All hands on deck for ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo

Indonesia, the ASEAN chair for 2023, will host the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai district, East Nusa Tenggara, next week on May 9–11.

With the theme of “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth,” Indonesia is determined to direct ASEAN cooperation this year towards continued strengthening of the bloc’s relevance in response to regional and global challenges.

The determination also encapsulates the national will to strengthen ASEAN’s position as the center for regional economic growth to benefit the bloc.

To ensure the summit’s success, the authorities have ramped up preparations for welcoming summit delegates and participants in all aspects, particularly, security, accommodation, and media support.

However, Minister of Communication and Informatics Johnny G. Plate stressed that residents’ support, particularly those living in East Nusa Tenggara, will remain vital for the summit’s success.

“The success of the summit hinges on the participation of our residents, either East Nusa Tenggara residents or those in other regions, and the success also hinges on the transmission of information performed by the media,” Plate said on Tuesday (May 2).


Hosting an international event attended by heads of state and government requires Indonesia to optimize its plan to ensure security against potential threats that could derail the summit.

To secure the summit, National Police Chief General Listyo Sigit Prabowo said a command center has been set up to monitor and supervise all activities related to the summit.

While inspecting the command center on Thursday (May 4), he informed that the communication devices of all officers would be connected to the command center, and they will also report to the center.

The command center is expected to also monitor disaster potential so that mitigation measures can be taken promptly, he added.

The National Police has also readied eight security task forces that will participate in the joint military-police Operation Komodo to secure the summit. The teams took part in a tactical floor game (TFG) on Thursday to ensure their readiness for the summit.

Prabowo said the drill was held to discuss potential issues that could arise at the summit and provide examples to the personnel on ways to resolve them.

Moreover, Assistant of Operations to the Indonesian Police Chief Inspector General Agung Setya Imam Effendi expressed the hope that the delegates will have confidence in the security preparations and that the success of the G20 Summit in November in Bali could be repeated at Labuan Bajo.

He pointed out that global leaders were so confident with the security at the G20 Summit that some of them mingled with the public on the sidelines of the event.

French President Emmanuel Macron decided to walk for two kilometers after attending a gala dinner at Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, Badung, on November 15, 2022, while Canadian and British Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau and Rishi Sunak met and conversed at a public cafe in the same district the following day, Effendi pointed out.


The 42nd ASEAN Summit will take place at Meruorah Hotel, Ayana Resort Hotel, and Bintang Flores Hotel, which have been designated as the summit’s main venues, Minister Plate said.

He informed that delegations and VVIP guests will start arriving in Labuan Bajo on May 10, while on May 11, leaders of ASEAN countries will start the summit and participate in the retreat session.

Meanwhile, Secretary of the Ministry’s Directorate General of Information and Public Communications Sumiati said that Ayana Resort Hotel would be the venue for the welcoming dinner and retreat session of state leaders of ASEAN countries during the summit.

The hotel officer in charge of the welcoming dinner, Hadi, informed that the hotel has planned the events meticulously, including the guest movement arrangement, where the heads of state and government would follow different paths than other participants while at the hotel.

In addition, Meruorah Hotel will promote local products by providing them in the delegates’ rooms

“We have exclusively prepared the designated rooms for the delegates by serving local products, including exclusive locally-produced amenities,” Chief Director of State-Owned Hotel Operator PT Hotel Indonesia Natour (HIN) Christine Hutabarat said in the statement released on Thursday.

According to Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Uno at least 1,500 rooms are still available at 38 Labuan Bajo hotels, ranging from three- to five-star hotels, for participants of the ASEAN Summit.

The local authorities have also prepared a shipping vessel belonging to state-run ferry operator PT Pelni, an Indonesian Navy vessel, and a pinisi ship – a traditional Indonesian sailing vessel from South Sulawesi – to provide additional accommodation during the event.

Media center

According to Plate, the digital infrastructure and public communication network for the ASEAN Summit would be adequate to support the delegates and other participants, particularly the media.

“We have almost finished the preparation. It is also supported by adequate digital telecommunication technology and infrastructure, such as optical fiber, 4G network, or experience using 4G network,” he said after visiting the media center for the summit, according to a press release issued on Tuesday.

He informed that his ministry had prepared public communication service facilities of the same standards for the G20 Summit last year, however, they are still being adjusted to the situation in Labuan Bajo.

The ministry has also prepared Bintang Flores Hotel as a media center that will be able to accommodate up to 340 people during the ASEAN Summit. Preparations at the media center are expected to be completed this week.

A press conference room for up to 200 journalists with facilities for photojournalists and camerapersons, booths for live reports, as well as an adequate medical room, and a dining hall will be made available at the hotel.

He added that as of Tuesday, 319 journalists from national media, official media, and foreign correspondents had been verified for covering the summit.

As the person in charge of communication, media, and public relations for the summit, Plate said he hopes that all activities will run successfully.

Indonesia’s preparations for hosting the event have been extraordinary and on par with the G20 Summit in Bali last November, he stressed.

“Hopefully, everything will run smoothly and make us proud,” he remarked.

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