Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must preserve credibility if it wants to continue to maintain its unity and centrality, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi stressed on Tuesday.

"This means consistent implementation of the ASEAN Charter, including on decision-making processes in emergency situations," she said while delivering her opening remarks at the plenary session of the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) here.

According to her, only with unity will ASEAN be able to answer and anticipate the challenges in the future.

She further emphasized the importance of ASEAN navigating regional dynamics.

"We need to send a clear message that ASEAN will never be a proxy in great powers' rivalry," she said, adding that all ASEAN dialogue partners must abide by the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

ASEAN must be at the forefront of building an inclusive regional architecture that is based on peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, she emphasized.

To this end, ASEAN needs to expand inclusive engagement with other regions, including with the Pacific Islands Forum and the Indian Ocean Rim Association.

"Further, we need to move beyond confidence-building measures and take bold step to deter any potential conflicts and aggressively waging for peace through preventive diplomacy," the minister said.

"Only through this can ASEAN continue to matter and become the epicentrum of growth," she added.

The series of the 56th AMM is been attended by almost all ASEAN member countries and Timor Leste.

There are no representatives from Myanmar, which has not resolved its political crisis, joining the ASEAN meeting as the country has not sent its non-political representatives.

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Translator: Yashinta Difa, Raka Adji
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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