Indonesian president Joko Widodo is confident Asean will remain relevant in global crisis

JAKARTA, Jan 29 (Bernama): Indonesian President Joko Widodo is optimistic that Asean remains relevant for all the people in the region amid the challenging global circumstances.

He acknowledged that it would be challenging for Indonesia, as chair of Asean this year, given the myriad economic, energy, food, and war crises across the world.

"But I’m convinced that Asean is important for the people, region as well as the world,” said the leader, who is popularly known as Jokowi, when officiating Indonesia’s 2023 Asean chairmanship here.

"Asean will continue to contribute towards peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Asean will also continue to maintain economic growth.”

Jokowi took over the reins of the Asean chair from Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh in November, with the theme "Asean Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”.

According to him, Indonesia will focus on the five-point consensus (5PC) which refers to the bloc’s plan to help Myanmar resolve its issues.

"Yes, we are consistent in ensuring that the 5PC is executed,” he stated when speaking to the media later.

The 5PCs stipulate an and to violence, holding constructive discussions with all stakeholders, Asean to provide humanitarian aid to Myanmar, a special Asean ambassador to carry out negotiations, and the special envoy involved be allowed to visit the country.

Myanmar was thrown into a state of turmoil when military chief Min Aung Hlaing overthrew the democratic government led by Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup on February 1, 2021.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Myanmar will be a hotly debated topic at the first Asean Foreign Ministers’ meeting for the year, to be held in early February.

She stressed that Indonesia does not want the issue to become an obstacle to all ongoing processes in Asean, especially efforts to accelerate community development.

Cooperation in all areas including health, energy, food, and finance will be intensified so that South-East Asia becomes the "epicentrum of growth” or the centre of economic growth, she added. - Bernama

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Indonesia , Asean chair , Widodo , Myanmar , Retno Marsudi


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