FPCI – Valdai Virtual Conference “The Rise of Regional Multipolarity: The Importance of ASEAN Centrality”


The COVID-19 pandemic has had huge economic, social, and political implications in Southeast Asia and around the world. Additionally, economic instability in Southeast Asia is intensifying and prolonging geo-political upheavals, with disputes becoming more unpredictable as states struggle to control the pandemic.

Despite this, there has been an increase in multilateral cooperation in response to the pandemic. For example, the ASEAN Plus Three COVID-19 Emergency Meeting, Indo-Pacific Cooperation on COVID-19, and also, but not limited to, Russia-China Cooperation on COVID-19. While the short-term implications of COVID-19 are undeniable, the long-term consequences of the pandemic are far from certain. The absence of global leadership and tenuous U.S. – China relations have sparked a growing regional multipolar world order. The question now – in today’s rising trends toward multi-polarity is, therefore, what role will regional blocs, such as ASEAN, and states, such as Russia, play in the new global order?

ASEAN Centrality rests on the idea that ASEAN has the capacity to act as a leader and driver regarding regional agenda setting. Central to the idea of ASEAN Centrality is the protection and promotion of mutual interests of its member states. However, the capacity of ASEAN, as we’ve seen, is being tested not only under pressures presented by COVID-19 but also in their lack of cohesion and engagement towards prior regional political-security issues. How ASEAN navigates geopolitical developments in the new, post-COVID-19, multipolar world order, will suggest the leadership and future effectiveness of its centrality.

Furthermore, Russia’s role in the emerging multipolar world order, especially it’s Southeast Asia policy is telling and given the effects of COVID-19 in Russia, how its foreign policy will be adapted to meet the current climate is crucial to its development as a big power in the international arena. This FPCI Valdai Virtual Conference titled The Rise of Multi Polarity: The Importance of ASEAN Centrality will be held in Thursday, July 30th 2020 at 15.00 – 16.30 WIB (Indonesia time) / 11.00 – 12.30 GMT+3 (Russian Time).

With speakers:

1. Dr. Siswo Pramono, Head/Director General, Policy Analysis and Development Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia

2. Viktor Sumsky, Head of ASEAN Center in Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

3. Alexey Ovchinnikov, Head of the Asian and Pacific Cooperation Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

4. Richard Heydarian, Professor from De La Salle University, Manila, The Philippines

Opening Remarks by:

1. Dino Patti Djalal, Founder Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI)

2. Dr. Andrey Bytrisky, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support, Valdai Club

Moderated by:

1. Prof. Dewi Fortuna Anwar, Co-founder Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI)

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