Bali, Indonesia, 17 November 2011
Unofficial Translation by Media Center ASEAN Summit and Related Summits
In the name of God, most Merciful and Benevolent
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Peace and greetings to us all,
Your Excellencies, heads of countries and heads of governments of ASEAN member countries,
Your Excellencies, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, secretary general of ASEAN,
The esteemed leaders of State Institutions, and ministers of ASEAN member countries,
The esteemed Permanent Mission and Ambassadors for ASEAN,
The esteemed Governor of Bali, I Made Mangku Pastika,
Delegates and participants,
On behalf of the government and people of Indonesia, I welcome you, the Heads of Countries and Governments of ASEAN member countries. Your presence will strengthen cooperation in the Southeast Asian region that is now progressing towards becoming ASEAN Community in 2015.
Allow me in this opportunity, both personally and in my capacity as Chairman of ASEAN, to extend my deepest concern and condolences for the major floods that have befallen a number of ASEAN member countries. This terrible disaster has caused great material loss, as well as hundreds of lives. The assistance and support that we have extended to victims is none other our indication of solidarity among ASEAN countries.
I would also like to extend my thanks and appreciation for the full support and cooperation of all ASEAN member countries throughout the period of Indonesia Chairmanship. The successes of the 18th ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, as well as the rewarding events of 2011 SEA Games in Palembang and also in Jakarta were the proof of your support.
This support has led to many achievements following the 18th ASEAN Summit in Jakarta last May. I am sure that similar support will also be offered for the current 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali.
Bali has an historical significance for ASEAN cooperation, because it is here that many important agreements were made, serving as solid foothold for the development of ASEAN cooperation. In 1976, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) was born, known as the Bali Concord I. That document established the rules for how member countries shall engage with each other, especially agreeing not to use violence and put forth peaceful means. The spirit enshrined in the TAC has also been adopted by many non-ASEAN states, and to date, 29 countries have acceded to TAC.
In 2003, Bali again made a mark in history with the birth of Bali Concord II. Through Bali Concord II, ASEAN member countries agreed to build a community based on three pillars: political and security pillar; economic pillar; and, socio-cultural pillar. We are pleased pursueing the Bali Concord II that ASEAN then adopted as ASEAN Charter, a Charter that established ASEAN as a rule-based organization.
This ASEAN Summit, God willing, will give birth to Bali Concord III, which will map ways forward ASEAN Community interactions with the global community of nations. This, truly, is consistent with ASEAN tradition thus far, which has always been opened to the outside world, such as through the ASEAN dialogue mechanism with its counterparts, and strategic forums such as ASEAN Regional Forum. The spirit of Bali Concord III is to have greater participation and contribution of ASEAN to achieve a more peaceful, just, democratic and prosperous world, including ASEAN’s active role to address a range of fundamental problems these days.
We gather here today while the world is facing a process of changes that may have widespread impacts to humanity. In the Middle East and North Africa we see the social and political transformation as the Arab Spring continues to progress. In the meantime, the world is facing the threat of yet another global economic crisis due to financial turmoil in the Eurozone. We learn this together, and this financial crisis was on the agenda of the G20 Summit in Cannes, and the recent APEC Summit in Honolulu. In addition to these new uncertainties casting a cloud on the world economy, the world continues to be faced with fundamental problems and challenges, such as food, energy and water security; climate change; natural disasters, as well as the impact of information technology revolution on society.
Amidst these uncertainties, a lot of hope is pinned onto our region. History has tested and proven that ASEAN continues to mature as an association that is able to create stability and security in the region, elevate its economic strength, as well as becoming an increasingly “people-centered” community, one that is able to foster harmony between diverse identities and civilizations. With such modalities and position, I believe ASEAN will be able to contribute in responding to these diverse global dynamics. This is consistent with the theme of Indonesian ASEAN Chairmanship this year: “ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations”. It means that ASEAN intends to play a greater role in world affairs: to outreach to the world.
Departing from this theme, I would like to underline five main points to be addressed at the 19th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.
First, we need to take concrete steps in order to strengthen the three pillars of ASEAN Community. We must ensure the achievement of all Action Plans under the three pillars are balanced and complementary by 2015.
The development of ASEAN Community must continue to involve all stakeholders in the region. ASEAN Community must be driven by people-oriented, people-centered, and people-driven. Reducing the meaning of ASEAN Community by turning it into a mere association of governments of of its member countries, or only emphasizing the economic cooperation, despite its importance, would be a mistake.
Second, we must foster the economic growth of the region.
Through this growth, our region will become more resilient to global economic volatility. Furthermore, this resilience will make us part of the solution for the ongoing world financial and economic crisis. We will also be able to contribute to a strong global economic growth, and create a more balanced global economy.
I am delighted that ASEAN has a roadmap to maintain its growth, among others, by building connectivity between countries and regions. Indonesia is also need to build connectivity through MP3EI in its national framework, to increase domestic economic growth and create opportunities for investment, trade and job creation.
By having more effective connectivity, trade and investment between countries will also increase. Certainly, we are aiming at inclusive and sustained economic growth. We shall provide a fair opportunity to all our people to benefit from the more integrated regional economy.
Third, we must take on a leading role in designing a more efficient and effective architecture regional cooperation.
ASEAN must be able to maintain its centrality and leadership in interactions with its dialogue partners, and in the involvement of ASEAN in intra-regional forums.
We have developed cooperation with ASEAN partners through ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, ASEAN Defense Ministerial Meeting Plus, and ASEAN Regional Forum, as well as other mechanisms.
In the meantime, in designing the regional architecture through the East Asian Summit framework, we need to identify common principles that will guide the relations between all EAS participating states. It is through these principles that peaceful and amiable relations would no longer be limited to Southeast Asia, but would also extend to the major players in this East Asian region. Our goal to establish the East Asia Summit is definitely not to create fissures, but to strengthen unity and solidarity.
Fourth, we need to maintain the Southeast Asian and East Asian stability and security.
ASEAN must always act proactively in facilitating and involving itself in resolving a range of “residual issues” that have been the hindering factor towards accelerating ASEAN cooperation. In the period of Indonesia Chairmanship, ASEAN has facilitated a peaceful dialogue regarding border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia. In the future, we must continue to increase ASEAN’s capacity and ability in resolving conflicts.
We must be delighted with the fact that ASEAN are capable to build comfort zones for many countries, to engage in a dialogue on many complex issues. As an illustration, in between ARF meetings last July, there were talks between two consanguineous states, North Korea and South Korea.
In addition, the agreement of the Guidelines on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea between ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China has created optimism in addressing the issues in the South China Sea.
Our efforts to achieve regional peace and stability are progressing with the adoption by countries of nuclear weapons of the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ [:shon-fez]). We must use this very good momentum to sign the SEANWFZ [:shon-fez] Protocol as soon as possible.
Fifth, by taking the four steps I stated earlier altogether, we will strengthen the role of ASEAN globally.
In this increasingly complex and interconnected world, ASEAN must truly be at the forefront to address the many challenges arise. ASEAN cannot just be a passive audience, a vulnerable victim to problems from other parts of the world.
We hope that Bali Declaration on ASEAN Community in the Global Community of Nations will serve as a guideline and a common platform in order to increase ASEAN contributions in addressing global issues.
Those above are the agenda and main goals in this year’s ASEAN Summit series in Bali, Indonesia.
Finally, with the blessing of God the Almighty, I hereby officially declare the 19th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits open.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Om Santhi, Santhi, Santhi Om.