreign Affairs

Jakarta. Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will discuss implementation and consolidation of the Asean Community Vision at the 31st Asean Summit in Manila on Nov. 9-14, an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday (09/11).

"We will focus on the implementation and consolidation processes in Asean community-building. The president [Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo] will affirm the importance of realizing a rules-based Asean community that is people-centered and people-oriented," Chandra Widya Yudha, director for Asean political and security cooperation at the Ministry, told reporters during a press briefing in Jakarta.

Chandra added that Indonesia will keep emphasizing the importance of Asean unity, especially to create a regional mechanism that is both responsive and relevant to address current challenges and opportunities.

According to the ministry's spokesman, Arrmanatha Nasir, the meeting will produce 55 documents, including the highly anticipated Asean Consensus on the Protection and Rights of Migrant Workers.

"This document was initiated by Indonesia and the Philippines to increase the protection of migrant workers in the region. We have managed to agree on an instrument that will be adopted at the summit," Arrmanatha said.

During the summit, Asean leaders are also set to meet with the organization's partners, including the United States, India, South Korea and the United Nations.

These meetings, according to the ministry's director for Asean cooperation, Benny Yan Pieter Siahaan, will touch on issues ranging from tensions in the Korean Peninsula and South China Sea, to the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar, counterterrorism, regional connectivity, and youth and educational exchanges.

"This year, in an effort to make the meetings more effective, we have adopted a new mechanism called 'Asean common statement,'" Benny said.

One Asean country will embrace the role of coordinator to speak on behalf of the whole regional bloc to its partners and increase the effectiveness of negotiations.

President Jokowi is expected to hold several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and others.

New Asean Secretary General

Chandra told reporters that Lim Jock Hoi, permanent secretary of Brunei Darussalam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will take over the role of Asean secretary general.

Lim will replace Le Luong Minh of Vietnam, who is wrapping up his five-year term in December.

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