Your Royal Highnesses,
On behalf of the Indonesian Delegation, I should first like to thank the Honourable Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad., Prime Miriister of Malaysia, for his gracious presence at the Opening Ceremony of the 30th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. His inspiring inaugural address has indeed set the tone for our deliberations I should also like to convey our deep appreciation to the Government and people of Malaysia for the generous hospitality accorded to all of us and for the excellent arrangements made for this Meeting.
To you, Mr. Chairman, I extend my sincerest congratulations On your election to preside over this 30th ASEAN Material Meeting, You have astutely guided the work of ASEAN during the past year and we are confident that you will just as skill fully lead our discussions to a successful conclusion. May I also felicitate H.E. Mr. Domingo Siazon Jr., the distinguished Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, on his election as Vice-Chairman.
I am greatly pleased to welcome in our midst our distinguished colleagues, H.E. Mr. Somsavat Lengsavad, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos and H.E. U Ohn Gyaw, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Myanmar who are joining us for the first time as full-fledged members.
May I also cordially welcome our distinguished colleagues from Papua New Guinea and Cambodia who are attending our Meeting as Observers.
At this 30th Meeting of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers, it would indeed be fitting and proper to dedicate ourselves once again to the objectives, ideals and principles on which ASEAN was founded some 30 years ago. On the basis of these ideals and principles embodied in the Bangkok Declaration of 1967, we took control of our own destiny and assumed our due share of the responsibility for the security and stability of our region.
ASEAN was born at a time of political turmoil and instability in Southeast Asia-largely brought about by the big power rivalries and military confrontations of the Cold War era. It is therefore natural that since its inception ASEAN has made serious efforts to contribute, to the promotion of peace, stability and prosperity by adopting a comprehensive approach to regional security and establishing a network of arrangements, mechanisms, agreements and treaties that include the ASEAN Declaration on a Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) in Southeast Asia ; the Declaration of ASEAN Concord; the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) and the recently concluded Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) which came into force last March. We remain hopeful that the nuclear-weapon states will also contribute to strengthening regional security by their timely accession to the relevant Protocol to the Treaty.
ASEAN launched the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1994 as a venue for dialogue and consultations m political and security issues, indeed., the ARF is the first post-Cold War mechanism for building confidence, trust and cooperation among its participants. With ASEAN as its driving force, the ARF has agreed on an evolutionary approach.
in addressing common security concerns which at this stage encompasses successively the promotion of confidence-building, the development of preventive diplomacy and the elaboration of approaches to conflict resolution.
These arrangements, mechanisms and cooperative efforts in the political, security and economic fields as well as functional cooperation have led to relative peace, stability and prosperity in Southeast Asia.
It would be erroneous, however, to conclude that the region of East and Southeast Asia is without challenges. A case in point is the regrettable turn of events in Cambodia which significantly changed the governmental set-up and political situation in that country brought about, unfortunately, by the use of armed force, We have joined the other ASEAN nations in expressing our profound dismay over these events and in calling on the two Co-Prime Ministers of Cambodia to resolve their differences peacefully. The Foreign Ministers of the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia have just completed a mission-as mandated by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers at our Special Meeting on 10 July 1997-to meet with His Majesty King Sihanouk H.R.H. Prince Ranariddh and H.E. Mr. Hun Sen and convey the readiness of ASEAN to contribute its efforts to the peaceful resolution of the situation in Cambodia.
While ASEAN’s mission received support from His Majesty King Sihanouk and Prince Ranariddh, we were initially not able to get the same support from H.E. Mr. Hun Sen who clearly stated that ASEAN must not play any role in resolving the situation in Cambodia since, in his view, it is an internal matter of Cambodia and he could and would solve it in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of Cambodia. Failing this, he would then turn to His Majesty King Sihanouk, as the Head of State, for a solution. However, in a subsequent message conveyed through Foreign Minister Ung Huot, it appears that H.E. Mr. Hun Sen has instructed His Foreign Minister to continue cooperating with ASEAN and stated that Cambodia now does not reject ASEAN’s role in helping to restore political stability in Cambodia and that Cambodia remains firm and unchanged in its desire to join ASEAN as a full member as soon as possible.
