ASEAN meet ends with pledges, support from member-nations


The 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit concluded in Indonesia on Thursday with pledged efforts to enhance ASEAN centrality and economic integration in order to better cope with crises and challenges.

Calling the summit a success “with great results,” Indonesian President Joko Widodo emphasized ASEAN unity at a press conference after the summit, saying the unity “is very important to” sailing towards common purposes, and “making ASEAN epicentrum of growth and region to be peaceful, stable and prosperous.”

Widodo also told the press conference that the summit has urged the member countries to protect migrant workers and victims of human trafficking.

A roadmap was adopted at the summit on Timor-Leste’s full membership, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told Xinhua after the press conference.

Last November, ASEAN agreed in principle to admit Timor-Leste to be its 11th member. Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak was present at the summit in observer’s status.

This year’s summit was themed “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth.” Indonesia, the current ASEAN chair, has expressed the hope that the bloc will remain a center of regional and global growth, focusing on efforts to make ASEAN a fast-growing, inclusive, and sustainable economic region in the long term.

Multiple documents were issued during the two-day ASEAN summit of leaders. In enhancing the ASEAN centrality, ASEAN leaders at the summit agreed to make joint efforts to improve the regional bloc’s capacity and efficiency in order to ensure a timely response to crises and emergency situations.

They also pledged to continue the efforts in realizing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 for building a resilient, dynamic and people-centered ASEAN Community that contributes to regional peace, stability and development, and to develop a post-2025 vision.

The regional bloc called for joint efforts to develop a regional Electric Vehicle (EV) ecosystem, which is deemed as a vital part of ASEAN’s commitment to sustainable transport, energy transition for reducing emissions in the region, and climate change action.

They also agreed to increase the use of local currencies in cross-border trade and investment in order to enhance financial resilience.

ASEAN, founded in 1967, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The last time Indonesia chaired ASEAN was in 2011, after hosting the summits in 1976 and 2003. The archipelagic country has scheduled the 43rd summit and the East Asia Summit to be held on Sept. 6-7 in the national capital Jakarta. ASEAN Summit is held twice a year.


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