New Delhi/UNI: The ties between India and the Asean have withstood the test of time and grown stronger with each passing decade, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said Thursday as he pushed for greater connectivity between India and the 10 Asean nations in order to "promote decentralised globalisation and reliable supply chains".
Welcoming the foreign ministers of the 10 nations at the first Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting being held here, the EAM noted that even as the Covid pandemic has not fully abated the Ukraine conflict and its knock on effects are impacting food and energy security, as well as fertilizer and commodities prices, and logistics and supply chain disruptions around the world.
“ASEAN has always stood tall as a beacon of regionalism, multilateralism and globalization. It has successfully carved out a niche for itself in the region and provided the foundation for the evolving strategic and economic architecture in the Indo-Pacific," he said.
“ASEAN’s role today is perhaps more important than ever before given the geopolitical challenges and uncertainties that the world faces.”
The EAM reiterated India’s backing for a strong, unified and prosperous ASEAN, one whose centrality in the Indo-Pacific is fully recognised.
“The strong convergence of the AOIP (Asean Outlook on the Indo Pacific) and the IPOI (India’s Indo Pacific Oceans Initiative) is a testimony to our shared Vision for the region,” he stressed.
“ASEAN-India ties, anchored in history and nurtured by common ethos, have withstood the test of time and indeed, grown stronger with each passing decade. Our Sectoral Partnership of 1992 matured into a Summit level Partnership in 2002 and further evolved into a Strategic Partnership in 2012.
“As we enter the fourth decade of our relationship, our ties too must respond to the world that we confront. A better connected India and ASEAN would be well positioned to promote decentralized globalization and resilient and reliable supply chains that is so needed by the international community,” Jaishankar said.
“Under the current global uncertainties, as we review our journey of the last 30 years and chart our path for the coming decades, it is important that we identify a new set of priorities while ensuring the early realization of our ongoing initiatives,” he added.
The year 2022 has been designated as ASEAN-India Friendship Year.
The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.