Jakarta. Member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, have agreed to discuss the development of a regional architecture for the Indo-Pacific region during a foreign ministerial meeting in Singapore on Tuesday (06/02).
"Amid geopolitical and geo-economic changes, and changing dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region, Asean must continue to contribute to, innovate and connect with the world through its centrality," Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said, as quoted in a statement issued by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
During the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Retreat, Retno spoke about the challenges and opportunities facing the Indo-Pacific region, highlighting its strategic position in global economic development and security.
Indonesia has proposed a more open, transparent and inclusive regional architecture for the region, and initiated a meeting among Asean countries to develop this concept.
"It’s not an option for Asean to be silent in the face of challenges and opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region," Retno said.
The minister emphasized the need to prioritize peace and democracy in Southeast Asia, and especially freedom of expression.
Indonesia’s foreign policy priorities this year are strengthening Asean unity and fostering cooperation to develop an Indo-Pacific regional architecture.
During her annual press statement in January, Retno said such cooperation should be based on a "building blocks" approach to ensure peace and stability amid geopolitical changes.
Singapore is chairing Asean this year.