President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and First Lady Iriana host ASEAN leaders and their spouses aboard a pinisi boat during the ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, on May 10, 2023.(Presidential Palace/Agus Suparto)
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Thursday spotlighted the need for 10-nation ASEAN to unite, just as Indonesia concluded hosting the first bloc summit this year amid tense Indo-Pacific rivalry, with some quarters describing the geopolitical landscape as “gravely concerning”.
The association, which has pledged to remain neutral despite strong pull factors in opposing directions, has for years attempted to establish itself as the main convenor of countries in a highly contested region.
With many of its member states exposed to security challenges as wide-ranging as overlapping territorial claims, coup d’etats and the threat of nuclear warfare, heavy is the burden on Jakarta to ensure that Southeast Asia remains a peaceful, stable and prosperous region.
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The Jakarta Post
Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara
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