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PH to ASEAN: Maintain centrality and use the Indo-Pacific perspective

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) must be strengthened in light of the region’s current “unprecedented” and more complicated problems, the Philippine government emphasized on Tuesday.

Enrique Manalo, the secretary of foreign affairs for ASEAN, stated that implementing the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific is one approach to achieve this during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Indonesia.

“As we look for ways to strengthen our centrality, I believe it is crucial to also look for ways to protect our centrality outside of ourselves. In his remarks, he stated, “We need to consider how ASEAN can matter not only to our circle of ten, shortly to be eleven, but to the greater region and the world.

The necessity for ASEAN to become the hub of regional architecture in Southeast Asia and its neighboring regions is known as ASEAN centrality.

The call was made against a backdrop of regional developments that included tensions in the Taiwan Strait, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, North Korea’s ballistic missile testing on the Korean Peninsula, and disputes in the South China Sea.

By tackling shared issues, defending the region’s rules-based architecture, and fostering deeper economic cooperation, the ASEAN bloc hopes to foster an environment that will foster peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.

The East Asia Summit, which brings together the 10 ASEAN members and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, and the United States, is one of the partnerships it is working to enhance.

In addition, it seeks to execute additional forms of collaboration in the economy, connectivity, the Sustainable Development Goals, and maritime cooperation, among other things.

“For the past 50 years, ASEAN Centrality has served as a kind of north star, successfully guiding our interactions with the rest of the world. Our Centrality is being tested in unprecedented ways, but the problems we confront now are undoubtedly more complicated and linked than ever, according to Manalo.

“We must direct this increased interest into high-quality engagements, with a robust agenda that places ASEAN’s profile and interests front and center, lest we become a victim of our success and overloaded.

On the eve of the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, Manalo met with the other foreign ministers of the nine ASEAN member states.

Timor-Leste, who will join the bloc as its eleventh member, attended as an observer.

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