Jakarta. Jakarta will host the Asean Parade on Sunday (27/08) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and promote the city as the region's diplomatic capital.
"We want to continue promoting Jakarta as the diplomatic capital of Southeast Asia, which is natural because the Asean secretariat is here," Asean cooperation director general at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jose Tavares, said during a press briefing on Thursday.
The parade aims to increase awareness of the importance of the regional bloc and to introduce to Indonesians the diverse cultures of Asean member countries through music, performances and a display of national costumes.
Since Sundays in the capital's center are car-free, the parade will start at the National Monument (Monas) and go through Jalan Thamrin to Bundaran Hotel Indonesia.
"This event aims to showcase the diversity of Asean and to increase a sense of community among its member countries," Foreign Ministry's spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said.
Founded in Bangkok on Aug. 8, 1967, Asean has been a stronghold of partnership for its members. The regional bloc, according to the World Economic Forum, is currently the world's sixth-largest economic power.
As matters of regional security and the issue of transnational crime and terrorism pose new challenges for the group, Asean has been increasingly active in strengthening unity and the spirit of togetherness, as despite close cooperation among the leaders of bloc's countries, there is a considerable lack of exchange involving their citizens.
The ministry has invited Indonesian celebrities Nicholas Saputra and Chelsea Islan to promote the parade.
"We want to call on Jakarta and all Indonesians to remember that we are part of Asean, and that here in Jakarta is its capital," Nicholas told reporters.
According to Chelsea, the parade will serve as a platform to promote unity.
"Asean is us, and we are Asean," Chelsea said, adding that she will be promote the event on social media.