Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia is committed to overseeing the achievements of three main pillars during its Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chairmanship throughout 2023.

Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry's spokesperson, Teuku Faizasyah, stated on Monday that in the first quarter of the year, in order to promote the first pillar, ASEAN Matters, Indonesia has prepared a grand vision of ASEAN 2045.

According to Faizasyah, Indonesia has also prepared a discussion process on the draft for ASEAN Leaders' Declaration concerning the strengthening of the association's capacity and institutional effectiveness.

"The results are expected to be adopted during the 42nd ASEAN Summit on May 9-11, 2023, in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT)," Faizasyah noted in a statement of the 2023 ASEAN Summit Communication and Media Team.

During a briefing session on the first quarter of ASEAN chairmanship in April 2023, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi drew attention to several issues that should be constantly addressed during discussions, including the negotiation on the Code of Conduct (CoC) on the South China Sea.

The minister also alluded to other issues ranging from the eradication of human trafficking practices, strengthening the institutionalization of Human Rights Dialog in ASEAN, and arranging membership Road Map for Timor Leste, to signing a protocol to the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ).

As for the second pillar, Epicentrum of Growth, several priorities have been discussed, such as improving health infrastructure through the One Health Initiative and toughening food and energy resilience through various measures, including the development of an ecosystem for electric vehicles.

Moreover, the commitment to using ASEAN countries' currencies in trade and payment mechanism connectivity in the region has also been agreed upon to better stabilize the region's finances.

Meanwhile, speaking in connection with the third pillar, the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), Marsudi emphasized the need to strengthen real cooperation based on the principles of inclusiveness, economic partnership, and economic development.

To that end, Indonesia will hold a flagship event, the ASEAN-Indo Pacific Forum.

In the first quarter, several meetings have also been organized to complement the three pillars, one of which was the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat in Jakarta on February 1-4, 2023.

The other meetings include the ASEAN Tourism Meeting in Yogyakarta and ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting and Related Meetings in Jakarta on February 2-5 and March 6-8 respectively.

Moreover, high-level meetings between ASEAN economic ministers have been held on two occasions: ASEAN Economic Minister's Retreat on March 20-22 in Magelang, Central Java, and ASEAN Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors' Meeting on March 28-31 in Bali.

Last but not the least, on April 11-13, Indonesia successfully organized the ASEAN Youth Dialogue on Development for Sustainable Development Goals, with the participation of 60 youths from ASEAN countries and Timor-Leste.

The meeting served as a forum for exchanging ideas and formulating recommendations regarding digital development in Southeast Asia.

The meeting's results will be presented to ASEAN leaders during the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo.

With its ASEAN chairmanship theme of "ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,'' Indonesia is determined to direct ASEAN cooperation in 2023 to continue strengthening the bloc's relevance in response to regional and global challenges.

The determination also encapsulates Indonesia's will to strengthen ASEAN's position as the center for regional economic growth to benefit the bloc's people.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa P, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Sri Haryati
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