JAKARTA, Sept 28 — Asean’s high-level task force is now in the process of charting future direction beyond 2025 for the 10-member grouping, Asean secretary-general Datuk Lim Jock Hoi said.
“It is envisioned that Asean will remain to be an adaptive community capable of addressing current and emerging challenges for the benefit of the Asean people,” he said at the inaugural CSIS Asean Leadership Forum recently.
Currently, its roadmap themed “Asean 2025: Forging Ahead Together” endorsed by the Leaders at their Summit in Malaysia on November 22, 2015, is charting the path for community building until 2025.
Meanwhile, Lim said he would be seeing the new US Ambassador to Asean Yohannes Abraham, a former member of President Joe Biden’s National Security Council, next week.
During a question-and-answer session, Lim said he looked forward to working closely with Abraham in areas of mutual and common interest for the two sides and strive to enhance Asean-US relationship.
The 14th secretary-general of Asean since 2018 also hoped Asean foreign ministers could resolve the Myanmar issue before the grouping’s summit in November, adding that ministers will further engage in the coming weeks.
“Myanmar is always a family, a part of Asean… Of course, it is a very complex issue… But again, always an issue that will be discussed by the family itself.”
Lim said this when asked to comment on the options available to the Asean family regarding the Myanmar crisis.
Asean foreign ministers are scheduled to convene here next month for the preparatory meeting in the run-up to the November group summit in Cambodia.
On the status of Timor Leste’s application to join Asean, Lim said he would like to see the country become the 11th member of the Asean this year.
“We’re very positive that one day we will discuss this at a forthcoming working group,” Lim said.
Timor Leste has improved the infrastructure, corporate governance, and is also working towards World Trade Organisation membership by next year, he said.