ASEAN Ambassadors’ Panel Discussion: The Future of South-East Asia as an Epicentre of Growth

MAASTRICHT and ONLINE: On 15 November, UNU-MERIT will co-organize this event to explore the pivotal role of ASEAN diplomacy.

- Europe/Amsterdam

Following the successful Ambassadors’ Talk in Groningen, Netherlands in February 2023, the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Maastricht University and UNU-MERIT are co-organizing a public panel discussion in Maastricht on Wednesday, 15 November 2023 to raise awareness about the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The main objective of this event is to share and provide the latest updates on how ASEAN diplomacy plays a pivotal role at both regional and global levels.

The world is facing unprecedented multidimensional crises, such as pandemic recovery, the war in Ukraine, mounting tensions in the Taiwan Strait and the West Bank, as well as the looming threat of economic recession. Rivalries between major powers are also growing at an alarming pace. Concurrently, climate change may have a multiplier effect on these crises. Against this backdrop, ASEAN remains a primary driving force in fostering collaboration in the region and beyond, while maintaining its central role in regional cooperation mechanisms.

Nearing the end of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, ASEAN is currently working on an ASEAN Community Post-2025 Vision towards ASEAN 2045 that will serve as guidance for ASEAN cooperation for the next twenty years. In 2045, ASEAN will have the world's third-largest population after China and India, and the world's number four economic powerhouse after China, the United States, and Japan/India.

“ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth” is the theme of Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023. One of the most important deliverables of the 43rd ASEAN Summit and related summits held in Jakarta in September 2023 is the adoption of the Jakarta Declaration or ASEAN Concord IV. It contains a list of actions to ensure that ASEAN matters to its people and remains an epicentre of growth in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. It also serves as a solid foundation of, and reflects the commitment to work towards, the ASEAN Community Vision 2045.


  • Bartel van der Walle, Director, UNU-MERIT
  • H.E. Mayerfas, Ambassador of Indonesia
  • H.E. Nong Sakal, Ambassador of Cambodia
  • H.E. Roseli Abdul, Ambassador-designate of Malaysia
  • H.E. Soe Lynn Han, Ambassador of Myanmar
  • H.E. Jose Eduardo III Malaya, Ambassador of the Philippines
  • Ms. Chonvipat Changtrakul, Charge d’Affaires of Royal Thai Embassy
  • Moderator: Michal Natorski, Assistant Professor, UNU-MERIT


14:30 – 15:00 — Welcome reception — Maastricht University and UNU-MERIT staff and students (as well as external audience members) are invited to join this reception to talk to ASEAN ambassadors informally, while enjoying signature snacks from ASEAN countries.

15:00 – 15:05 — Welcome remarks by UNU-MERIT Director Bartel van der Walle and a representative from Maastricht University

15:05 – 15:10 — Welcome remarks by Ambassador Mayerfas (Indonesia) on behalf of ASEAN

15:10 – 16:00 — Panel discussion by ASEAN ambassadors; the moderator will ask the speakers questions

16:00 – 16:15 — Reflections from Wim Muller, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law (Maastricht University), Thao Trang Nguyen, PhD fellow (UNU-MERIT), Praachi Kumar, PhD fellow (UNU-MERIT) and Nareswara Wiadnyana, MPP student (UNU-MERIT)

16:15 – 16:30 — Q&A session (the moderator will take questions from the audience for the speakers)


Please register in advance at: https://go.unu.edu/0djtd


If you have any questions or would like to know more about this event, please contact the co-organizers (on behalf of UNU-MERIT): Mindel van de Laar and Julieta Marotta.


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