Labuan Bajo, E Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA) - Indonesia is keen to encourage efforts to strengthen the foundation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the bloc's 42nd summit in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), on May 9-11.

Indonesia's determination was made clear by Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi as she chaired the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) in Labuan Bajo.

"We will discuss and recommend to our leaders on how to build a strong foundation, a long-term vision, and a stronger capacity of ASEAN," Minister Marsudi remarked in her speech at the opening of the meeting on Tuesday.

Under the chairmanship theme of ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth, Indonesia is taking the strengthening of foundation, capacity, and vision of the ASEAN as topics of priority. The theme itself reflects the bloc's determination on becoming relevant and important as the world's center of growth.

During the meeting, the ASEAN delegates are also discussing the accession of external countries keen to sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

Furthermore, the meeting serves as a forum of discussion on the implementation of Myanmar's Five-point Consensus and of the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

Marsudi affirmed that discussion on the issues is of essence to maintain the region's stability and peace.

"We cannot imagine what would happen if the region does not have ASEAN," the minister added.

"Nevertheless, we cannot stop here. We should treat our achievements as valuable assets to build a stronger and more relevant ASEAN," she concluded.

Under Indonesia's chairmanship this year, the ASEAN Summit is expected to produce several documents regarding the ASEAN Post-2025 Vision, ASEAN capacity strengthening, and the full membership of Timor-Leste.

In addition, several aspects are set as focus, such as human trafficking eradication, protection for migrant and fishery workers, cooperation in the health sector, creation of village networks, development of electric vehicles ecosystem, and payment connectivity in the region.

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Translator: Shofi Ayudiana, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Sri Haryati
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