As the ASEAN 2023’s Chairman, Indonesia hopes to bring stability and prosperity in the region on various issues, including climate change, cyber security, digital economy and disruption of the regional supply chain. Therefore, the government must create a strong foundation of cooperation so that ASEAN can face all kinds of challenges in a responsive manner as a region.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has expected ASEAN to face more difficulties in 20 years ahead. However, he also expects ASEAN to become a fast-growing, inclusive and sustainable economic region. To do that, the group of 10 nations must strengthen its institutional capacity and effectiveness.
“ASEAN must become a dignified region and uphold humanity values and democracy,” Jokowi said during the handover ceremony from Cambodia on November 15, 2022. “All difficulties must be tackled in the ASEAN way, which is consistent with the spirit of cooperation and entirely implement the ASEAN Charter.”
Jokowi received the chairmanship from Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen during the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Phnom Penh on November 13, 2022. The theme of the chairmanship is “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”, which resonates with Indonesia’s success at the G20 Presidency in 2022. Many global leaders voiced their appreciation for Indonesia’s G20 presidency.
Making ASEAN relevant
The theme consists of 3 significant elements: Strengthening ASEAN capacity and effectiveness, ASEAN unity and ASEAN centrality. Meanwhile, ASEAN’s role as the center of regional and world economic growth consists of 4 significant elements: Health, architecture, energy and food security and financial stability.
“The government also continues to encourage ASEAN to become a stable and peaceful region to become the anchor of global economic stability,” said the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto on January 5, 2023.
Indonesia also encourages other member states to uphold international law and strengthen cooperation among them, bringing ASEAN strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
The theme raises several priority issues for the regional group such as the the recovery and rebuilding the economy sector, digital economy and sustainability. The implementation of these issues were documented in ASEAN’s 16 Priority Economic Deliverables (PED) for 2023.
“Indonesia’s chairmanship in ASEAN will focus on handling multidimensional crises such as food, energy, and financial crises,” said Hartarto.
The chairmanship confirms Indonesia as a global middle power that will significantly influence the global agenda and also solutions to global problems. “President Jokowi believes that by 2045, ASEAN will become a group of countries that are more adaptive, responsive, competitive, in line with ASEAN’s global agenda,” Hartarto added.
Agenda during Indonesia’s Chairmanship
Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a coordination meeting on January 12, 2023 and will hold a plenary meeting on April 10, 2023. The plenary meeting will be attended by representatives from 36 ministries as well as elements of Indonesia’s Permanent Representatives in ASEAN.
Indonesia will hold the ASEAN Summit in the first quarter of 2023. The Summit is focused on gathering initial proposals for the priority of Indonesia’s chairmanship. It will then be followed by meetings to discuss various themes, priority issues, potential deliverables, logos and the national calendar on the second quarter.