Indonesia continues to believe that a durable solve on indeed can only be reached through dialogue between the parties concerned aimed at reestablishing a genuine coalition government that reflects the power sharing arrangements that emanated from the 1993 elections, Indonesia comprehensive resolution of the turmoil in Cambodia can be achieved, which would open the way to and ensure the holding of free and fair elections in May 1998. This would contribute greatly to peace and stability in the region.
The overlapping territorial and jurisdictional claims in the South China Sea continues to be a source of tension as claimants occasionally resort to actions that could lead to armed conflict. Although certain claimants have reached bilateral agreements on joint development projects and codes of conduct, tensions have not eased. Hence, Indonesia calls upon the countries concerned to exercise self- restraint and to explore avenues for confidence-building cooperation, Peace and k6ihty in Southeast Asia depends in large measure on the effective management of potential conflict in the South China Sea.
Indonesia welcomes the projected convening of the Four Parties Talks among the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the United States and the People’s Republic of China. We firmly believe that a positive outcome of the Talks could make a vital contribution to the maintenance of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region and that the Korean Energy Development Organization (KEDO) is essential to the endeavours to find a lasting solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula.
While attending to vital political and security issues, ASEAN Members have continued to enhance economic cooperation which has always been the primary focus of the Association. While such cooperation was initially in the nature of coordinating and synchronizing their policies in facing the outside world, since 1987 they have also taken concerted steps to integrate their economics with one another as well as with the global economy. ASEAN’s commitment to external economic cooperation has been vigorously demonstrated through its active participation in the formation and rapid development of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the establishment of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
In the face of the chances of the coming century, our economic cooperation should be geared towards making the enlarged ASEAN a more closely integrated, dynamic and prosperous entity, Hence, we are pleased to note that bold economic measures have been taken in the course of implementing the decisions of the Fifth ASEAN Summit including steps directed towards the realization of AFTA by the Year 2003, and trade liberalization and facilitation measures such as the elimination of NTBs and the harmonization of tariff nomenclatures, Custom procedures and valuation. We also welcome the signing of the Protocol of the Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM) to address any customs in procedures implementation of ASEAN economic agreements. Similarly audacious initiatives have also been pursued in the fields of industrial cooperation, intellectual property rights, services as well as investment, At the same time we should continue strengthening collaboration between governments and private sectors, especially Small and Medium Enterprises.
Following the elevation of Functional Cooperation to a higher plane at the Fifth Summit in 1995, we adopted at the 29th Ministerial Meeting, the theme, “Shared Prosperity through Human Development, Technological Competitiveness and Social Cohesiveness.”‘ Accordingly, Functional Cooperation programmes and activities have been rationalized and given new impetus. Fulfilling a mandate laid down by the First ASEAN Informal Summit in Jakarta, in November 1996, we are now moving towards the establishment of the ASEAN Foundation which would promote greater awareness of ASEAN, greater interaction among the ASEAN peoples as well as wider participation in ASEAN activities, through human resources development.
In an interdependent world, we are called upon to maintain an outward-looking posture and to deepen our relations with our Dialogue Partners. In the course of the dialogue process, we should also intensify our advocacy for a more equitable regime of international economic relations, particularly in trade, investment, transfer of technology. market access and development cooperation. Although relations with our Dialogue Partners is on the rise, we would like to underline the importance of Development Cooperation in our dialogue relations and the need to enhance and strengthen it for our mutual benefit. We should also remain vigilant against the introduction of extraneous issues that could hamper the dialogue process.
The expansion of the membership of ASEAN has made it imperative that we ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the functioning of its organization units. That is why at the Special Ministerial Meeting held in this capital city last May; we decided to create an additional post of Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN. We shag continue improving our organizational structure in response to them requirements of our work.
With the solid progress ASEAN has achieved over the past than decades, we can now face the new century, the new millenium with justified confidence. I believe we can sustain the spirit that has carried us this far, the ethos of harmony and consensus-seeking, consultation and compromise, cooperation and partnership, And a keen sense of what is realistically achievable at every point our journey forward. In doing so, we shall remain faithful to our basic principles and ideals that have enabled us to be masters of our own destiny and active contributors to the making of a better world.
Thank You, Mr. Chairman.