The Jakarta Post
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has highlighted the need to establish an ASEAN Political Security Community to handle security threats in the future, both in Southeast Asia and East Asia as well as on the global level.
'The ASEAN Political Security Community will increase common capacity to respond to security threats. 'We [ASEAN] will produce a joint position to safeguard peace and to respond to security and political challenges in line with international laws without taking military action,' said the President as quoted by Antara news agency.
He was speaking at the plenary meeting of the 24th ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on Sunday.
President Yudhoyono said that through the ASEAN Political Security Community, the potential for conflict in the South China Sea could be better addressed.
ASEAN, he further said, could also positively contribute to addressing other security challenges, such as territorial conflicts in East Asia involving China, Japan and South and North Korea.
'Through ASEAN cooperation, we have been able to realize a peaceful and stable region. In the last 10 years, we have manage to push ASEAN to transform to become a community from an association,' said Yudhoyono.
He said this transformation was a historical milestone because the ASEAN Community would become a community with one vision and one identity.
ASEAN is set to realize the ASEAN Community in 2015, which comprises three ASEAN pillars: security and political community, social culture community and economic community.
On Saturday, ASEAN foreign ministers in a joint statement expressed concerns over South China Sea developments that had increased tension in the region.
The ministers urged all parties involved, in line with universally recognized international law principles, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, to exercise restraint and avoid taking action that could disrupt peace and stability in the region. (dhi/ebf)
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