Indonesia Can Take ASEAN to a Greater Height as Chair in 2011: ASEAN SG
ASEAN Secretariat, 20 December 2010
At a historic first for both the Indonesian Cabinet and the Secretary-General of ASEAN, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono charged his Cabinet Ministers to work closely with the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta to ensure success for Indonesia’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2011.
"I do not want just the success of organising the ASEAN Summits, related Summits and Ministerial Meetings," said the President, "but a meaningful and successful follow-ups with concrete outcomes well into the future."
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is widely known in Indonesia as President SBY, also stressed that Indonesia has traditionally given "milestones" to ASEAN and the international community, citing the 1955 Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung, the 1994 APEC Summit in Bogor and the 1976 and 2003 ASEAN Summits in Bali which had solidified ASEAN solidarity and transformed the region into an ASEAN Community.
At a special cabinet session held last Friday at Istana Merdeka (Indonesia's Presidential Palace) to deliberate on Indonesia’s Chairmanship of ASEAN next year, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, was also invited to brief the entire Cabinet on the works of ASEAN and what is expected of the Indonesian Chair.
"With her own profile in the international arena, her credentials and credibility as an active player of the developing world and emerging economies, a rightful member of the G-20, the largest Muslim country and the fourth most populous and fourth largest democracy, Indonesia can bring ASEAN along in its engagement with the world and bring ASEAN to a new height," said Dr Surin.
Dr Surin also said that he expected Indonesia to adopt a proactive role in its leadership of ASEAN – "an enhanced role of the Chair," as he described it to Kabinet Indonesia Bersatu II (Second United Indonesia Cabinet).
"Indonesia has a weight, an international legitimacy and a global appeal to draw tremendous support and attention from around the world to the ASEAN community building efforts that we are all engaging in now," Dr Surin continued.
“The theme that Indonesia has chosen for its Chairmanship, ‘ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations’, has already implied Indonesia would be engaged, proactive and using the ASEAN platform to enhance ASEAN profile in the global arena," added Dr Surin.
In his directive to the Cabinet, President SBY stressed that as "ASEAN is a people-centred association, the public should be involved in all ASEAN events." He also said that Indonesia, during its Chairmanship, would engage the youth, students, business communities and civil society organisations at all stages of preparation to implementation.
The President added that Indonesia will see many ASEAN activities in 2011. Two Summits for ASEAN Leaders will be held in April and October in Jakarta and Bali respectively. He also said that the East Asia Summit will be expanded to include Russia and the United States. “We would like to see productive and meaningful deliberations on both economic and political and security issues facing our region," said the President. "We need enough time to address those important issues. We do not want to just gloss over the difficult issues. We want to really contribute to the solutions of those problems."
President SBY also informed his Cabinet that the ASEAN Secretariat deserved full support in all areas possible to facilitate its work in the implementation and coordination of ASEAN's work.
At the end of the Cabinet briefing, President SBY directed Vice President Boediono to chair the National Committee for Indonesia's Chairmanship of ASEAN to cooperate with the ASEAN Secretariat to ensure successes in all ASEAN activities under the Indonesian leadership next year.