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ASEAN Summit Momentum for RI to Prioritize  Soft Diplomacy

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By: Rika Prasatya )*

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has emphasized that Indonesia is ready to hold the 43rd ASEAN Summit. The summit will be held in Jakarta on 5-7 September 2023. The 2023 ASEAN Chairmanship is a momentum that the Indonesian government can optimize to increase its influence in the Southeast Asia region. This is in order to realize mutual progress, especially in the economic field, one of which is by promoting  soft diplomacy .

Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia (FEB UI) Teguh Dartanto said, through  soft diplomacy , Indonesia can highlight other advantages, apart from  being resource-based . One of them, quality Indonesian education, which is represented by the existence of superior universities with good teaching and learning quality.

Apart from that, the main thing is to encourage and support the government to be able to take advantage of  soft diplomacy  through education. So far, Indonesia is famous for only exporting students. In the future, superior universities in Indonesia can be promoted as a destination for higher education for people in ASEAN.

Indonesia wants to make ASEAN remain important and relevant for the people of Southeast Asia and the world. The hope is that ASEAN can play an important role as a motor of peace which is also capable of realizing regional prosperity. Apart from that, Indonesia wants to make ASEAN the center of regional and world economic growth. According to him, FEB UI also plays an active role in encouraging the government to play a bigger role when assuming the ASEAN Chair.

Apart from that, the momentum of Indonesia’s chairmanship in ASEAN 2023 needs to be utilized optimally to realize an increase in Indonesia’s role and leadership, strengthen economic and health diplomacy, and secure national interests in the Pillars of the ASEAN Community. It is also hoped that Indonesia’s chairmanship will give rise to new ideas and initiatives in overcoming challenges and other crucial issues of concern in the region and the world.

On different occasions, President Jokowi believed that, in the midst of increasing global conflict, ASEAN countries have the same commitment to make ASEAN an anchor for world peace and an example of tolerance and unity. He believes that the ASEAN community is capable of being a catalyst for world peace, capable of being  a caring and sharing community , not only being  the epicenter of growth  but also being  the epicenter of harmony , which maintains regional stability and world peace.

President Jokowi also invited all ASEAN members to continue to strengthen cooperation and solidarity in order to maintain peace and stability in the region. Solidarity and mutual trust between ASEAN members and other stakeholders are considered important to achieve this peace and stability. President Jokowi believes that with strong solidarity, ASEAN can continue to play its central role in the region.

)* The author is a Contributor to the Indonesian Institute for Strategic Information Studies

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