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Jakarta Post

Editorial: The ASEAN cage

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, July 20 2011   /  08:00 am

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono enthusiastically opened the 44th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bali on Tuesday, while Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa went all out in ensuring that the regional bloc will make major achievements during Indonesia’s one-year chairmanship. But now let us question ourselves: Did we really get much from our leading role in ASEAN, or did we sacrifice too much for the sake of the organization’s unity?

Perhaps many of us do not realize that our country now belongs to the world’s 20 largest economies club, the G20. We should not miss the benefits we can get from our membership in this prestigious club, although perhaps we cannot be as dominant there as we are now in ASEAN.

For 44 years since its establishment in 1967, as the largest member, Indonesia has played an active and prominent role in developing the organization, and until now ...