By The Nation
The book provides an inside view of Asean's development over the years as it evolved from an association of Southeast Asian nations into a Community in 2015 from the perspective of the author, a career diplomat who served as Foreign Minister and Indonesia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
It highlights the diplomatic efforts, including those behind the scenes, that were made to overcome challenges, promote dialogues, and strengthen confidence in order to secure Asean’s importance and relevance in the international arena. The book also identifies the challenges facing the bloc in today’s complex and uncertain political and economic environment and emphasises the significance of the strategic partnership between Asean and South Korea in maintaining Asean’s relevance in this region and beyond.
“’Does Asean Matter?’ suggests the way forward for Asean, Korea and the global community based on the experience and insight of a highly skilled diplomat who has been deeply engaged in advancing Asean’s profile and capacity in both this region and the world. As more people are gaining interest in Asean under the New Southern Policy, I hope the publication of the Korean translation of this book will provide a timely opportunity for Koreans to better understand Asean and reflect upon its importance as Korea’s partner today and in the future," said Lee Hyuk, secretary-general of the Asean-Korea Centre.
The publication of this translation is part of the series of publications on Asean, which including the book published by the Korean National Diplomatic Academy early this month and Professor Park Bun Soon’s “Rise of Asean”, to in the lead up to the 2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit and the Mekong-ROK Summit.