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Jakarta Post

Australia will be with ASEAN every step of the way

  • Gary Quinlan and Will Nankervis


Jakarta   /   Sat, November 21 2020   /  01:00 am
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (left) talk with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at a dinner event in Canberra on February 10, 2020. (Setneg/Handout)

When ASEAN was formed 53 years ago, its founders said the organization represented “the collective will of the nations of Southeast Asia to bind themselves together… and, through joint efforts and sacrifices, secure for their peoples and for posterity the blessings of peace, freedom and prosperity.” No one could have predicted the joint efforts and sacrifices that would need to be made in 2020 – a year defined by COVID-19 and the upheaval that has followed. At their virtual gathering last week, ASEAN leaders tackled some of the most complex challenges the region has ever faced:  the devastating health impacts of the pandemic, recovery for battered economies, and the implications of the tectonic strategic shifts underway in the Indo-Pacific. Amid the difficulties, the leadership on display by ASEAN last week was vital. Australia was there too &nda...