Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. (Reuters Photo/Romeo Ranoco)

Indonesia Presents Indo-Pacific Cooperation Concept at Asean Ministerial Meeting


AUGUST 02, 2018

Singapore. Indonesia presented its Indo-Pacific cooperation concept at the Asean Ministerial Meeting in Singapore this week, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Wednesday (01/08).

Retno said her delegation distributed a document explaining the concept among the meeting's participants — members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia, Japan and India. The document, however, has not been made public yet.

Retno said she met with Cambodia's Foreign Minister Prak Sokhon on the sidelines of the meeting, and explained Indonesia does not intend to introduce new regional architecture, but wants to optimize the existing structures. The minister also said she had shared the concept with Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

The Indo-Pacific cooperation concept includes promoting dialogue and Asean's unity in responding to international and regional issues.

"Asean's centrality principle is behind Indonesia's promotion of the Indo-Pacific cooperation concept," Retno said, adding that Indonesia believes that the region's architecture should be based on Asean mechanisms such as those implemented for the East Asia Summit (EAS).

"EAS is one of the best examples where dialogue takes place to address even the most sensitive issues among the world's major powers."

EAS was initiated by 16 countries in East Asia, Southeast Asian and South Asia. In 2011, its membership was expanded to include Russia and the United States. Its next meeting will be held in Singapore in November.

Additional reporting by Sheany.