ASEAN has been playing an important role in maintaining word peace and fostering international cooperation as well as developing an extensive network of external relations that involves the major powers of the world such as the United States of America, Russia, European Union (EU), Japan, China and India. This was raised in a lecture on ASEAN given by the Ambassador of Indonesia to Bulgaria, H.E. Mr. Immanuel Robert Inkiriwang, to 25 future diplomats of Bulgaria at the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria on 18 June 2010.
During the lecture titled ASEAN: Development and Transformation, Ambassador Inkiriwang explained that ASEAN has managed to transform Southeast Asia to become a peaceful and politically stable region with a very dynamic economic growth. ASEAN at the moment is in a process of transition in deepening its regional integration with the target of realizing the ASEAN Community with its three pillars (Political-Security Community, Economic Community dan Socio-Cultural Community) in 2015 based on the ASEAN Charter that entered into force since December 2008. As one of the founding members of ASEAN, Indonesia places ASEAN as the corner stone of its foreign policy and is committed to actively maintained its leading role to make ASEAN a rule-based, effective and people-centered organization. Ambassador Inkiriwang added that ASEAN Charter has transformed ASEAN from a loose association into a rule-based organization and has provided ASEAN with its legal status. The Ambassador highlighted the significant importance of ASEAN in the context of further enhancing Indonesia and Bulgaria relation and cooperation in the framework of ASEAN-EU dialogue relations and Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), noting Bulgaria’s membership in the EU since January 2007, the ASEAN Secretariat is located in Jakarta, Bulgarian Embassy in Jakarta covers 3 other ASEAN member states (Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Singapore) and that Bulgarian Ambassador in Jakarta had been accredited as Bulgarian Ambassador to ASEAN.
During the lecture, the participants followed the Ambassador’s explanation enthusiastically and actively raised questions regarding future of ASEAN’s integration and ASEAN-EU relations during the question-and-answer session following His Excellency’s lecture. The Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova, explained that the said lecture was a part of basic course of diplomacy held by the Institute for Bulgaria’s diplomats-to-be. Ms. Mihaylova expressed her conviction that the lecture given by Ambassador Inkiriwang would enhance their understanding on the role of ASEAN in the world’s politics. At the moment there are two missions from ASEAN member states in Bulgaria, i.e. Indonesia and Vietnam.
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Photo description: Ambassador Inkiriwang (left); Director of the Diplomatic Institute, Ms. Tanya Mihaylova (right)