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NON-INTERFERENCE POLICY: ASEAN NEEDS ROBUST APPROACH TO REGIONAL CRISES – EXPERTS

11/06/2024 07:04 PM

By Nabilah Saleh

KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 (Bernama) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) needs a robust approach in dealing with regional crises, despite the long-standing principle of non-interference.

Citing the ongoing crisis in Myanmar as a current example, Dr Lina Alexandra from the Jakarta-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) said: "If a member state faces an internal problem that transforms into a regional crisis threatening the stability of other member states, a response is necessary.

“This should not be seen as a violation of the non-interference principle, but rather as an act of regional solidarity.

"The crisis in Myanmar is no longer a domestic issue; it is a regional problem. ASEAN must adopt a more robust approach to address this," said Alexandra during the launch of a report titled "A Partnership for the Future: ASEAN-Australia Ties After the First 50 Years" held here on Tuesday.

Also present was Australia’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Danielle Heinecke.

Concurring with Alexandra, University of Tasmania Pro Vice-Chancellor and Australia-ASEAN Council Board Member Professor Nicholas Farrelly emphasised the importance of a balanced non-interference policy for ASEAN's long-term resilience and success.

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

"If Australia and indeed individual Australians can make some contribution, then we'd love to do so," he said, indicating Australia's willingness to assist in addressing the complex issues within the region.

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

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

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 forward to the future with a series of recommendations to further strengthen this important partnership.

Australia became ASEAN's first Dialogue Partner in 1974.

-- BERNAMA


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