Marsudi outlines aspects of handling ASEAN security issues


Jakarta, – Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi on Monday highlighted three aspects of handling security challenges in the ASEAN region.

“The first aspect is addressing new security challenges,” she said at the 27th Meeting of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Council (APSC) in Jakarta.

The APSC meeting is part of a series of events at the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta. The series of ASEAN Summit meetings are taking place from September 2–7, 2023, and have been joined by 19 state leaders, including those from ASEAN partner countries.

According to Minister Marsudi, the Indonesian Government succeeded in handling 2,061 cases of human trafficking via online fraud over the last three years.

A more comprehensive approach is needed to eradicate human trafficking crimes, including by completing the long-delayed ASEAN Extradition Agreement, she added.

An Interpol report has predicted that the total losses due to cybercrimes will increase by 15 percent per year until 2025.

Therefore, concrete steps to overcome the problem are necessary, including strengthening border management, cybersecurity cooperation in the region, and providing effective and efficient mutual legal assistance, the minister said.

Meanwhile, the second aspect is encouraging an improvement in handling human rights, she informed.

Minister Marsudi then highlighted the Preamble to the ASEAN Charter, which underlines the need to overcome human rights challenges that continue to grow in an effort to ensure the rights of the ASEAN community.

“Engaging in inclusive dialogue is key. This is the reason why Indonesia is pursuing the Leaders’ Declaration on ASEAN Human Rights Dialogue,” she said.

She further said that this year, Indonesia will host the 5th Human Rights Dialogue.

She then called for support from all parties to help the dialogue generate better democracy and good governance in the region, including by organizing human rights dialogues every year.

According to Marsudi, the third aspect is increasing maritime cooperation in the ASEAN region.

“The vast Indo-Pacific region holds strategic potential. However, the interests of other big countries in the world can endanger the peace and stability in our region,” she said.

Therefore, she pushed for a more consistent application of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and regional agreements, such as the Zone of Peace, Freedom, and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) and the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Agreement (SEANWFZ), as well as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), as an important part of joint efforts.

Furthermore, she sought cooperation in handling transnational organized crime, such as illegal, undocumented, and non-compliant fishing (IUU Fishing).

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