Maritime cooperation must become the future, which will integrate us with partners instead of separating us from them.
Phnom Penh (ANTARA) - Indonesia is encouraging the creation of the ASEAN Maritime Outlook (AMO) to allow wider cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partners, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi has said.

"Maritime cooperation must become the future, which will integrate us with partners instead of separating us from them," she remarked at the 25th meeting of the ASEAN Political and Security Council (APSC) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Thursday.

The need to enhance maritime cooperation between ASEAN and its partners is the reason behind Indonesia's proposal for the creation of the ASEAN Maritime Outlook, she said.

"We know the great potential for the contribution of maritime cooperation to welfare in the Indo-Pacific. As we know, the maritime issue is frequently seen from the narrow security perspective only. As a matter of fact, the potential for maritime cooperation, particularly in the Indo-Pacific, is very great," she underlined.

Given the large potential, ASEAN needs to adopt maritime cooperation as one of the priorities of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, the minister said.

Next year, Indonesia will hold the chairmanship of the ASEAN. The maritime cooperation issue is expected to become one of Indonesia’s priorities during its ASEAN chairmanship with the nation pushing for practical and concrete cooperation between ASEAN and its dialogue partners.

At the APSC meeting, Marsudi also highlighted the significance of adopting a progressive vision of human rights and asked other ASEAN member states to mainstream the element of human rights in the three ASEAN cooperation pillars.

To that end, she proposed that the ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue be held regularly and openly by involving all stakeholders to strengthen the protection mandate of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).

Meanwhile, at the same meeting, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs, Mohammad Mahfud MD, touched upon the issues of human trafficking and the South China Sea, as well as the dynamics in Southeast Asia and the world.

He called for the comprehensive handling of the three issues through the ASEAN mechanism.

The 25th APSC meeting also heard the ASEAN Secretariat's report on the progress of the implementation of the blueprint of the ASEAN political-security pillar.

The meeting was held as part of the preparations for the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit to look at the implementation of and potential for synergy in various areas of cooperation under the ASEAN political-security pillar.

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Translator: Azis Kurmala, Suharto
Editor: Sri Haryati
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