42nd ASEAN Summit Opens in Labuan Bajo

According to the official website of ASEAN Indonesia 2023, the 42nd ASEAN Summit 2023 began on Monday (8/5/2023) with the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM). The meeting took place at The Golo Mori Convention Centre in the Golo Mori MICE area, Komodo District, Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).

“The SOM will discuss a number of issues including the priorities of Indonesia’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023 as well as preparations for organising a series of meetings at the Foreign Minister level of ASEAN countries and the 42nd ASEAN Summit in 2023,” said Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah in Labuan Bajo, Monday (8/5/2023).

ASEAN SOM is a meeting of senior officials from the foreign ministries of each ASEAN member state. The meeting was also attended by officials from the ASEAN Secretariat. The outcomes of the ASEAN SOM meeting will be reported and discussed further at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting.

Director General of ASEAN Cooperation at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sidharto Reza Suryodipuro, who is also the Indonesian SOM Leader, chaired the meeting.

ASEAN Leaders will begin discussions of a number of important issues in order to encourage a stronger ASEAN region in facing challenges, as well as strengthening ASEAN’s economic resilience. This effort is in line with the theme of the Indonesian Chairmanship, “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth.”

The 42nd ASEAN Summit 2023 will feature eight Leaders, plus the ASEAN Secretary General and the Prime Minister of Timor Leste, to discuss a number of issues of common interest to ASEAN, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Summit is also expected to produce a roadmap for Timor-Leste’s full membership as last November, ASEAN agreed in principle to admit Timor-Leste as its 11th member. Timor-Leste’s Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak is also present at the summit as an observer, report CGTN.

The Summit is currently under Indonesian’s chairmanship and as such Indonesia has expressed hope that the bloc will remain a center of regional and global growth, focusing on efforts to make ASEAN a fast-growing, inclusive and sustainable economic region in the long term.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecast in early April that developing Asia’s gross domestic product will grow by 4.8-percent this year and in 2024, up from 4.2-percent in 2022, noting growth in the Asia-Pacific region remains resilient, say CGTN.

Indonesia has prepared a grand vision of ASEAN 2045 as well as a discussion process on the draft ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration to strengthen ASEAN’s institutional capacity and effectiveness, according to foreign ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah.

Founded in 1967 in Bangkok, members of ASEAN, currently include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.  

Source: ASEAN Indonesia 2023, CGTN with input from Xinhua

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