Compared with the s — when Australia became ASEAN's first dialogue partner — its economy is now far smaller than the ASEAN. The ASEAN-Australia dialogue relationship has evolved and matured considerably since Australia became ASEAN's very first Dialogue Partner more than three. The latest Tweets from ASEAN Australia Dialogue (@ASEAN_Australia). THAILAND at @ThaiNewMandala: In Buddhist Thailand, the relationship between.
Megaphone diplomacy might make some Australians feel smug and self-righteous, but it does little to open doors for engagement and substantive reform. Indeed, despite the avoidance of public discussion on sensitive and embarrassing issues like the Rohingya crisis, the very gathering together at such forums and the one-on-one meetings on the sidelines have provided significant opportunities for Australia. Australian officials, academics and others have used these opportunities to engage respectfully but with conviction on a range of issues for which the alternative megaphone diplomacy is counterproductive.
Non-traditional security threats to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific are increasingly understood as being linked to the security and prosperity of Australia itself.
While ASEAN has proven to be a useful forum for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief coordination and counterterrorism initiatives, the centrality of ASEAN may be challenged by great power contestation. It includes Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Animists and others.
It uses English as its common language. Australians are slowly adjusting to the fact that they are not living in some kind of metaphorical mid-Atlantic.
Despite genuine concerns over the divergence of interests over issues like democratisation and human rights, today the interests of Australia and ASEAN overlap to an unprecedented degree. Shared geography is the key driver, but other factors feature prominently as well.
Minister for Foreign Affairs
These arrangements have witnessed growing ties over humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, piracy, terrorism, people smuggling, refugee flows, and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, let alone concerns over great power contestation.
Sure, considerable differences remain, particularly concerning democracy and human rights. But, like Australia, the ASEAN states struggle to reconcile competing geostrategic and economic priorities, valuing the burgeoning trade ties with China while still valuing the enduring US contribution to stability that has been the great facilitator of prosperity. Along the way, they are finding they have more interests and concerns in common than ever.
In the past, Australia sought security from Asia. Professor Gareth Evans, my former ministerial colleagues, Andrew Robb and Stephen Smith, and Dr Natalegawa and Dr Pangetsu, our dear friends from Indonesia, and all of the distinguished guests here this evening.
I particularly thank PWC. It is as welcome as it is unprecedented in bringing together nine institutions and we will greatly benefit from the collective wisdom of these institutions who will be looking to find ways to deepen our engagement with ASEAN, and, so, I most certainly welcome that initiative.
And, again, we were very clear-eyed about this. We recognised that the sea lanes of Southeast Asia were vital for us, that the security challenges facing the region demanded, required, a collective regional response and we knew that the economic prosperity of these five important economies was of vital importance to Australia, the region and, as it turns out, globally.
Of course, the relationship advanced from Bringing together the leaders of virtually all of the ASEAN nations, nine leaders will be present, plus Prime Minister Turnbull, and the delegations are at a very high level.
Reflecting on the ASEAN–Australian relationship
If one were to assess ASEAN against its own standards, that is, peace and prosperity and progress, then it has been an overwhelmingly success and the raw statistics tell the story. In other areas, like life expectancy: We are also seeing — and this brings me to the point about the Indo-Pacific — we are seeing significant growth, economically-speaking, in India, Bangladesh and other countries. So, in order to continue the economic growth that we have seen in our region, that includes North Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and beyond, we have to continue to promote open, free, liberalised trade and investment.
It is more important than ever for us to continue the economic growth that we have seen exemplified by the ASEANs through open, free, liberalised trade and investment, and embrace it. I believe that ASEAN is uniquely positioned to be a champion for the liberalised trade and investment that our region, our globe, so desperately needs. It is a comprehensive paper, a blue print for our international engagement, our international activities over the next decade and beyond.
We identify in the White Paper the Indo-Pacific as being our area of major interest and priority. It is not just a geographic area. It is the concept between the nations of the Indian Ocean, the nations of Asia and the nations of the Pacific.
It is not a term that I invented, but it is most certainly one I adopted. And I recall having a conversation with Marty Natalegawa when I was Shadow Foreign Minister about the Indo-Pacific because it reflected the fact that Australia was bound by two great oceans — the Indian, the Pacific — with Asia to our north.
Four challenges for Australia–ASEAN relations | East Asia Forum
More recently, notwithstanding the fact that the United States had pulled out of the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership 12, we went ahead, in the face of a great deal of scepticism I might say, and negotiated and finalised the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 member nations which was signed in Santiago on Friday.
The TPP is a significant free trade agreement and it sets a very high standard.
- Four challenges for Australia–ASEAN relations
In other words, other nations, if they are prepared to abide by the guidelines and the standards and the benchmarks set in TPP, are free to apply to join and we certainly encourage other ASEANs and other nations around the world to do so.
On the peace, stability and security front, while the economic dynamism of the region is assured, the peace and stability cannot be taken for granted. It was interesting to read a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report that pointed out that six of the ten fastest and largest growing military budgets in the world are in the Indo-Pacific: There are unsettled territorial disputes, there are tensions over maritime boundaries, there are pre-existing rivalries, some going back decades, some centuries.
We set this out in the Foreign Policy White Paper, the importance of strengthening, promoting and, if necessary, defending, that international rules based order. Undoubtedly, Australia has been a beneficiary. Our region has been a beneficiary, and we argue that the globe has seen the greatest level of the reduction of poverty and the greatest increase in standards of living over the last 70 years due to that international rules based order.
But it is under strain, it is under challenge. There are states who cherry-pick what parts of the rules based order they are prepared to adhere to and the parts they are not.
They see some short term interest in challenging that rules based order. But we believe that this must be protected because it dictates the behaviour of states, what is acceptable and what is not within states, between states.