Climate Change, Peace, and Language Usage in the United Nations Reports within the ASEAN Style of Multilateralism

  • Ratih Dwiyani Adiputri University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Keywords: climate crises, Indonesia, language, multilateralism, Southeast Asia


This paper focuses on Indonesia's efforts to tackle peace-related climate change, which shows the ASEAN style of multilateralism. The multilateralism style of this Southeast Asian Regional Organization (ASEAN) highlights passivity and ineffective collaboration in the area. By studying the United Nations General Assembly plenary sessions between 2016 and 2021 and the formal documents from both the ASEAN and the Indonesian government, the paper shows that commitment to the discussion at the global and international levels is not moved beyond the meetings or implemented at the local (country) level. With such normative terminologies used in the documents and the employment of its language usage, Southeast Asian multilateralism shows the practice of upholding principles/norms in discussing climate change, but not as an outcome or action. As climate crisis action is immediately needed, one possible way can be to start by using strong words to tackle climate crises in global commitments and start to act.


Anbumozhi, V. and Kojima, M. (2022). “Environment and Sustainability”, in ERIA (eds.) The Comprehensive Asia Development Plan 3.0 (CADP 3.0): Towards an Integrative, Innovation and Sustainable Economy. Jakarta: ERIA, pp. 520-539.

Adiputri, R. (2023, April 4). “Multilateralism from Southeast Asia” Politiikasta 4 April 2023.

Adiputri, R. (2022, November 3). “G20 and Indonesian Presidency” Politiikasta 3 November 2022.

ASEAN. (2021a Oct 26). “ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change to the 26th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC COP 26”. Available in, accessed in January 13, 2023.

ASEAN. (2021b Oct 26). “Leaders Declaration on Upholding Multilateralism”, accessed in July 15, 2023.

CIFOR, Center for International Forestry Research. (2023 February 6). “For many Indigenous communities, land titles aren’t the same as tenure security”, written by Barbara Fraser, Forest News., accessed on 3.5.2023.

Estella, P. G., & Paz, J. (2019). ”Mostly ’men in suits’: The ASEAN summit and integration as news in Southeast Asia”. Pacific Journalism Review: Te Koakoa, 25(1&2), 193-213.

Gowan, Richard. (2022). Available at accessed on March, 1, 2023

Halonen, Mia; Ihalainen, Pasi; and Saarinen, Taina. (2015). ”Diverse Discourses in Time and Space: Historical, Discourse Analytical and Ethnographic Approaches to Multi-sided Language Policy Discourse” in Language Policies in Finland and Sweden: Interdisciplinary and Multi-sited Comparisons, edited by Halonen, Ihalainen and Saarinen. Bristol: Multilingual Matters, pp. 3-26.

International Peace Institute and Institute for Economics and Peace (IPI and IEP), (2022) “Multilateralism Index: Pilot Report,” September

Jenkins, W.; Berry, E. and Kreider, LB. (2018). “Religion and Climate Change”. Annual Review of Environment and Resources 43:85–108.

Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, S and A. L. Dahl (2022 May 22). Building effective multilateralism for the environment —Proposals aligned with Our Common Agenda. Policy Brief Submitted to the High Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism. Wageningen University and International Environment Forum. Available at:

Low, Ee Ling and Ao, Ran. (2018). “The Spread of English in ASEAN: Policies and Issues” RELC (Regional Language Centre) Journal, vol. 49, Issue. 2, pp. 131-148

Lynch, Cecelia. (1999). “The promise and problems of internationalism”. Global Governance 5 (Jan-Mar): 1, pp. 83-101.

Martel, Stephanie and Glas, Aarie. (2023). “The contested meaning-making of diplomatic norms: competences in practice in Southeast Asian multilateralism”. European Journal of International Relations. Vol. 29 (I) 227-252.

Moreland, Will. (2019). “The Purpose of Multilateralism: A Framework for Democracies in a Geopolitically Competitive World”. Security, Strategy and Order. Brookings: Foreign Policy. September.

Natalegawa, Marty. (2018). Does ASEAN Matter? A View from Within. Singapore: ISEAS Publishing.

Okoreke, Chukwumerejie and Tyldesley, Sally. 2014. “From Rio to Copenhagen: multilateral agreement, disagreement and situated actions” in Routledge International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change, edited by Stewart Lockie, David A. Sonnenfeld and Dana R. Fisher. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 106-117.

Patrianti, T; Shabana, A; Tuti, R. (2020). Komunikasi Risiko Pemerintah pada Penurunan Emisi Rumah Kaca untuk Mengatasi Perubahan Iklim (Government Risk Communication on Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction to Tackle Climate Change). Jurnal Komunikasi dan Opini Publik vol. 24, no. 2, Desember, pp. 156-170.

Ponzio, Richard. (2023 April 3). “The SDG Summit and Summit of the Future: A Tale of Two Major Agenda”. Opinions on UN Coverage, accessed on 24.4.2023. (2006, December 22). Indonesia-Aceh Peace Agreement: How Far Have We Come. 22 Dec 2006, accessed May 2023.

The Economist (2023a, Feb 27). “The biggest obstacle to saving rainforests is lawlessness”., accessed on March 5, 2023.

The Economist (2023b, Mar 29). “Which will grow faster: India or Indonesia?” , accessed in April 5, 2023.

The Economist (2022, Nov 3). “Indonesia’s imams are doing their bit for the environment”., accessed in January 10, 2023.

The Jakarta Post (2014, May 10). “Weaknesses in the ASEAN Way”, written by Bahana Menggala Bara,,purely%20emulating%20the%20Western%20approach, accessed in May 6, 2023.

The National Geographic (2022, July 29). “Indonesia's giant capital city is sinking. Can the government's plan save it?”, accessed in June 3, 2023.

UNFCCC. 1992. Indonesia: The First National Communication on Climate Change Convention. available in , accessed on 15.3.2023.

UNFCCC (United Nations Climate Change). (2017). “ASEAN countries join forces for Climate Action”. Available accessed May 2023.

UN Foundation blog (2020) accessed on 1 June 2023.

UN International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, 24 April. (2022, 30 March). “At IPU144, WFD calls for parliamentarians to take stock of the climate emergency”, written by Ravio Patra, accessed on 15.7.2023.

How to Cite
Adiputri, R. D. (2023). Climate Change, Peace, and Language Usage in the United Nations Reports within the ASEAN Style of Multilateralism. Indonesian Journal of Social Research (IJSR), 5(3), 244-258.