RI Embassy in London Holds Discussion on ASEAN

London (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian embassy in London held a discussion on "Indonesia and ASEAN: Prospects and Challenges" at the House of Commons, early March 2011.

The discussion was organized in cooperation with the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based political think tank, Novan Invanhoe Saleh, the Indonesian embassy`s first secretary told ANTARA, Saturday.

Aimed at increasing the British public`s awareness of ASEAN and the leadership profile of Indonesia in ASEAN, the discussion presented Dr. Rizal Sukma, the executive director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, as the main speaker.

Dr. Rizal was in London to participate in an international conference on "Global conflict-future trends and challenges: towards 2030".

The discussion was chaired by the Labour Union Party legislator John Spellar, currently the British shadow foreign and commonwealth office minister. He was former minister of transportation and former minister of North Irish affairs.

In the meeting, Dr. Rizal Sukma explained about the policy and agenda of Indonesia as the current Chair of ASEAN during 2011.

Indonesia was determined to accelerate the process toward the realization of the ASEAN Community in 2015 and to lay foundations for placing ASEAN among the world communities beyond 2015, he said.

The ASEAN Chair would also continue to strengthen the East Asia Summit (EAS) following the inclusion of the United States and Russia, he added.

The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a forum held annually by leaders of, initially, 16 countries in the East Asian region, with a stated intention to increase this to 18 countries at the Sixth EAS in 2011. EAS meetings are held after annual ASEAN leaders` meetings.

The discussion was attended among others by British legislators, diplomats, political scientists, university students and NGOs interested in Indonesian matters.