ASEAN — Singapore urges Jakarta to cooperate on haze-monitoring system during ASEAN summit
NAYPYIDAW Even though Indonesia would soon be run by a new government, its incumbent leaders would continue to push for an imminent ratification of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreement on transboundary haze pollution, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said yesterday.
When asked whether he was optimistic that the treaty would be ratified before the next government takes over, Dr Marty told TODAY it is certainly the intention of the current government to push for as early a ratification of the agreement as possible.
We will see when the time comes, but we will certainly continue to make the kind of efforts that are needed to make sure we make progress, he added.
Indonesia concluded its legislative election on Friday when the final results were announced. Its presidential election will be held in July. Dr Marty acknowledged that the elections could have inadvertently or indirectly affected parliamentary proceedings, but he hoped steady progress could be made as far as the ratification is concerned.
Indonesia is the last ASEAN country yet to ratify the agreement, which was signed in 2002. In March, its Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya said he hoped it could be done by last month. Subsequently, another official said it could be done by October.
During the ASEAN Summit over the weekend, Singapores leaders called on their Indonesian counterparts to ratify the agreement and cooperate on the haze-monitoring system developed by Singapore which aims to take perpetrators to task.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he hoped Indonesia would be able to ratify the agreement before they get caught up in other matters.
On the haze-monitoring system, Mr Lee reiterated it depends on cooperation from the countries involved. The ball is in their court now, he said.
In April, Singapores Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan expressed frustration after Indonesia and Malaysia said they were unable to share concession maps.