Non-interference policy: ASEAN needs a firm approach to the regional crisis – Expert

Non-interference policy: ASEAN needs a firm approach to the regional crisis – Expert

KUALA LUMPUR: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) needs a firm approach to dealing with regional crises, even though the principle of non-intervention has been practiced for a long time.

Referring to the ongoing crisis in Myanmar as a recent example, Dr Lina Alexandra from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) based in Jakarta said, “If a member state faces an internal problem that turns into a regional crisis that threatens the stability of other member states, response is necessary.

“The crisis in Myanmar is no longer a domestic issue; it is a regional problem. ASEAN must take a more decisive approach to dealing with this matter,” said Alexandra during the launch of the report titled “A Partnership for the Future: ASEAN-Australia Ties After the First 50 Years,” which was held here on Tuesday.

Also present was the Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia, Danielle Heinecke.

Along with Alexandra’s views, University of Tasmania Pro Vice-Chancellor and ASEAN-Australia Council Board Member, Professor Nicholas Farrelly, emphasized the importance of a balanced policy of non-intervention for ASEAN’s long-term resilience and success.

Specifically, in the case of Myanmar, Professor Farrelly showed significant interest in Australia resolving such regional crises.

“If Australia and individual Australians can contribute, we are very happy to do so,” he said, indicating Australia’s willingness to help tackle complex issues in the region.

Besides Alexandra and Farrelly, the report was also co-authored by Sharon Seah from the Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS) and Dr. Kimly Ngoun from the Asian Vision Institute.

It was launched on Tuesday by the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) in collaboration with the Australian High Commission.

As 2024 marks the 50th anniversary of Australia’s dialogue partnership with ASEAN, the report reflects on five decades of cooperation between ASEAN and Australia and looks ahead with a number of recommendations to further strengthen this important partnership.

Australia became ASEAN’s first dialogue partner in 1974.

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