An International Relations Observer of University of Indonesia, Beginda Pakpahan in Jakarta on Friday encouraged ASEAN member states to maintain centrality in facing challenges within the region. After celebrating its 50th-year anniversary, according to him, ASEAN is still facing challenges namely the Korean Peninsula issue, and South China Sea dispute, including global terrorism in Southeast Asia.
In addition to maintaining centrality in ASEAN, Beginda also encouraged ASEAN member states to be able to develop their regional cooperation scale in indo-pacific and Asia Pacific. Thus, they have to maintain peace and stability both regionally and internationally.
"...ASEAN should strive to maintain unity as well as to maintain the centrality of ASEAN in response to this. That's the first. This means that if ASEAN is united and ASEAN has a centrality in the formation of regional architecture, it will help ASEAN and other countries in maintaining peace and stability and prosperity in the region of Southeast Asia and East Asia. And this effects on the global course. Secondly, we hope ASEAN cooperation can open also cooperation to indo-pacific circle that exists in for example Indian Ocean because there is IORA there and also to Asia Pacific because there is APEC there. This can help to maintain peace of stability as well as regional security and hope also at the global level," Beginda said.
Furthermore, to enhance the role of ASEAN member states both at regional and global level, Beginda Pakpahan said that ASEAN member countries should be able to improve coordination in choosing strategic issues, including in responding to existing challenges. This effort can be done to build a common leadership in ASEAN, including eliminating the emergence of rivalry of big countries that intend to gain influence in ASEAN. (ndy)