Yogyakarta, 13 March 2019
– The development of law and politics in ASEAN needs to be followed by the integration of values and identities. “The development of law, institution and politics in ASEAN should be developed in accordance with a sense of ‘togetherness’ in ASEAN,” as stated by the Secretary of the Directorate of ASEAN cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Verdi Kurnia Buana, which was a keynote speaker at the International Conference on ASEAN Studies (ICONAS) 2019. This event focused on the theme of “Rethinking Law, Institution and Politics in Advancing Partnership for Sustainable ASEAN Community.” According to him, these two aspects are the key in maintaining ASEAN’s unity, centrality and longevity as a regional organization. ASEAN’s centrality is important, particularly due to the changes in the geopolitics and geo-economics of the Indo-Pacific region. “ASEAN is located within the Indo-Pacific region, which today witnesses squabbles between world powers.”Meanwhile, the Ambassador of Japan’s Mission to ASEAN, H.E. Kazuo Sunaga, explained about Japan’s foreign policy in regard to ASEAN within the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” (FOIP). This policy considers ASEAN as a key actor in establishing a cooperation between Asia and Africa.
FOIP considers ASEAN as a hinge that connects Asia and Africa, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Therefore, ASEAN is Japan’s primary foreign policy focus.
ICONAS 2019 was held by the ASEAN Studies Center Fisipol UGM, the Faculty of Law UGM and the Center for Asian Legal Exchange of Nagoya University.
ICONAS 2019 was held from the 13rd until the 14th of March in the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences Universitas Gadjah Mada. In addition to seminars, presentations and research discussions that consisted of three panels that corresponded to the three pillars of ASEAN; ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community, and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community were also held in this event.