JAKARTA, 12 February 2016 – H.E. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, visited the ASEAN Secretariat yesterday and called on H.E. Le Luong Minh, the Secretary-General of ASEAN.

Both the Foreign Minister and the Secretary-General, in focusing their discussions on the next steps after the launch of the ASEAN Community at the end of last year, stressed the need to enhance ASEAN awareness among the peoples of the region. This, they noted, would be in line with an ASEAN Community that is people-oriented, people-centred, and it would be of greater significance when ASEAN celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2017. In this regard, the Secretary-General said that Thailand’s efforts in promoting ASEAN at the national level would serve as a good example for other ASEAN Member States. More specifically, the Secretary-General noted that Thailand had done much work in creating awareness among its business sector on the benefits of the ASEAN Economic Community.

Both sides also agreed on the need to strengthen regional coordination on cross-cutting issues such as humanitarian assistance and disaster management, counter-terrorism and maritime security.

Secretary-General Minh also expressed his appreciation to Thailand for its continued support in strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat. Following the decision of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers in November 2015, the new structure of the ASEAN Secretariat has been in place effective 1 January 2016 and the recruitment process for additional manpower is currently being undertaken. The Secretary-General reassured Foreign Minister Pramudwinai that the ASEAN Secretariat will continue to do its utmost to assist Member States in further integration and community-building efforts.

The visit of Foreign Minister Pramudwinai to the ASEAN Secretariat was the first since he assumed the post in 2015. It was part of his bilateral visit to Indonesia which included meetings with Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi.

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