Jakarta – Ambassador David Carden spoke today at a panel discussion focusing on the United States engagement with ASEAN. Co-organized by the U.S. Mission to ASEAN and The Habibie Center, the event featured the Indonesian book launch of ASEAN-U.S. Relations: What Are The Talking Points? edited by Dr. Pavin Chachavalpongpun. Former ASEAN Secretary-General Ambassador Rodolfo Severino, Prof. Dr. Dewi Fortuna Anwar, and the book editor Dr. Pavin joined the panelists before a full house of 150 audience participants including members of the diplomatic corps, think-tanks, civil organizations, press, and university students.
“The problems that we all have today do not have borders, and that is why it is imperative that we work together. The United States is here to support the development of a strong, stable, peaceful ASEAN that is responsive to the needs of its people,” said Ambassador Carden in his opening remarks. He added that if ASEAN succeeds, we can be hopeful that the success story can be replicated in other parts of the world, and eventually make the world a better place in which to live.
Prof. Dr. Dewi Fortuna Anwar, Chairman of the Habibie Center’s Institute for Democracy and Human Rights encouraged the United States to strengthen the people-to-people relations, by reinstating more scholarship or students exchange programs for ASEAN young people. She added that, “While government policy always changes, strong people relations have proven to be a useful means to help and sustain inter-governmental relationships.”
The book, ASEAN-U.S. Relations: What Are the Talking Points? was initially inspired by a workshop of the ASEAN Studies Centre held in July 2010, and published by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS). The book’s primary objective is to identify the important “talking points” in ASEAN-U.S. relations, together with recommendations on how to improve the relationship.
Hosted by @america, the American cultural center in Jakarta, the event marked the first of many activities that the U.S. Mission to ASEAN is undertaking to commemorate the 35th anniversary of ASEAN-U.S. relations. Originally established in 1977, ASEAN-U.S. relations have rapidly grown and expanded to cover a wide range of cooperative areas, including political and security dialogue, economic and trade engagement, social and cultural interactions, and development cooperation.