President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday described the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a “lead agent” in bringing peace in the Southeast Asian region and worldwide amid global issues.
“We agreed that ASEAN is going to be the lead agent in the changes that we would like to see in continuing to bring peace to our countries,” Mr. Marcos said in a press statement from the Bogor Presidential Palace in West Java, Indonesia.
He said the Southeast Asian union’s role in the regional security architecture is vital to attaining peace and security.
“We also spoke at length about the role that we believe ASEAN should play while we face the difficulties in this very volatile time in geopolitics not only in our region but also in the rest of the world,” said Mr. Marcos.
To bolster partnerships with the Philippines’ close neighbor, the President said he and Widodo agreed to organize task forces “at the technical level” to take advantage of the opportunities for both Manila and Jakarta.
“We continue to work on growing our relationship to make it stronger. So much so that, in actual fact, our discussions progressed so rapidly that we, the (Indonesian) President and I, have agreed to organize task forces already,” he said.
These groups are no longer at the political or the diplomatic level “so as to be able to take full advantage of the opportunities that we feel are available to us and that we will need to exploit to succeed in the near future,” said Mr. Marcos.
Widodo, for his part, underlined the importance of bolstering ASEAN centrality and unity.
“Indonesia wishes to ensure that ASEAN remains an engine of peace, stability, peace, and prosperity in the region. ASEAN must be able to address the challenges ahead and strengthen respect for the ASEAN Charter,” the host leader said.
Widodo underscored the importance of implementing the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific through concrete and inclusive cooperation to strengthen ASEAN centrality.
“In this context, Indonesia will organize the Indo-Pacific infrastructure for next year. I also appreciate the commitment of the Philippines to extend its full support to Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023,” said Widodo.
Mr. Marcos said that his visit to Jakarta is “only the beginning” of the many important partnerships set to be undertaken by both countries.
“I believe that we have made the proper choice in coming to Jakarta as my first State Visit as President of the Philippines, and I believe that this is only the beginning of many more things to come between Indonesia and the Philippines,” Marcos said.