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Indonesian leader urges ASEAN youths to create innovations

Bangkok, Thailand (ANTARA) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo has called on youths across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to work hard, create innovations, and think outside the box to enable them to respond to challenges amid global uncertainties.

President Widodo echoed his message when speaking at the ASEAN leaders’ interface with youths on the sidelines of the 34th ASEAN Summit on Saturday, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said here on Sunday.

The youngters in the ASEAN region need to think outside the box because they have been facing a world with full of uncertainties. Despite this challenging situation, they should not surrender, he was quoted by Marsudi as saying at the session.

The Indonesian leader also encouraged them to become the agents of peace and tolerance, Retno LP Marsudi said.

Regarding this 34th summit, marine debris was noted as one of the crucial issues that the ASEAN leaders agreed to respond by adopting the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN region on June 22.

Greenpeace has even launched a petition entitled “No Space for Waste” by urging the ASEAN leaders to “end plastic waste crisis”.

As revealed in its official website, this global environment watchdog called on the whole ASEAN member states to “declare an immediate ban on all imports of plastic waste and e-waste, even those meant for “recycling,” and ensure all ASEAN countries ratify the Basel Ban Amendment “.

Meanwhile, in the Bangkok Declaration, the ASEAN leaders have pledged to strengthen actions at the national level as well as through collaborative actions among the ASEAN’s 10 member states and partners.

The strengthened actions are aimed at preventing and significantly reducing marine debris, particularly from land-based activities, including environmentally sound management.

The ASEAN leaders are also committed to encouraging an integrated land-to-sea approach to prevent and reduce marine debris, and strengthening national laws and regulations as well as enhancing regional and international cooperation including on relevant policy dialogue and information sharing.

Founded in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 8, 1967, this regional grouping now has 10 member states. They are Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos.

Related news: ASEAN leaders agree to adopt ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific
Related news: President Jokowi attends plenary session of ASEAN Summit

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