22 OcTOBER 2015
Honorable Heads of the 9th ALAWMM Delegations and the ASEAN Secretariat,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me warmly welcome you to Bali, Indonesia. My sincere appreciation for your presence at this 9th ASEAN Law Ministers Meeting. I am confident that the reason of your presence here today derives from the spirit and strong commitment to advance the already excellent cooperation of ASEAN Law Ministers that ASEAN countries enjoy to the present.
When these ASEAN Law Ministers Meeting began nearly three decades ago, we intended to create an opportunity to bring Justice Ministers of ASEAN member states together to promote legal development and cooperation in the region, as well as to make possible the kind of joint efforts and coordinated action that our nations need in order to promote security and justice.
Now we are approaching the end of 2015. The ASEAN Community is just around the corner. It is a time where all ASEAN nations should be optimistic in embracing the dream that we have all worked towards all these years. It is only reasonable that our efforts must be geared toward ensuring a seamless process of the ASEAN Community Building.
In this respect, I believe that without the rule of law, we will not achieve a smooth integration process. The rule of law within and among ASEAN member states will undoubtedly be a critical factor in accelerating ASEAN integration and achieving its desired goals.
While we all acknowledge the importance of the rule of law, the pace of ASEAN integration through law has never been an easy process.
Let me take you back to 1986 when Bali hosted the 1st Ministers of Laws and Attorney Generals of ASEAN Meeting, which launched and initiated the future work of this body. This body then developed to be one of the ASEAN key sectoral agencies for the enhancement and development of legal infrastructure and cooperation within the region.
Along the way, ALAWMM has tried its best to promote the progressive development of international law through the work of its organs and also contribute to the development of international law, unique to ASEAN.
I am confident that ALAWMM has and will always strive to be a more effective and efficient ASEAN agency, and that it will continue to focus its work on issues that can be implemented and benefit all ASEAN members equally. Furthermore, it is important to avoid duplications and to ensure close coordination in cross cutting issues with the other sectoral bodies to find solution to challenges that could only be addressed by such strong coordination.
I am convinced that we, as ASEAN member states, remain steadfast in contributing to the development of ASEAN as a rules-based community.
And I also firmly believe that ALAWMM would be able to deliver regional legal instruments for the promotion of an inclusive and responsive ASEAN Community post 2015.
There is no doubt that member states will have competing interests on a variety of issues. However, such a situation should not lessen our ability to work toward common goals, particularly when a problem faced by one country could easily affect neighbouring countries. The development of a common understanding of how to address particular problems, as well as the willingness to share, are necessary for ASEAN integration.
Economic growth and prosperity in the region does not only depend on strong economic-related legal frameworks, but also on effective criminal justice legal framework.
There is a large body of evidence that underlines the importance of a strong legal and institutional framework for sustainable economic growth. In the case of ASEAN, a robust legal and institutional framework is imperative to deal with the future challenges brought about by economic integration.
In the past decade, Indonesia has witnessed some of the negative consequences of globalization that result in the free flow of people, goods and capital. We have seen that the scourge of transnational crimes has reached an alarming level. In matters related to drug-related crimes the threat is such that Indonesia considers itself in a situation of emergency and has announced a war on drug traffickings.
I believe that all ASEAN Member States share the same concern.
As we already know, this issue is being addressed by the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters (AMMDM). However, to intensify anti-drugs trafficking campaign, I would like to use this opportunity to reiterate Indonesias firm stance and the importance of cooperation between ASEAN member states in combating drug-related crimes, including through the strengthening of the legal frameworks in ASEAN.
The establishment of the necessary legal instruments should be pursued rigorously to ensure that law and justice are upheld. Our law enforcement efforts must be as equally organized as organized crimes.
What is the way forward for ALAWMM?
The appropriate course of action to be taken would be for ALAWMM to work closely with other relevant sectoral bodies of ASEAN. ALAWMM should also be proactive in cooperating with other regional and international organizations to address the common challenges.
I am confident that ALAWMM can achieve significant progress if we assist each other in order to bridge gaps that may arise, and to find a common understanding derived from the different legal systems practiced by the ASEAN member states.
I am optimistic that each and every one of you would do your utmost to contribute to the strengthening of the ASEAN Community.
I wish you a fruitful session!