Evolving multipolar world presents both challenges and opportunities, says EAM Jaishankar
The first ASEAN Future Forum was held in Hanoi on April 23, 2024, marking a significant stride towards bolstering cooperation and fostering a collective vision for the future of Southeast Asia. This platform brought together leaders from ASEAN member states, including Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, alongside other distinguished global figures, and representatives from international organizations.
Keynote Address by EAM S Jaishankar
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar delivered a compelling virtual address, calling for greater cooperation between ASEAN and India to deal with the realities of the emerging world order. 
"Today, a multipolar Asia and a multipolar world are increasingly self-evident. This brings to the fore an ever-important role of ASEAN and of India to deal with the realities of the emerging world order. It underlines the need for greater cooperation and coordination between India and the ASEAN," he stated.
Applauding the initiation of the forum and highlighting the profound and historical ties between India and ASEAN," he said, "India and ASEAN are neighbours sharing millennia-old cultural and civilizational linkages. The ASEAN-India relationship which has entered its fourth decade and has matured into a ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ is based on shared values and common aspirations," he said.
Noting that the grouping was at the heart of its Act East Policy and was a crucial pillar in India’s wider Indo-Pacific vision, EAM Jaishankar reaffirmed India's commitment to ASEAN unity, centrality and its Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. "India believes that a strong and unified ASEAN can play a constructive role in the emerging regional architecture of the Indo-Pacific," he stated. 
He also pointed out the synergy between India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP), which enhances cooperative frameworks, including comprehensive security challenges.
In his remarks, EAM Jaishankar pointed out that Quad Leaders have been consistent in extending their unwavering support for ASEAN Centrality and Unity. "We believe that Quad compliments the ASEAN and the ASEAN-led mechanisms in their effort to make the region prosperous through delivery of people-centric benefits such as Quad Infrastructure and STEM Scholarships," he explained.
India's role as a net security provider in the region was underscored by its recent initiatives, including maritime exercises with ASEAN and operations in the Red Sea area aimed at providing protection and evacuation services. "As net security provider and first responder, India’s initiative of Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) is aimed at contributing towards peace and stability in the region," EAM Jaishankar pointed out. 
EAM Jaishankar also stressed the importance of adhering to international laws such as the 1982 UN Convention on the Laws of the Seas and addressing global challenges that affect regional stability and prosperity. These include climate change, cyber-attacks, transnational crimes, and other pivotal issues that impact the security and well-being of the ASEAN nations.
The minister's remarks also touched upon the imperatives of the digital era, including the necessity for diverse, secure, and resilient supply chains. The recent Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the risks associated with over-concentration in manufacturing and technology sectors, accentuating the need for a balanced and transparent global supply chain system, he said.
In concluding his address, EAM Jaishankar remarked on the evolving multipolar world, which presents both challenges and opportunities for ASEAN and India. He emphasized the need for enhanced cooperation and coordination to navigate the complexities of the international landscape, thereby supporting ASEAN’s central role in regional and global affairs.
The ASEAN Future Forum
Conceived by Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, the ASEAN Future Forum (AFF) aims to provide a dynamic platform for discussing and sharing new initiatives pertinent to ASEAN's progressive vision. 
The forum was attended by a roster of prominent leaders, including Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, who is also the Chairman of ASEAN 2024, and ASEAN Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn. The forum's structure comprised an opening session, two plenary sessions, and parallel working lunch sessions focusing on digital advancements and the repositioning of ASEAN's central role in global affairs.
The ASEAN Future Forum demonstrates a collective commitment to regional and global cooperation among member bodies. The participation of leaders and key stakeholders from around the world, including India's assertive backing, illustrates a collective endeavour towards a stable, secure, and prosperous future for ASEAN and its partner nations. The forum not only highlights the critical issues facing the region but also sets the stage for future engagements that will shape the geopolitical dynamics of Asia and beyond.