Indonesian former FM calls for ASEAN’s solidarity in East Sea issue

 The best way for ASEAN to approach the East Sea issue and the finalisation of the Code of Conduct (COC) is through one voice as a group, said former Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Marty Natalegawa on June 26.
Indonesian former FM calls for ASEAN’s solidarity in East Sea issue

The former minister was speaking to Malaysia’s Bernama news agency and Malaysian public broadcaster RTM after the launch of his book, “Does ASEAN Matter? A View from Within” on the sidelines of the 33rd Asia-Pacific Roundtable, which ended on June 26. 

On his publication, Natalegawa said he shares his personal thoughts on what remains to be done on ASEAN, rather than celebrating ASEAN’s pasts.

The 258-page book was published at the end of 2018 in Singapore by ISEAS publishing. It was previously launched in several ASEAN member countries like Singapore and Thailand.

Natalegawa, who served in the position from 2009 to 2014, stressed that it is important for the 10-nation regional body to be united even as member states might have different interests in the issue.

“We must solidify that position so that in talks with China on the code of conduct, we are coherent and united,” he stated

The former Indonesian permanent representative to the United Nations from 2007-2009 noted that ASEAN is stronger, and will continue to remain relevant, when unity is maintained.

“All of us (should), constantly speak of unity. It has to be proven, has to be demonstrated. And whenever divisions occur, there has to be serious efforts to restore unity,” he said.

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