Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Retno Marsudi, discusses ASEAN’s role in global issues at the ASEAN Media Forum 2023. Learn about ASEAN’s stand on the Gaza situation, its role in the global landscape, and its future vision.
In a captivating address at the ASEAN Media Forum 2023, Retno Marsudi, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, discussed a broad spectrum of global issues and ASEAN’s crucial role in tackling them.
Marsudi’s speech kicked off with her recent involvement in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting and the emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) regarding the escalating situation in Gaza.
The Stalemate at the United Nations Security Council
Marsudi returned from New York with disappointing news: the UNSC had failed to agree on how to handle the dire situation in Gaza. This deadlock has sparked questions about the UNSC’s effectiveness in dealing with critical global issues. In response, Indonesia, along with other nations, initiated a special session of the UNGA to address the issue.
Indonesia’s Proactive Role in the UNGA
Indonesia’s commitment to international peace and security was demonstrated as Marsudi highlighted their proactive role in co-sponsoring a UNGA resolution on protecting civilians and upholding legal and humanitarian obligations. The resolution, adopted on October 27, 2003, exemplifies their unwavering commitment to addressing violence and human rights abuses against civilians.
ASEAN’s Stand on the Gaza Situation
Marsudi shifted her focus to the ASEAN community, stressing the importance of a collective response to crises. The ASEAN Foreign Ministers issued a statement strongly condemning acts of violence against civilians, including ASEAN nationals, and calling for urgent humanitarian assistance. Marsudi emphasized that the peace and stability ASEAN has enjoyed for over five decades should not be taken for granted. She underscored the need for continued efforts to maintain this peace.
ASEAN’s Role in the Global Landscape
In the current global landscape marked by major power rivalries, food and energy crises, and ongoing conflicts, Marsudi highlighted ASEAN’s pivotal role. As chair of ASEAN, Indonesia has been actively addressing these challenges, both current and future. Notably, they have succeeded in bridging differences and finding common ground in negotiations, even amid complex geopolitical dynamics.
The Future of ASEAN
Marsudi provided insights into ASEAN’s vision beyond 2025. This vision aims to establish a people-centered, adaptive, and resilient ASEAN capable of navigating the complexities of the modern world. Key areas of focus include strengthening decision-making processes within ASEAN and promoting cooperation in various sectors such as energy, finance, digital economy, and sustainable blue and green economies.
Expanding ASEAN's TAC
Serbia, Panama, and Kuwait recently joined the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), becoming the 52nd, 53rd, and 54th countries to do so. Retno Marsudi emphasized the TAC's role in promoting friendly relations, dialogue, and peaceful coexistence in the region, particularly in the context of current geopolitical tensions. She highlighted the importance of using the growing enthusiasm for TAC to enhance regional stability and address common challenges, including climate change and transnational crime. In 2023, Saudi Arabia also joined the TAC, bringing the total number of new signatories to four in the same year. All five members of the United Nations Security Council (P5) have acceded to the TAC, and only Italy and Mexico among the G20 members have yet to sign.
The Myanmar Situation
Acknowledging slow progress in addressing Myanmar’s situation, Marsudi conveyed Indonesia’s commitment to playing a role through Troika efforts to achieve wider consensus and ensure humanitarian access in conflict areas.