ASEAN should always work for benefit of its people: Minister

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should always work for the benefit of the people of each member country, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi stated on the 49th ASEAN Anniversary here, Monday.

“We remind all member states that whatever ASEAN will do in the future, it must be close to its people, as it is the people who will function as the beneficiaries of the ASEAN,” Minister Marsudi noted after delivering her remarks at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

In terms of the concrete benefits for the people, Minister Marsudi pointed out that the ASEAN economic integrity should serve as an inclusive platform, particularly for the small and medium enterprises, which are mostly owned by companies operating at the household level.

Economic integration is part of the ASEAN Vision 2020 along with the ASEAN community that was started at the end of 2015 and the ASEAN Political-Security Community.

Moreover, one of the main purposes of establishing the ASEAN on August 8, 1967, was to accelerate economic growth, social progress, and cultural development in the region through joint endeavors in the spirit of equality and partnership.

Minister Marsudi remarked that the ASEAN was established in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian nations.

“Hence, there must be no distance between ASEAN countries and its people,” she emphasized.

In her keynote speech at the 49th ASEAN Anniversary or popularly known as the “ASEAN Day,” Minister Marsudi also highlighted the importance of strengthening ASEAN unity and centrality as the region is facing increasing dynamic and complex challenges at the regional and global levels.

“ASEAN is our home that should be nurtured and taken care of. Hence, each member country has the responsibility of taking care of it in order to create and maintain peace and stability in the region,” Minister Marsudi added.

Source: Antara News