"The summit also will provide an opportunity for Indonesia as the the ASEAn chair for 2011 to play a greater role."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - With the opening of the ASEAN Summit 2011 only two days away, many quarters have expressed their expectation to see the summit yield significant results for ASEAN`s further development in the future.

An observer with the Habibie Center, Daan Y Affandi, said, at the upcoming summit, the leaders of the ASEAN member countries will have a chance to consolidate their association to reach the goal of ASEAN Connectivity which will rest on three pillars - namely, political and security, social and cultural and economic - by 2015.

"The summit also will provide an opportunity for Indonesia as the the ASEAn chair for 2011 to play a greater role in realizing the goal of forming an ASEAN Community by 2015," he said.

Dean also expressed hope that during the summit Indonesia could facilitate a peace process between Thailand and Cambodia which are embroiled in a high-profile border conflict . In the economic sector, he said, Indonesia as chairman of ASEAN must consolidate all members of the organization to unite to face the challenge of China`s economic power in the region.

Meanwhile, a political observer with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Dr Adriana Elisabeth, stated Indonesia as the ASEAN chair had the potential of playing a greater role towards the realization of an ASEAN community by 2015.

She said Indonesia had several factors that will support its goal to bring ASEAN to a higher level of integration, namely the history of Indonesia as one of ASEAN`s founders, the fact that Indonesia is one of the biggest democratic countries in the world and that the country had succeeded in finding a peaceful solution to conflict in Aceh several years ago.

"These achievements are Indonesia`s asset to play a greater role in ASEAN, not just during its chairmanship this year but also after 2015 when ASEAN is expected to have realized its gola to be single community," she said.

However, she listed some points that needed further attention, namely the familiarization of the peoples about ASEAN activities , advocacy of human rights in the region and their observance in each member country.

She said ASEAN should be more people-oriented and be more able to be of benefit to the common people in the region. She also stressed the need for the related authorities in ASEAN to tackle the poverty problem, saying that the increase in unemployment could have a negative impact on regional competitiveness.

As to the plan to form a ASEAN single market, she said related authorities must first overcome the problem of poverty and development gaps among members of the organization. "The point is how ASEAN members can boost proper infrastructure development to support connections between advantaged and disadvantaged areas while also providing better public services to the people," she said.

Adriana also suggested related authorities to revitalize sub regional cooperation in ASEAN such as the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore Growth Triangle (IMS-GT) and Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). She said during recent years such sub regional cooperation had not yet becoming priority in the efforts to build ASEAN while, according to connectivity aspect, cooperation due to geographical proximity was an important factor that can ease off the flow of goods, investment, capital and human resources between the cooperating countries.

Need for Hard Work

Earlier, Vice President Boediono reminded that hard work was needed to realize an ASEAN Community by 2015.

Indonesia will make sure that the development toward an ASEAN Community will continue to be in accordance with the spirit, norms, and principles contained in the ASEAN Charter, the vice president said recently in his speech at a seminar themed "Strategic Balance in Asia: Cooperation & Competition".

The ASEAN Community would change the image of ASEAN as an elite organization and a mostly inter-governmental club by involving the participation of the ASEAN peoples.

He also said that Indonesia will strive for a strong ASEAN to make the regional organization become a solution to global problems.

As the current ASEAN chair, Indonesia would make efforts to strengthen the position of ASEAN as part of the solution to global problems,

The first priority of Indonesia as the ASEAN Chair is to make sure that ASEAN member countries meet their commitments as stated in the regional organization`s blueprint.

Indonesia has contributed to the development of ASEAN through important evolution period and fast changing environment.

"Two key accords namely Bali Concord I in 1976 and Bali Concord II in 2003, have brought Indonesia`s leadership to become ASEAN chair," he said.

Through Bali Concord II, ASEAN member countries have agreed to establish ASEAN Community with three pillars, namely ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), he said.

ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) groups Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.

Reporter: by Amie Fenia Arimbi
Editor: Priyambodo RH
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