Remarks of The Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia at the ASEAN Civil Society Conference

5/30/2011

 

Selasa, 3 Mei 2011

Remarks of The Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia at the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples’ Forum 2011

 

Jakarta, 3 May 2011

 

Excellencies,

Distinguished Representatives of ASEAN Civil Society,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning,

 

First of all, allow me to welcome you to Jakarta, especially those of you who have come from the other parts of the ASEAN region. I am very happy to see all of you at this important forum - the ASEAN civil society conference / ASEAN people’s forum 2011. Your attendance and participation reflect the strong willingness, and commitment of the civil societies of ASEAN to engage and have a more active role in ASEAN cooperation, in the efforts to build an ASEAN Community. This should help us in together achieving a people-oriented, people-centered, and people-driven ASEAN.

 

Distinguished Representatives of ASEAN Civil Society,

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

 I would like to share with you that during its Chairmanship of ASEAN, Indonesia is seeking to achieve 3 priorities.

 

First, to ensure significant progress towards the formation of an ASEAN Community, based upon three intertwined and mutually reinforcing pillars: an ASEAN Political-Security Community, an ASEAN Economic Community and an ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

 

Second, to ensure the environment and regional architecture of the region remain conducive for the pursuance of a forward momentum in the development of the region. This second priority includes our efforts to intensify ASEAN cooperation at the global level in the form of partnership with its dialogue partners, including with an expanded East Asia Summit.

 

And the third priority for Indonesia as this year’s chairman of ASEAN is to work with other members to develop a vision of ‘ASEAN Community in A Global Community of Nations’ in the post-2015 period.  Beyond 2015 we hope that ASEAN will become a more cohesive entity capable of taking a more active and more effective role in addressing global issues based on a common platform.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The very first sentence of the ASEAN Charter reads “We, the peoples of the member states of the ASEAN …”.  The ASEAN Charter thus unequivocally mandates ASEAN to put the peoples at the heart of ASEAN progress and development. Nurturing a sense of ownership and belonging by the people of the region towards ASEAN is seem to be absolutely imperative in achieving the ASEAN community. It is important therefore that in the process of achieving that goal for ASEAN to constantly interact with the peoples.  And here lies the crucial role of the civil societies.

 

There has emerged among the lay public  the image of ASEAN as a state-centered, elite and mostly inter-governmental organization.  To rectify that image during its Chairmanship in ASEAN Indonesia will seek to promote a bigger involvement and participation of the peoples through various people-centered, people-oriented and people-driven programs and activities. The involvement of businesses, academia, the media, non-governmental organizations and other civil society and relevant stakeholders in ASEAN's activities will be emphasized.

 

Distinguished Participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

To move forward ASEAN must  engage the peoples.  As I alluded before, this has been clearly been stated in the ASEAN Charter.   In fact it has, in various forms, been accommodated in the Roadmap of ASEAN Community 2009 – 2015, as well as in many action lines of the three Community Blueprints.  The Charter clearly directs the ASEAN governments to establish meaningful relations with their peoples.

 

It is becoming quite common now for many governments and civil society organizations to work as partners in development deliveries.  And quite often CSOs can do them better, faster and cheaper.  Therefore it is important to build broader basis for such partnership.  And that will come if we can broaden and deepen the mutual understanding among the governments and civil societies within the ASEAN region.

 

As we move forward, I can foresee more interaction and consultation between governments and civil societies, I can see more and more civil society consulted in the process of policy-making in ASEAN, such as in the drafting of the ASEAN Declaration on Human Rights as well as on the ongoing process of the Framework Instrument on the protection and promotion of migrant workers.

 

You may also have noted that ASEAN is currently in the process of formulating the mechanism for the relationship between ASEAN and civil society. I encourage everyone concerned to contribute to the development of a mechanism which will allow civil society full scope in developing cooperation with the governments and to communicate the needs of the people. We all would like to see an ASEAN Guideline on Civil Society involvement that provides a basis on how more productive engagement can be done.

 

Distinguished Representatives of ASEAN Civil Society,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

ASEAN is still a grouping of mostly developing countries facing many development challenges.  Only a few of the ASEAN member states have met the Millennium Development Goals.  In some areas member countries are lagging far behind.  It is, therefore, very appropriate and highly relevant that we should start this dialogue forum by focusing on issues of common concerns, such as poverty reduction and health promotion, and how we can work together achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

 

The attainment of MDGs is crucial since it relates to many problems affecting our societies. Poverty and hunger can lead to social conflicts and political instability. It is urgent and imperative that governments and civil society organizations work hard in hand to pool and mobilize all of the resources at our disposal to accelerate the attainment of the MDGs.

 

In the health issues, ASEAN has made priorities for example in food safety, accessibility of health care and control of communicable diseases. These are just a few examples. There are many other issues that need advocacy and collaboration from civil society.

 

In the effort to promote social welfare, governments and CSOs can cooperate, collaborate, and exchange best practices in poverty eradication and the empowerment of the poor.  

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I believe this forum has the utmost capabilities to discuss and come up with recommendations for the governments in areas directly impacting on the wellbeing of our peoples.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Indonesia as ASEAN chair in 2011 is seeking to hold a meeting between representatives of civil society organizations with the ASEAN Leaders. This is an attempt to establish a dialogue mechanism so that the voice of civil societies can be heard directly by the ASEAN Leaders. I do hope that the ASEAN civil society forum can make use of this opportunity as much as possible to carry out a meaningful dialogue with the ASEAN governments. A dialogue that leads to better mutual understanding, a dialogue that leads to concrete cooperative actions benefitting directly the peoples.

 

Finally, reciting Bismillah hirrokhmanirrokhim, I declare the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ and ASEAN Peoples’ Forum 2011 to be officially open.

Have a productive conference and enjoy Jakarta.

 

Vice President Of The Republic Of Indonesia

Boediono