JAKARTA – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the 43rd ASEAN summit convened here on Monday, with an emphasis on the region’s unity and inclusiveness.
"We are all aware of many difficult circumstances in the region. But we cannot allow them to affect our hard work in the Summit," Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in the opening remarks.
ASEAN continues taking a lead in shaping regional dynamics and ensuring peace and inclusiveness in the region, Retno added.
Retno said Secretariat-to-Secretariat cooperation between ASEAN and the Indian Ocean Rim Association, as well as the Pacific Islands Forum, would be established on Monday, showing ASEAN's convening power and a wide acceptance of ASEAN's norms and values.
The 43rd ASEAN Summit and related summits are scheduled to be held in Jakarta from Sept. 5 to 7, with Indonesia holding this year's ASEAN chairmanship.
Besides, the 26th ASEAN Plus Three Summit, the 18th East Asia Summit, and ASEAN's one-on-one summits with various countries and organizations including China, the United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, the United Nations, and others, are also listed on the agenda.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (Xinhua)