ASEAN Is Crunched For Time, but Not Crunched Enough (OPINION)

By The Jakarta Post at 11:16 AM 5/31/2020 (PDT)

To some, it may be surprising how little aggression there is within ASEAN over public transportation, especially when it has historically had many difficulties in acting as unified nations. There is very little polarization, at least in the third session, and the many different nations all acknowledge and agree that there are differences.

However, this is not enough. It may be dangerous to be so optimistic, and the resolution is moving towards each country doing their own thing. This option no doubt has its advantages. However, the differences between ASEAN states cannot be glossed over so quickly. They must be addressed, and if the resolution does not explicitly recognize these differences it may end up with a resolution that is too vague.

The conversation runs the risk of simply going around in circles over and over, and that is exactly what it’s doing. There have been times where the delegates simply restate their position and their struggles, but not without reason. It is all too easy for one country to forget or not think about another country’s struggles when there are so many different ones for every country.

Tensions are very high right now. In addition to problems with funding and political unrest, the different delegates are finding it very hard to figure out a way to include every country’s unique needs. Many delegates have stated that they are optimistic about the outcome, and while a resolution will likely be reached, there is a constant question of how much it can truly help everyone.

The resolution is only in a draft format, and yet there are still debates over how many resolutions are being written. It may not be the end of the world for Indonesia if a resolution is not passed, but for other countries it might well be. Despite our differences, we need to act now. We needed to act yesterday.

As the dais said, the delegates need to just “get it done”.

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