Please credit: Ng Swan Ti/UNIC Jakarta
Senior government officials from ASEAN countries, experts from ASEAN strategic think tanks and senior officials from the United Nations will explore opportunities for enhancing cooperation in conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy at an ASEAN-UN workshop in Jakarta.
“Lessons Learned and Best Practices in Conflict Prevention and Preventive Diplomacy,” was opened today by the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia H.E. Marty Natalegawa, the Secretary-General of ASEAN H.E. Le Luong Minh, and UN Under-Secretary-General Vijay Nambiar.
“We all feel the urgent need for more effective conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy. As a way of creating a culture of peace, ASEAN has launched the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation in Jakarta which is aimed at conducting activities that are related to conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution,” Foreign Minister Natalegawa told participants gathered in his opening remarks at the Flags Room, Pancasila Building, at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta on Friday. He also expressed the hope that “this seminar will yield concrete results that will help us establish, develop and fine-tune mechanisms of effective conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy that will nurture a global and regional culture of peace.”
“ASEAN has gradually but consistently built up its capacity to pursue peace and prevent conflicts, not only in terms of conceptual, normative and institutional development but also in its on-the-ground engagement in preventing and resolving conflicts in the region. Through these home-grown efforts and experiences, we have many lessons to learn and practices to share with the wider global community”, said the ASEAN Secretary-General H.E. Le Luong Minh at the opening session. He further stated that ASEAN and ASEAN countries have been partners for peace with the UN for many years, and that ASEAN and especially the newly launched ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) should tap on the wealth of experience and expertise of the UN in the field of conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy.
The ASEAN-UN workshop will be held over two days in Jakarta. Its main objectives are to review various experiences in conflict prevention in Southeast Asia and beyond, with a view to identifying follow-up activities between ASEAN and the United Nations. Participants include some fifty senior representatives from the governments of ten ASEAN states, ten ASEAN strategic think-tanks, UN senior officials and guest experts from the region.
“The United Nations stands ready to support ASEAN’s efforts in continuing to promote peace and stability in the region,” said UN Under-Secretary-General Vijay Nambiar, adding his hope that “government officials and experts gathered will identify concrete steps that could contribute to conflict prevention and preventive diplomacy in the peaceful prevention of conflict in the region.”
The initiative marks a valuable contribution to the ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership agreed between ASEAN and the United Nations, at the 4th ASEAN-UN Summit in Bali in November 2011, at the end of Indonesia’s Chairmanship of ASEAN. The ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership provides a solid foundation to strengthen ASEAN-UN relations through collaborative activities in the areas of political-security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation as well as cooperation between the ASEAN Secretariat and the United Nations.