In a recent statement, ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn highlighted the robust collaboration between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and India, emphasizing their shared status as maritime entities. The partnership spans various sectors, including trade, investment, tourism, defense, and counterterrorism.
Hourn underscored the significance of ASEAN as a maritime community and India as a maritime nation, pointing out their joint efforts in areas such as maritime cooperation, a key focus outlined in the ASEAN outlook on the Indo-Pacific. Looking ahead, he expressed the hope to expand cooperation into new sectors and deepen existing ties.
The secretary-general identified potential areas for future collaboration, including the digital economy, sustainability, renewable energy, and people-to-people exchanges. He commended the growing partnership between ASEAN and India, highlighting Prime Minister Modi’s participation in the ASEAN India Summit held in September.
Addressing the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, Hourn reaffirmed ASEAN’s commitment to peace, dialogue, and diplomacy. Emphasizing the organization’s support for multilateralism, he urged the United Nations to play a constructive role in resolving conflicts globally, advocating for peaceful solutions and humanitarian considerations.
The ASEAN community remains steadfast in its principles, promoting cultural dialogue, consultation, and constructive engagement. Hourn expressed optimism that diplomatic means and the UN’s commitment could contribute to resolving conflicts, urging the international community to prioritize peace and diplomacy in the face of humanitarian tragedies.