Championing ASEAN Political – Security Society: Opportunities and Challenge
– Amb. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja
Mr. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja started his presentation on the question of how many people in the room know about ASEAN Community. The answer to this question was that not many people in the seminar room actually know about ASEAN Community. His Excellency identifies this unawareness as one of the challenge. He is not surprised toward the fact because initially, ASEAN was established 47 years ago for the security and stability of the region. It is now growing towards ASEAN Community, which is not an event but a process of having a caring sharing community. As an ongoing process, ASEAN Community 2015 is looking forward to a community, which is politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible.
Focusing on ASEAN Political and Security Community, he conveys that this pillar is aimed to ensure the people of ASEAN live in peace at a large in a just, democratic and harmonious environment. To do so, 84% of ASEAN Political-Security Community Blue Print has been implemented per August 2014, 82.1% for scorecard, and 96.7 of Number Action Lines. The commitment ASEAN would like to achieve has always been peace, stability and economic growth for ASEAN member countries. The same commitment is also uphold through the realization of ASEAN Community, a sharing and caring society.
On the second part of his presentation, Mr. Agung Wesaka Puja focuses on opportunities and challenge faced by ASEAN. He identify that ASEAN has the opportunities to grow and develop because of factors such region relative stability and peace, established cooperation with major powers, equipped with legal instruments to ensure peace, security and stability through arrangement like ZOPFAN, TAC, SEANWFZ and ACCT; existing forum and mechanism to address the security issues and to promote peace and stability like ADF, ADMM and AMMTC. Also, another opportunities in ASEAN is that it is a huge market of 600 millions of people that still have rooms for substantial economic growth. However, Mr. Agung Wesaka Puja also admitted that despite those opportunities, ASEAN should be careful and aware of challenges on traditional and non-traditional security issues, territorial disputes, trust deficit, development gap among state members, middle income trap risk, corruption and poor governance and slowdown in the US, the EU and the Chinese GDP growth.
To address this challenges, Mr. Agung Wesaka Puja addressed in his conclusion in Indonesian perspective that there is a need of a call to action where consolidating ASEAN Community should start at home first by strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat and three pillars of ASEAN Community 2015, implementation of Bali Concord III and its action plan as well as pursuing the identified ASEAN Development Goals of 2030 which is to double up the total number of GDP of ASEAN state members and cut half the total poverty number of state members. Hopefully, by next year when the ASEAN chairmanship is on Malaysia, these goals can be followed up.
Mr. Agung Wesaka Puja then moves up his discussion into Indonesian Perspective on the Indo-Pacific. The discourse of ASEAN nowadays has also widened into other countries in the Pacific. For instance the conflict in South China Sea, which shows that there is trust deficit, maritime, and land borders conflict as well as the changing transformation of a country that affect the region. It adds up the challenging part of establishing “we feeling” among the state members of ASEAN.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Agung Wesaka Puja conveyed that it is important for the academician, scholars and students to first understand about ASEAN Community as the frontliner of ASEAN Community 2015. He also emphasized that ASEAN Community 2015 is not an event but rather a process of integration that is started on 2015.