by Arientha Primanita
The public must be encouraged to play a greater role in shaping the future of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations if the bloc is to shed its image as a staid state-centric organization, the government said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the opening of the Asean Civil Society Conference and Asean Peoples’ Forum 2011, Vice President Boediono said Indonesia would seek to promote a bigger role for businesses, academics, media, nongovernmental organizations and other civil society groups in the regional body’s activities.
“To move forward, Asean must engage the people,” he said. “The Asean Charter clearly directs Asean governments to establish meaningful relations with their people.”
Boediono said Indonesia, as chair of Asean this year, would facilitate discussions between representatives from civil society and Asean leaders.
“I hope the Asean civil forum can make use of this opportunity to carry out a meaningful dialogue with Asean governments, a dialogue that leads to better mutual understanding and concrete cooperative actions that benefit the people directly,” he said.
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