ICOAS (International Conference of ASEAN Studies) has been successfully held in Universidad Autonoma de Madrid at 20-24th March 2018. This conference conducted by Indonesian Students Association in Spain whereas they believe that ASEAN has many potential yet challenges to discuss. It worth to note that ASEAN has been established since 8 August 1967. Which means ASEAN now is 50 years old.
In the 50 years, long journey ASEAN has implemented many policies and achieved many goals. One of the recent policy agreed by all 10 countries’ members is ASEAN Community which has 3 important pillars ; ASEAN political-security community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-culture Community.
H.E. Mr Philippe Jones Lhuillier: ASEAN Committee Madrid Chair as well as Ambassador of the Philippines for Spain express his gratitude towards this event, “It is my hope to ASEAN that we can share knowledge during this seminar. I hope to strengthen the ties between ASEAN, Spain and EU in general”.
In the opening speech H.E. Jose Antorio Marato Ravares who is currently Director General for ASEAN Cooperation, Indonesia foreign affairs with his speech that delivered by his delegation, Charge D’affair AD interim of Indonesian Embassy in Spain Mr. Adi Priyanto due to his absence stating some important things.
ASEAN as regional organization which has 10 members has established mechanism cooperation between members states and dialogue partners to maintain regional peace in more than 5 decades. As an important organization ASEAN has contributed in maintaining peace and stabilization that enable the economic growth and good civilization. Human trafficking is one challenge that ASEAN has encountered for long time and ASEAN still doing its best to solve the problem
In economic ASEAN has challenges due to globalization and fast-growing economic. It is important to know that ASEAN in 2015 has gain 2.4 trillion US dollar trade activity with 4.5% economic growth. ASEAN also being 4th largest export region in the world competing with The UK, The US, EU and China. “ right now ASEAN place significant role in economic cooperation”, he said.
In 50 years of progress ASEAN is now going forward by arranging 5 free trade agreements with 6 dialogue partners based on mutual benefit. ”ASEAN is currently arranging agreements that will create modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficially agreement what is so called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)”, he said.
As a harmony organization H.E Jose Antorio Marato Ravares also highlighting the importance of commitment, “ASEAN Community is a long term commitment and in 50 years ASEAN must be a stronger community,” his closing remarks.
ICOAS with the theme Re-reading Southeast Asia : multi-perspectives approach has received 42 papers that presented in 5 different cluster; Strengthening and Deepening ASEAN Cooperation, The Emergence of Non Traditional Issues in the Sea and Its Impact on ASEAN Cooperation, The Political Economy of ASEAN Cooperation dan The Socio-Culture Challenges in ASEAN Community. Each research that has been submitted has multiple perspective about ASEAN from the economic term, politics, security, education and health.
This conference conducted by Indonesian Student Association in Spain (PPI Spanyol) collaborated with Indonesia Embassy in Madrid, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, universidad complutense de Madrid, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta, One Asia Foundation, Indonesian Student Association in Turkey (PPI Turki) and Dialogue Emphatic Engagement and Peacebuilding (DEEP) Network.