NEW DELHI, India – The Indian government renewed its support for a “strong, unified and prosperous” Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
During the Special Asean-India Foreign Ministers’ meeting on Thursday, Indian External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, said the Asean has always stood tall as a beacon of regionalism, multilateralism, and globalization.
“India fully supports a strong, unified and prosperous Asean, one whose centrality in the Indo-Pacific is fully recognized. The strong convergence of the AOIP (Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific) and the IPOI (Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative) is a testimony to our shared vision for the region,” Jaiskhankar in his opening remarks.
The special meeting coincides with the 30th year anniversary of Asean-India ties and the 10th year of strategic partnership with Asean member states.
“ASEAN-India ties, anchored in history and nurtured by common ethos, have withstood the test of time and indeed, grown stronger with each passing decade,” Jaiskhankar said.
The Asean-India “sectoral partnership” of 1992 has significantly matured into a “summit level” partnership in 2002 and further evolved into a “strategic partnership” in 2012.
“As we enter the fourth decade of our relationship, our ties too must respond to the world that we confront,” Jaiskhankar said.
He also sees that a “better connected India and Asean would be well-positioned to promote decentralized globalization and resilient and reliable supply chains that are so needed by the international community.”
Jaiskhankar also told Asean officials that “there’s much ground yet to be covered” amid efforts toward post-pandemic recovery.
“This path has become even more arduous with geopolitical headwinds which we face due to developments in Ukraine and its knock-on effects on food and energy security, as well as fertilizer and commodities prices, and logistics and supply chain disruptions,” he added.
For the past decades, Jaishankar said Asean has always stood tall as a beacon of regionalism, multilateralism, and globalization.
He added it has successfully carved out a niche for itself in the region and provided the foundation for the evolving strategic and economic architecture in the Indo-Pacific.
“Asean’s role today is perhaps more important than ever before given the geopolitical challenges and uncertainties that the world faces,” Jaishankar said.
“Asean-India ties, anchored in history and nurtured by common ethos, have withstood the test of time and indeed, grown stronger with each passing decade,” he added.
Jaishankar is co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Vivian Balakrishnan, India’s Country Coordinator and Foreign Minister of Singapore, during the special Asean-India meeting.
Cambodia chairs the Asean for 2022. (PNA)