Jaishankar advocates 'ASEAN unity', constructive role in Indo-Pacific region

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale  - Senior Editor
4 Min Read

Advocating increased cooperation between India and ASEAN countries, External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar on Tuesday highlighted that both sides, through greater cooperation, can play a major role in the emerging regional architecture of the Indo-Pacific .

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“We support ASEAN unity, ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN perspective on the Indo-Pacific. India truly believes that a strong and integrated ASEAN can play a constructive role in the emerging regional architecture of the Indo-Pacific,” EAM Jaishankar said in a virtual address at the first ASEAN Future Forum on Tuesday.

He said, “The synergy between India's Indo Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI) and the ASEAN Perspective on the Indo Pacific (AOIP), reflected in the Joint Statement of our ASEAN India Leaders, provides a strong framework for cooperation, “Which also includes solutions to broader security challenges.” ,

Referring to the G20 summit hosted by India last year under the grouping's chairmanship, Jaishankar said the time has come for the Global South to play a bigger role in international affairs.

“We also believe that the time has come for the Global South to present its perspective and play a greater role in international affairs. During our G-20 presidency last year, we held the virtual Voices of the Global South summit with the participation of several ASEAN member states,” he said.

“Today, a multipolar Asia and a multipolar world are becoming increasingly evident. This highlights the extremely important role of ASEAN and India in dealing with the realities of the emerging world order. This underlines the need for greater cooperation and coordination between India and ASEAN.”

Emphasizing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Jaishankar expressed concern over the growing security challenges in the Indo-Pacific and said it is important that freedom of navigation, overflight and unimpeded commerce is respected and all Facility should be provided. ,

“SAGAR, India's initiative for security and development for all in the region, aims to contribute to peace and stability in the region. Friends, it is important that freedom of navigation and overflight and unimpeded commerce be respected and facilitated by all. The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea provides a comprehensive legal framework and serves as the constitution of the sea under which all activities in the oceans and seas must be conducted,” the External Affairs Minister said.

“Maintaining the perimeter is a common and collective effort. In addition to our efforts towards mitigation, adaptation and response capacities to address the impact of climate change and disasters and global challenges such as transnational crimes, terrorism, cyber attacks, human trafficking and health and food security. The digital age and increasing use of artificial intelligence has resulted in an emphasis on trust and transparency, which is impacting our perception of security.

The ASEAN Future Forum, chaired by Vietnam, began in Hanoi on Tuesday.

The theme of this year's forum is 'Towards rapid and sustainable development of a people-centred ASEAN Community'. This year's event aims to promote a united and dynamic ASEAN business community in the digital age.

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