Asean members need to move beyond their focus on the “centrality” of the 10-country alliance and assert themselves more on the world stage if the region wants to remain relevant in the future, says Indonesia’s foreign minister.
Addressing a meeting of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand last week, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa noted that major world players are competing for influence in Southeast Asia, and said Asean should play a role that acts as “balancing the interests of various powers”.
“I believe and Indonesia believes that it is not good enough for countries in Asean to simply remain inactive and to be in denial of these development, to simply cite the mantra of Asean centrality and assume everyone will respect and follow that principle. We must actually be shaping and molding developments,” R.M. Marty Natalegawa said in a speech in Bangkok late last week.
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