By APD Writer Marverick
JAKARTA, Aug. 12 (APD) — Indonesian President Joko Widodo urged all 10 Southeast Asian nations joined in ASEAN to preserve the bloc’s centrality and unity to prevail the challenges that looming in the region.
The Indonesian president also said the integrated economy and society in the bloc, which took into effect in 2015, must be capable in delivering prosperity for all walks of life living across the ASEAN territory.
President Widodo’s statement was conveyed in his remarks to commemorate 50th anniversary of ASEAN in the ASEAN Secretariat here on Friday.
“Only by keep sticking together ASEAN would be able to preserve its centrality, attaining its communal goals,” the president went on with his advice to respond the developing political and security issues in the region.
President Widodo said that the integrated economy and society programs applied in the region should capable to properly address regional challenges related to the ensuing global economy slowdown at the moment.
“Benefits of those programs should also be enjoyed by our small-middle firms, farmers, fishermen, women and youths,” the president said.
In the occasion President Widodo warned of the emerging threats from terrorism and drugs abuses, which apparently have become apparent issues in several states of the bloc.
According to the president, drugs trafficking activities in ASEAN territory should be well-addressed by all ASEAN members as it is apparently a cross-border crime, may destroy the future of youths in the region. He called for more-synergized regional efforts to address the issue.
Indonesia has executed dozens of domestic and foreign drug dealers after legal processes in state courts against them in the past few years.
On terrorism threat, President Widodo urged a coordinated effort be conducted to deal with it.
“Terrorists’ attacks in Marawi were a ‘wake up call’ for us to immediately respond it,” the president said.
The initiative to address the escalating terrorism activities in the region has been carried out by Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines which held a trilateral meeting on June 22, followed by a sub-regional meeting held in North Sulawesi capital of Manado on July 29.
The latter meeting was attended by senior officials from Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei.
The sub regional meeting was expected to boost cooperation between those countries in tackling terrorism issue through information exchanges, capacity buildings among others.
The Southeast Asia regional bloc that covers 3 percent of the earth was formed by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand in August 8, 1967.
Other states in the region that joined later were Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
The bloc’s main aims were to promote economic growth, social improvements among 625 million population inhabiting the region, stability prevention and peaceful dispute settlement in the region.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)
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