Thursday, July 26, 2012


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Putting the ASEAN Humpty Dumpty back together again

 July 22, 2012 10:23am

Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has not been flying to ASEAN capitals just to try to put together a statement, or the joint communique that should have been issued at the end of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh earlier this month. He is trying to put the ASEAN Humpty Dumpty back together again. And everyone – not least the Philippines, Vietnam, ASEAN chair Cambodia, and all other member countries, but even China, the United States, ASEAN’s other dialogue partners, and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, would do well to come with their glue and adhesives and participate in this effort.
At stake is much more than the few sentences that would reflect that ASEAN did discuss and come to agreement on the recent tensions between members states Vietnam and the Philippines on one hand, and the group’s dialogue partner China on the other. Although certainly, one is confounded that the chair could not muster the wisdom and perseverance to forge even a minimalist consensus, perhaps – goes the speculation - because of promises made to a non-member of the ASEAN family.