New York, USA: Indonesia's contribution in creating an ecosystem of peace, stability and prosperity in the region is the foundation for Indonesia's efforts to promote the creation of the same ecosystem at the global level. It was conveyed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi, in front of 150 invitees that filled the room in Asia Society, New York, USA (25/9).
In her keynote speech, Minister Retno emphasized that the efforts to create a global peace ecosystem is not a utopia. A Half century ago when ASEAN was formed, no one thought that ASEAN would remain standing until today. But in fact, ASEAN currently becomes an anchor of stability and an engine of regional economic growth.
"ASEAN is a real example of how a region that is full of conflicts between the neighboring countries and weak economically can transform into one of the global forces today," said Retno.
She further explained 3 recipes of ASEAN success. Firstly, through the ASEAN Way, there has been a culture of dialogue, consensus, inclusiveness, and peaceful resolutions based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity. Secondly, from the culture of dialogue grows the ability to develop institutions and principles such as Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN), Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, ASEAN Charter until the establishment of ASEAN Community. Finally, ASEAN provides a platform for its partner countries, including the great powers of the world, to meet regularly.
"The success of ASEAN in the politic sector becomes the foundation of the economic development success, which leads to the creation of a welfare ecosystems in the region," Retno added.
Nevertheless, ASEAN still faces three major challenges, namely how to overcome the geo-political rivalry of big countries, transnational crime including terrorism, and to maintain the integrity and centrality of ASEAN.
In a question and answer session, moderated by Ambassador Daniel Russel (former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs), Retno received questions about ASEAN's efforts in dealing with terrorism and humanitarian issues at Rakhine State.
Clearly, The Minister affirmed that ASEAN has strengthened its cooperation efforts in handling terrorism, particularly related to the regionalization of terrorist groups such as in Marawi, Philippines, through the sub-regional cooperation, such as trilateral. Together with the neighboring countries, Indonesia continues to strengthen the border controls, in order to prevent the crossing of terrorists.
Furthermore, Retno also explained about the marathon diplomacy efforts for humanity conducted to Myanmar and Bangladesh. It has been explained that currently the efforts are being made to ensure that humanitarian assistance can run smoothly. She also conveyed her approach to religious and community leaders to help in approaching the community.
As concluding remarks, Retno reminded, "Peace is not achieved all of a in sudden, but must be fought for together." The Minister said that in order to realize the global peace ecosystem, Indonesia is ready to strengthen the cooperation with all partners, including the US.
Asia Society invited Foreign Minister Retno to give lectures on the ecosystem of peace and global stability. According to Tom Nagorski, the Executive Vice President of Asia Society, Indonesia's contribution in creating peace deserves praise. In addition, Indonesia's initiative and care in handling various crises, is also worthy of being an example for other countries.
Asia Society is a leading nonprofit organization that has a mission to develop mutual understanding and partnerships among communities, leaders and institutions. The foundation was founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller III, one of America's leading figures. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)