April 14, 2011: Rizal Sukma

Indonesia's Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2011: Can It Deliver?

(Click to enlarge) Dr. Rizal Sukma, CSIS, Jakarta, discusses the challenges that lie ahead for Indonesia and ASEAN in 2011.



WASHINGTON, DC (April 25, 2011) -- As Chair of ASEAN in 2011, Indonesia has set a rather ambitious agenda for the Association to accomplish. In addition to accelerating the implementation of ASEAN Community agendas, it also seeks to shape the emerging regional architecture in East Asia and lay the foundation for ASEAN to play a role in the global community of nations. However, managing intra-regional and extra-regional challenges will not be an easy feat. Dr. Rizal Sukma discussed the priorities of Indonesia's chairmanship of ASEAN in 2011 and examined the challenges Indonesia and the ASEAN Community may face as it attempts to implement these agendas. Indonesia has themed its chairmanship year around the slogan "The ASEAN community in the global community of nations." In keeping with this theme, Dr. Sukma believes that there are three key items on the agenda for Indonesia. Firstly, Indonesia hopes to address ASEAN's responsibility to implement Community policies within the ASEAN blueprints; to date, roughly 35% have been implemented successfully. Secondly, ASEAN will be rethinking its regional position to manage the geopolitical changes occurring in East Asia. Lastly, leaders will focus on developing ASEAN’s role in the global community. It is Indonesia's hope, said Dr. Sukma, that ASEAN will continue to promote these goals even after 2011. In addition to larger overarching goals, Indonesia hopes to strengthen the mandate of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), begin China-ASEAN negotiations regarding maritime security, engage Burma, and build a strong foundation for the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Center (AHA). Rizal Sukma is the executive director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta and has worked extensively on Southeast Asian security issues, Indonesia’s defense and foreign policies, as well as domestic political change in Indonesia. He has also served as a member of the National Committee on Strategic Defense Review at the Ministry of Defense, the Republic of Indonesia, and as a member of the National Drafting Committee for the National Defence Bill (2000-2001) and the Armed Forces Bill (2002-2003). Dr. Sukma, a former Fulbright visiting fellow, also became the first Indonesian to receive the Nakasone Award in July of 2005. Additionally, he was named one of “100 Top Global Thinkers” by Foreign Policy magazine in 2009. Dr. Sukma received his PhD degree in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science.