In her opening remarks, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Masurdi highlighted “many difficult circumstances in the region,” saying “the eyes of our peoples are on us to prove ASEAN still matters and can contribute towards peace, stability and prosperity in the region.”
She reviewed efforts in building the ASEAN Community over the past year, with preparations for the ASEAN Community Vision 2045 in ASEAN Concord IV.
“We continue taking a lead in shaping our regional dynamics and ensuring a peaceful and inclusive Indo-Pacific region,” she said.
“We are seeing more countries acceding to the TAC and becoming partners of ASEAN.”
This shows ASEAN’s convening power a wide acceptance of ASEAN’s norms and values, the minister emphasised.
However, ASEAN still has to face some challenges, including the situation in Myanmar, she said, stressing “ASEAN can only steam forward in full power if we can ensure a peaceful and lasting solution in Myanmar.”
As mandated by ASEAN leaders, the ministers will conduct a comprehensive review on the Five-Point Consensus (5PC) implementation and prepare a recommendation for the leaders’ deliberation at the 43rd ASEAN Summit.