Jakarta – Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said the country's duties did not end with its 2023 ASEAN chairmanship as he passed the role to Laos at the closing ceremony of the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits on Sept. 7 in Jakarta.
"We will continue to face various dynamics and complexities of global challenges. Therefore, we must work together to navigate challenges into opportunities, rivalries into collaborations, exclusivity into inclusivity and differences into unity. We must be the captains of our own ships, and it is time to hand over the leadership baton to Laos," President Jokowi said in his closing speech.
Jokowi added that he believed this year's ASEAN Summit provided optimism and positive energy to the bloc's 10 member states and dialogue partners, while expressing his high appreciation to all leaders of participating countries and invited guests.
"Over the past three days, 12 summit meetings have been held, resulting in 90 outcome documents and numerous concrete agreements with our partners. During the meetings, I sensed optimism and positive energy from all those present.
"Honestly, I can say that this strengthens our hopes and spirits to continue the struggle to create a peaceful, stable and prosperous region," said President Jokowi.
The 43rd ASEAN Summit also played a significant role in solidifying the Indo-Pacific region as a theater of peace and inclusivity.
"It is the key foundation that will lead ASEAN to a better future for its people and the world," he said, underlining that this was the essence of Indonesia's 2023 chairmanship in making ASEAN an "epicenter of growth".
President Jokowi also reiterated his call for ASEAN member states to continue to build on their collaboration: "Let us continue to strengthen collaboration and cooperation for a peaceful and prosperous ASEAN and make the world a better place for all.
The President then concluded his speech: "Once again, I express my gratitude for the support of Indonesia's chairmanship in 2023. With that, I officially conclude the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits."