Jokowi: Let’s Make the Indo-Pacific a Theater of Peace

President Joko Widodo or Jokowi said that ASEAN’s challenges facing global dynamics and complexity would not yet be resolved. Jokowi believes that there is still hope of creating a peaceful, stable and prosperous region.

“Let’s strengthen the Indo-Pacific region as a theater of peace and inclusiveness,” said Jokowi while concluding the ASEAN Summit at the Jakarta Convention Center, Senayan, on Thursday, September 7, 2023.
The focus of ASEAN and its partners at this week’s high-level conference is to increase economic cooperation. However, the Myanmar crisis still haunts the ASEAN Summit meeting, in addition to tense diplomatic relations between the United States and China.

The ASEAN Summit this time was not only attended by member countries. But dialogue partners such as the United States, Australia, China and Russia.
At a press conference after the closing of ASEAN on Thursday, September 7 2023, Jokowi stated that as chairman of ASEAN this year, Indonesia had achieved the targets it had set. Although, there are still problems that are of common concern to ASEAN, such as the issue of Myanmar.
Among the documents agreed upon by member countries was an institutional strengthening mechanism through Concord IV which became the ASEAN Joint Vision 2045. The leaders also agreed on a five-point consensus review in resolving the Myanmar crisis.

This is the essence of what Indonesia’s chairmanship has built, making ASEAN matters the epicenter of growth. Jokowi said that Indonesia was building the essence of ASEAN’s chairmanship this year as a center for global growth. He acknowledged that this task would not be completed in just one presidency. “We must work together to navigate challenges into opportunities… We must be captains of our own ship,” said Jokowi at the closing of the ASEAN Summit.

The Stumbling Issue of Myanmar and the South China Sea

ASEAN leaders have acknowledged there has been no significant progress in implementing a peaceful solution to resolve the Myanmar crisis known as the Five Points of Consensus. In overcoming the Myanmar crisis, the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta on Tuesday, September 5 2023, agreed to the formation of a troika.
ASEAN agreed to a five-point consensus after the coup in Myanmar erupted in February 2021. The peaceful solution includes an immediate end to violence; organizing dialogue between all parties; appointment of special envoys; allowing humanitarian assistance from ASEAN; and allowing a special envoy to visit Myanmar to meet with all parties.

The troika in question is cooperation in dealing with the Myanmar crisis between the current ASEAN chair, the previous year’s chair and the next year’s chair. This is state in a document of ASEAN leaders’ review and decision on the implementation of five point consensus.

Jokowi admits that it takes a long time to create peace, but we must continue to make (efforts) and fight,

“ASEAN will not be hostage by Myanmar. “The ASEAN ship must continue to advance to realize peace, stability and prosperity,” said Jokowi in a press conference after the closing of the ASEAN Summit.

Indonesia has carrie out very intensive engagement during its 9 months as chairman of ASEAN. More than 145 engagements with 70 stakeholders have been carrie out. Jakarta sees that trust is starting to emerge between one stakeholder and another, except with the military junta.

Meanwhile, regarding maritime issues, there has been no statement from ASEAN that reflects its position regarding the latest developments regarding the South China Sea. A number of Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam protested against China’s new map released last week because of territorial overlap in the South China Sea.

Beijing hopes that each party will not over-interpret the country’s new map.

When met by journalists on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that ASEAN. Had discusse with China to spend up negotiation regarding the South China Sea code of conduct which had been discusse for a long time.

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