Welcoming Debut! First Time Timor Leste at ASEAN Meeting in Jakarta
Timor Leste made its ASEAN summit debut on Friday, hosted by neighboring Indonesia, which is currently in charge of the organization. Timor Leste was given the go-ahead to join ASEAN "in principle" last year.
Adaljiza Magno, the foreign minister of Timor Leste, attended the 32nd ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) Meeting in Jakarta alongside her Southeast Asian counterparts, with the exception of Myanmar.
Speaking at the ACC opening session, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said, "Our ACC meeting is special and historic for ASEAN, whose leaders in Phnom Penh last November agreed in principle to admit Timor Leste as ASEAN's eleventh member and to grant an observer status, and allow its participation in all ASEAN meetings, including the summit plenaries."
As a result, she added, "today we welcome the participation of the foreign minister of Timor Leste for the first time."
Magno acknowledged that Timor Leste's path to joining the Southeast Asian bloc had been difficult in front of the gathered ASEAN ambassadors. But the mission is not insurmountable. We are on the correct path and moving forward well to the right finish of our journey with tremendous optimism and determination," Magno remarked.
"The fact that we have arrived at this position is also a result of our team's efforts working together and the assistance of other ASEAN members. We weren't able to complete the journey alone, she continued. The ACC meeting continued behind closed doors.
Retno revealed that the ACC meeting had produced a number of outcomes, including the acceptance of the rules for Timor Leste's observer status, at a subsequent press conference. Retno told reporters, "We also endorsed the updated TOR [terms of reference] of the ACC working group on Timor Leste.
Retno claims that the council also gave the working group instructions to develop a draft roadmap for Timor Leste's whole membership.
Timor Leste launched its ASEAN membership candidacy in 2011, therefore it took more than ten years for the nation to eventually make substantial advancements on its path. Additionally, ASEAN dispatched fact-finding teams to evaluate Timor Leste's suitability to join the organization as its eleventh member. These missions covered the economic, political-security, and socio-cultural community pillars.
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