The future of MIKTA – Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey and Australia – and views and proposals by the countries that initiated the organization were discussed at a MIKTA outreach event in Canberra, Australia on Wednesday. MIKTA is a flexible and informal platform aimed at advancing the common interests of the international community that brings together the five countries. Delivering a keynote speech at the event, Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said despite MIKTA members being marked by diversity they share characteristics that make them practical partners. "We are nations of influence in our respective geographic regions. While each nation has different, although complementary priorities, it is evident that MIKTA brings greater weight together as a group than what could be achieved by acting alone," she said.
Explaining that all the MIKTA countries are already in the G20 and their economies are growing at a faster rate than many in the top 10 economies in the world, Bishop drew attention to the fact that MIKTA members will play greater roles both politically and economically in the coming future. "Goldman Sachs has predicted Mexico may well become the fifth largest economy by 2050, and PwC assesses that on current growth rates Indonesia will be the seventh largest economy by 2030, and fourth by 2050 – Turkey is also likely to be in the top 10. Australia and [South] Korea aspire to be so. So MIKTA provides a forum to exchange views and canvass possible solutions to common challenges. It is a forum that hopes to shape international opinion in ways that benefit us all," she said.
Pointing out that MIKTA foreign ministers discussed the most serious challenges, including counter-terrorism, at the fifth Foreign Ministers Meeting last month in Seoul, Bishop stressed that no country is immune from the scourge of terrorism and the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters. "Terrorism is now more global, more complex and more dangerous than ever. Fueled by hate, terrorist organizations such as [ISIS] are attracting thousands of citizens from across the globe to join these murderous causes," she said.
"During the MIKTA Foreign Ministers Meeting, we learned from Korean authorities that a South Korean teenager had attempted to enter Syria with the intention of joining [ISIS]. We shared experiences, ideas and information. I detailed how Australia faces this same real threat: The Australian government has canceled around 120 Australian passports to prevent Australian citizens from traveling to Syria and Iraq to become foreign terrorist fighters in that conflict," she added.
Meanwhile, speaking at the event, Turkish ambassador in Canberra Reha Keskintepe explained the Turkish perspective and vision concerning MIKTA. Saying that MIKTA can make an important contribution to regional and international peace and can reflect the conscience of the international community, he stressed that MIKTA countries have both the will and capacity to contribute to the public good and strengthen global governance.
Keskintepe said Turkey is looking at ways of building on and stepping up cooperation among MIKTA countries. "In this context, the enhancement of connectivity and cooperation not only among governments, but also among business, academic and cultural circles is important. This is why Turkey strongly supports the idea of creating the MIKTA academic network. We are planning the first MIKTA Business Forum to take place back to back with the G20 Trade Ministers Meeting in October in Istanbul. We also want to extend cooperation between MIKTA countries at international organizations beyond the U.N.," he said.
"Our journey with MIKTA is just progressing. MIKTA will continue to expand and strengthen its role for a more efficient and effective global governance. We are pleased to be taking this journey with Mexico, Indonesia, Korea and Australia," Keskintepe added.