In a recent speech, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi emphasized the critical importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in preserving peace and stability in the region, especially during a time marked by crises across the world.
Marsudi's remarks were delivered during the 7th ASEAN Media Forum, and she underscored that the longstanding peace and stability enjoyed by Southeast Asia for over five decades should not be taken for granted.
She expressed, "Can you imagine the Southeast Asia Region without ASEAN? We should be grateful for we have been blessed with peace and stability in the region for more than five decades. I think we shall never take peace for granted. Peace does not fall from the sky. We truly have to maintain it. ASEAN needs to work hard to maintain it, especially now that the world is clearly not okay."
Marsudi also pointed out the challenges faced by ASEAN in the midst of global developments. She mentioned "sharpening major power rivalry, a more divided world, food and energy crises, and continuing wars" as key issues that pose a threat to the region's peace.
Additionally, the Indonesian Foreign Minister lamented the lack of progress in addressing the situation in Myanmar, describing it as "regrettable" due to the limited implementation of the five-point consensus reached by ASEAN members to resolve the crisis.
Emphasizing the imperfections within ASEAN, Marsudi emphasized its crucial role in maintaining peace, stability, and prosperity in the region. Marsudi acknowledged that while stories of peace may not receive as much attention as those of conflict and war, ASEAN's imperfections are often highlighted more prominently than its numerous achievements. Nevertheless, she emphasized, "But one thing is for sure: ASEAN has made significant contributions to peace, stability, and prosperity in the region."
Furthermore, Marsudi highlighted ASEAN's central role in fostering Southeast Asia as a focal point for growth and development. The association's efforts have played a pivotal role in shaping the region's economic growth and development.
In conclusion, Retno Marsudi's remarks underscore the indispensable role of ASEAN in preserving peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia, especially during times of global uncertainty and regional challenges.