Foreign minister Prak Sokhonn has led a delegation to the Indonesian capital Jakarta to participate in the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings, aimed at further advancing the ASEAN Community building process.

According to a July 10 statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the July 11-14 meeting is being hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia – the bloc’s rotating chair – under the theme “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth”.

The ministry believes the meeting will serve as an opportunity to enhance ASEAN centrality, reinforce the bloc’s relations with all dialogue partners and assert the regional body as the “Epicentre of Global Growth”.

The meeting will address a wide spectrum of regional and international issues of shared interest and concern, maintaining ASEAN’s key role as a catalyst for sustainable global growth.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, noted the importance of the meeting for facilitating crucial discussions for the next ASEAN Summit.

He said key international issues such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the South China Sea dispute, the Myanmar crisis, and the tension in the Taiwan Straits had been hot topics at the recent ASEAN summits, especially with the rising tension between the US and China.

“Cambodia’s voice in ASEAN is needed to uphold the ASEAN centrality, enhance the bloc’s solidarity and adhere to the ASEAN Charter and the ASEAN Declaration of Consensus. This ensures that ASEAN doesn’t become a pawn of superpowers,” he said.

In the context of intense geopolitical competition, Phea emphasised the need for ASEAN to unite, especially in collaborating on economic recovery to maintain growth resilience, with particular focus on regional internal business.

During the meeting, ASEAN foreign ministers and the secretary-general of ASEAN will pay a courtesy call on Indonesian president Joko (Jokowi) Widodo, and witness the signing of the Instrument of Accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) by several countries.