Jakarta. Indonesia will push the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, to create a regional extradition treaty this year and conclude negotiations on the South China Sea code of conduct during a foreign ministerial meeting in Singapore this month, a government official said on Thursday (01/02).
"Indonesia will focus on several aspects in the meeting, including finalizing an extradition treaty for Asean to facilitate strong legal cooperation in curtailing transnational organized crimes," Asean political and security cooperation director at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Chandra Yudha, said during a press briefing in Jakarta on Thursday.
The Asean Foreign Ministers’ Retreat is scheduled to take place on Feb. 4-6.
Chandra said Indonesia will continue to urge for Asean unity and centrality and the formation of an immediate action plan to implement the Asean Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, which was adopted in November.
Indonesia is the initiator of the consensus, which was discussed for a decade before finally agreed.
Indonesia will also push for more cooperation in e-commerce to support small and medium enterprises and increased efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi will urge once more the development of a regional Indo-Pacific architecture.
Indonesia’s foreign policy priorities for 2018 are oriented toward developing the Indo-Pacific region by fostering strategic cooperations and dialogues.
Meetings conducted by the country’s top officials have been a big part of this effort, including President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo’s recent visit to South Asian countries.
South China Sea Code of Conduct
Chandra said the first meeting of a joint working group to negotiate the South China Sea code of conduct will be held in March in Vietnam.
The group will not only hold discussions on the code, but also on cooperative activities in disputed waters as part of an effort to increase trust, confidence and mutually-beneficial cooperations, especially in maritime affairs.
"We will conduct the discussions based on the framework that we’ve already agreed upon, [and we will try] to increase the frequency of our meetings this year," Chandra said.