ASEAN Post-2025 Discussed at 11th ERIA’s Editors’ Roundtable
Phnom Penh, 17-18 October 2022: The 11th ERIA Editors Roundtable was held during the pivotal time as the global order is shifting away from the stable international order that has been in place since WWII. ASEAN, established in 1967, has survived all international crises and threats in the past five plus decades. But to maintain its stability (and centrality), all ASEAN stakeholders, both within and without, must now think deeply and consider ways to promote the health of the bloc to ensure its survival.
Currently, ‘ASEAN Vision 2025’ has served as a clear trajectory for the ASEAN leaders to pursue. However, as the 2025 deadline approaches, ASEAN leaders decided last year that all the best minds of ASEAN must work out a new ASEAN vision that will go beyond 2025, a new vision that spans the decade 2026-2035. Obviously, nobody could have predicted the Ukraine conflict and all the negative effects on the global communities that followed. The crisis in Myanmar also poses risks to the stability that has been core to ASEAN’s success over the past decades. The progress of the ASEAN five-point consensus has been marginal, but the basic roadmap was effectively laid down to provide humanitarian assistance, jump-start political dialogue and attain a ceasefire.
With the Indo-Pacific region’s growing importance, it is imperative to ensure that economic engagement continues unabated. The resilience and diversification of supply chains are key to future economic growth in the region. ASEAN is located at the center of the Indo-Pacific, which will continue to be the growth center of the global economy. These events make it more important than ever for ASEAN to look ahead and boldly evaluate itself as well as the regional and international environment that it will have to depend on. This new vision will help ASEAN to navigate the future which will become increasingly unpredictable for all members and its dialogue partners.
With these issues in mind, the 11th ERT focused on the ASEAN Vision beyond 2025. Key current and former ASEAN officials with insights and foresight took part in the deliberation. The 11th ERT also focused on the ongoing crisis in Myanmar as it enters the end of the second year. Twenty-four editors and senior journalists from ASEAN and the East Asia Summit joined the roundtable to hear first-hand accounts of the future of ASEAN as well as the region. Most importantly, in the tradition of previous Editors’ Roundtables, they also had the opportunity to exchange views with the ASEAN Secretary General, Dato Lim Jock Hoi, in his final year leading ASEAN.