The 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) and Post Ministerial Conference (PMC) will be held in Jakarta, 11-14 July 2023. The meeting will be attended by 29 countries, plus the ASEAN Secretariat and the European Union.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi revealed that in order to maintain regional stability, peace and economic resilience, there are eight things that will be put forward at the AMM/PMC meeting. First, strengthening the enforcement of the principles of the ASEAN Charter and various codes of conduct, such as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANFWZ), and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
Second, strengthening Confidence Building Measures (CBM) while strengthening preventive diplomacy. “In this regard, I will encourage the China, Japan and Korea mechanisms to be revitalized. This mechanism is very important for the stability and prosperity of the region,” said Foreign Minister Retno when giving a press statement in the Archipelago Room of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Friday (7/7/2023).
Third, encourage states possessing nuclear weapons or nuclear weapon states to accede to the SEANWFZ Treaty Protocol. Fourth, complete the guidelines to accelerate the completion of the Code of Conduct negotiations in the South China Sea (CoC). ASEAN has stated about the need to handle disputed claims in these territorial waters peacefully.
The fifth thing that will be discussed in the upcoming AMM/PMC is the completion of the formation of the ASEAN Maritime Outlook. “This Outlook will be a very strategic document to strengthen synergies and avoid duplication of maritime cooperation, which has been carried out by 12 ASEAN sectoral bodies and as a reference for partner countries in maritime cooperation with ASEAN,” said Retno.
Sixth, discussing concrete cooperation in the context of strengthening food security, regional health architecture, strengthening maritime cooperation, and energy transition, including the electric vehicle ecosystem. Seventh, Foreign Minister Retno said, for the first time AOIP was mainstreamed in talks with partner countries, with a focus on discussing concrete cooperation.
“As friends know, the main principles in AOIP are inclusivity and building concrete cooperation. Therefore ASEAN is ready to cooperate with any partners in the context of implementing AOIP and this is reflected in various ASEAN documents with partners, both at the political level and at the technical level, such as making concrete cooperation,” said Retno.
Retno added, in September there will be an ASEAN-Indo Pacific Infrastructure Forum in implementing AOIP. While the eighth issue to be discussed at the AMM/PMC is, for the first time ASEAN has embraced the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the Pacific Island Forum (PIF) to maintain regional stability and peace.
“Engagement with IORA and PIF will be carried out at the September Summit. The road map for the memorandum of understanding on cooperation between the ASEAN secretariat and PIF continues to be finalized,” said Retno.
He revealed that currently the world situation is still filled with high rivalry. The war in Ukraine, for example, is still ongoing. According to Retno, this situation had a major impact on post-Covid-19 economic recovery efforts. This situation also has an effect on the atmosphere of discussion in all multilateral and international forums.
“In a situation like this, it becomes even more important for ASEAN to strengthen its solidity and unity so that it can continue to play centrality. With this centrality, ASEAN will be able to play a role in maintaining peace and stability in the region,” said Retno.