Rethinking Strategies and Opportunities for ASEAN in 40 Years of Establishment of ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations

Photo by asean.org

Chitito Audithio Syafitri

The year 2017 marks the 40th commemoration of ASEAN – EU Dialogue Relations, which brought together the two countries to adopt a Joint Statement on the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations as well as the ASEAN-EU Plan of Action (2018-2022) to further enhance cooperation towards strategic partnerships in order to maintain peace, stability, security and prosperity in Southeast Asia, Europe and globally.

In today’s world, the multilateralism has indeed taken the crucial role, meanwhile, the emergence of new players in the chessboard of international relations has resulted in various forms of compromise and dynamic cooperation. How should the ASEAN-EU relationship be maintained? read more

ASEAN AND THE UN PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS – International Day of UN Peacekeepers

Photo by Indonesian Mission UN @indonesiaunny Twitter

Kevin Iskandar Putra

May 29th 2018 remarks the 70th Years of Service and Sacrifice of the UN Peacekeepers. Through the General Assembly Resolution 57/129 on the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) adopted in its fifty-seventh session held 24 February 2003, the international community decided to dedicate one day to commemorate and honor the dedication and contribution of the UN blue helmet as a front line to ensure international peace and stability. These blue helmets were first deployed by the UN Security Council to ensure the monitoring process of the Israeli-Arab Countries Armistice Agreement on 29 May 1948. read more

Indonesia should partner with NGOs to protect unaccompanied child refugees

Among more than 3,700 child refugees in Indonesia, close to 500 are unaccompanied minors.

Many have no access to formal education and health care. They have to go through the procedures to process their asylum claims without a guardian or legal aid to help them.

Only a few countries, such as Australia and the United States, accept child refugees without guardians. So most unaccompanied child refugees have to wait in transit countries until they are 18 years old before they can be resettled.

Because of these circumstances, these children are considered the most vulnerable among the refugees. The Indonesian government should do more to protect unaccompanied child refugees in Indonesia. read more

Indonesian Foreign Policy under Three Years of Jokowi’s Administration

Siti Widyastuti Noor

October 2017, marked the third year of administration for Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi’ Widodo. In the beginning of his administration, Jokowi announced the nine prioritized agendas as Nawa Cita, a program that was initiated as an effort to bring Indonesia into a politically sovereign state, economically independent and cultural personality as a state.

In order to realize the spirit of Nawa Cita, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs formulates three priorities of foreign policy, namely: safeguarding Indonesian sovereignty, enhancing the protection of Indonesian citizens and intensifying economic diplomacy. read more

The ASEAN Enhanced Disputes Settlement Mechanism (EDSM): Functional for Economic Growth or Protecting National Sovereignty?

Suraj Shah

As the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) seeks to deepen regional economic integration, the Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism must avoid politicisation to optimise successful integration and economic development in the region.

Dispute Settlement Mechanisms (DSM) are fundamental features of economic institutions to ensure optimal outcomes. Governments include DSMs in international institutions to address collaboration problems and enhance the credibility of commitments, through exposing free riding, ascertaining violations and penalizing non-compliance. Economic actors need dispute settlement to be effective, even if not necessarily used, so that they know economic bargains will be honored. read more

Indonesia Drags Its Feet on ASEAN Haze Treaty

Dio Herdiawan Tobing, Universitas Gadjah Mada

In May, I went with my research team to Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, one of Indonesia’s hotspots of land and forest fires.

We wanted to know how local administrations view an agreement between ASEAN countries on haze pollution that Indonesia ratified two years ago.

We were surprised to hear that the acting head of Central Kalimantan Environmental Agency, Humala Pontas, admitted he didn’t know much about the agreement. He asked:

What is contained in the agreement? Which part of haze does it regulate? Are there any provisions that contain economic or other means? read more

Indonesia’s refugee policy – not ideal, but a step in the right direction

Dio Herdiawan Tobing

The Indonesian government needs to expand a presidential decree to protect refugees, by turning it into law. The definition the decree uses should also be broadened because it leaves out those fleeing disasters, instead referring only to those fleeing persecution.

In December 2016 president Joko Widodo filled a long legal vacuum by issuing a decree to ensure refugees not be arbitrarily expelled or returned to their country of origin.

Some researchers have criticised the decree for not doing enough to protect refugees. For example, Indonesia still hasn’t signed the 1951 Refugee Convention which outlines the rights of refugees and the obligations of governments to protect them. read more

ASEAN After 50: Social Integration and the Challenges of New Geopolitics

Ahmad Rizky M. Umar and Karina Larasati B. Riyanto

What should ASEAN do in the next 50 years? For ASEAN, its survival for the last 50 years is a great achievement. Although some people said that ASEAN has undergone slow and steady development, its survival during the last 50 year has proved ASEAN’s resilience to political changes in global.

But could ASEAN survive for another 50 years? ASEAN Studies Center Universitas Gadjah Mada has presented a series of article on “ASEAN after 50”, which comprises reflections on what has ASEAN achieved in latest 50 years and what should be done in the future. Many authors shared optimism –alongside critical viewpoint—on the future of ASEAN. read more

ASEAN After 50: ASEAN and Good Governance

Pinto Buana Putra

ASEAN is a regional organization that is build to accelerate cooperation between member states in regional level. Within ASEAN there is no uniform political quality that would permit generalization about shared political values, culture, and institutions. There is no ASEAN analogy to the “social democracy” like the European integration. Instead, ASEAN is commonly known with the system of governance. Consensus-building and consultations are hallmarks of ASEAN decision-making. For example, in the case of promoting regional economic integration, ASEAN has been working closely with the private sector through mechanisms such as the ASEAN Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the ASEAN Business Forum and specialized or sectoral groups such as the ASEAN Federation of Mining Associations and the ASEAN Ship Owners Association, among others. read more

ASEAN After 50: Mainstreaming Paradiplomacy in ASEAN

Ario Bimo Utomo

During the last few decades, sub-state entities have been rising to prominence due to the increasing level of globalization. Anthony Giddens argues that this phenomenon is caused by two colliding forces of globalization, namely the upward force and the downward force. The upward force, as Giddens describes, is a force which diminishes the traditional state boundaries by creating an increasing interconnectedness among states.

On the other hand, the downward force of globalization is a force which encourages local entities to realize their own positions in this increasingly connected world—forcing states to provide them with channels to express their own interests. The involvement of sub-state entities in the foreign affairs is known as paradiplomacy. read more