- ASEAN and Japan to Join Hands on Network Security, ASEAN Secretariat, 29 October 2009
- Summits End with Community-Building on Course, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 25 October 2009
- EAS Closes Final Day of Summit, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 25 October 2009
- AANZFTA to Enter into Force 1 January 2010, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 25 October 2009
- ASEAN – China MOUs to Support FTA, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 25 October 2009
- ASEAN Plus Three Summit to Deepen Cooperation and Revive Economic Growth, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 24 October 2009
- ASEAN Kicks off Summit with Dialogue Partners, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 24 October 2009
- ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights Launched by ASEAN Leaders during the 15th ASEAN Summit, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 24 October 2009
- ASEAN Summit Gets Under Way, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 23 October 2009
- ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children to be Established, Cha-am Hua Hin, 23 October 2009
- ASEAN’s Newest Body Makes Its Debut, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 23 October 2009
- The Road Ahead for ASEAN Auto Industry, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 22 October 2009
- Set for the Summit, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 22 October 2009
- 6th China-ASEAN Expo Opens in Nanning, Nanning, China, 20 October 2009
- Coming Up: The 15th ASEAN Summit, ASEAN Secretariat, 19 October 2009
- ASEAN Master Plan on ICT to be Developed, Vientiane, 16 October 2009
- ASEAN – EU Exchange Views on Non-Traditional Security Issues ASEAN Secretariat, 16 October 2009
- 11-Year Old Tropical Storm Ondoy Survivor Wins First Prize of the 2009 ASEAN Regional Drawing Competition, ASEAN Secretariat, 16 October 2009
- ASEAN and UN to Deepen Cooperation on Disaster Relief, ASEAN Secretariat, 15 October 2009
- Enhancing ASEAN – Latin America Economic Connectivity, ASEAN Secretariat, 12 October 2009
- Thai Students Learn about the ASEAN Community during Visit to the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Secretariat, 7 October 2009
- 1st Meeting of ASEAN Focal Points on Tobacco Control, Bangkok, 6-7 October 2009
- 15th ASEAN Youth Day Award, Nay Pyi Taw, 5-7 October 2009
ASEAN and Japan to Join Hands on Network Security
ASEAN Secretariat, 29 October 2009
ASEAN and Japan have agreed to collaborate to ensure the security of government electronic networks as part of efforts to increase the quality of their public services. Secure networks would also promote trust and usage of trade and investment online systems, both sides said at the ASEAN-Japan Government Networks Security Workshop which was held in Tokyo on 21 – 22 October 2009.
The workshop also discussed the leading role of Governments in this area and identified mechanisms to enhance the operational capabilities of ASEAN and Japan to ensure the security of government networks.
The Workshop was co-organized by the National Information Security Center (NISC) of the Cabinet Secretariat of Japan, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore and the ASEAN Secretariat. The workshop is one in a series of measures under the ambit of the “ASEAN-Japan Collaboration on Information Security”.
The next two workshops will be held, tentatively, in Viet Nam in 2010 and in Japan in 2011.
The 15th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits officially closed this evening with a resounding chorus that the region was well on course towards its community-building efforts.
In a well-received move, ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners extended further support for regional integration and its aim of establishing an ASEAN Community by 2015.
“The ASEAN Community is well on course and our Dialogue Partners are fully committed to help us in our drive towards its completion,” said Dr Surin Pitsuwan, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, today.
The Dialogue Partners, he said, had pledged their support and are convinced of the centrality and the continued viability of ASEAN.
Much of the discussions over the past few days had focused on the benefits of enhancing intra-regional connectivity as it would contribute towards promoting ASEAN centrality and help build the ASEAN Community. This is in line with the theme of the Summits: ‘Enhancing Connectivity, Empowering Peoples’.
The Leaders underscored the need for closer cooperation both within ASEAN and also with its Dialogue Partners to address critical issues such as the impact and recovery from the global financial crisis, climate change and food and energy security. They also urged for greater coordination in meeting challenges related to disaster management and response and pandemic diseases.
The region’s increasing clout in global affairs is increasingly recognised. In this regard, the continued participation of the ASEAN Chair and the Secretary-General of ASEAN in future G-20 Summits in order to ensure close coordination between its regional approaches and the global approach was strongly supported by ASEAN Dialogue Partners. The ASEAN Chair and the Secretary-General of ASEAN had attended the previous two G-20 Summits in London and Pittsburgh.
“The fact is that the world is looking at East Asia and it is our responsibility to ensure ASEAN centrality as we are the cornerstone of the regional architecture,” said Dr Surin at the Closing Ceremony of the Summit in Cha-am Hua Hin.
Thailand will end its Chairmanship at the end of the year, with Viet Nam as the incoming Chair for 2010.
The 15th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits drew to a close today with the 4th East Asia Summit (EAS), a gathering of the Leaders of the ASEAN Member States, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Recognising that connectivity would catalyse regional integration, and that enhanced intra-ASEAN connectivity would benefit the EAS as a whole, the EAS supported ASEAN efforts to develop an ASEAN Master Plan on regional connectivity and an infrastructure development fund for ASEAN.
As part of its efforts to address disaster management, the EAS issued the Cha-am Hua Hin Statement on East Asia Summit Disaster Management. The Statement calls for the strengthening of capacities of countries in the region in terms of policies, plans and procedures, and also the training of personnel and the inter-operability of mechanisms. It also calls for supporting ASEAN efforts in enhancing humanitarian coordination and strengthening leadership qualities in responding to major disasters.
In line with decision of the 2nd EAS in Cebu in 2007, that education would be a priority area of EAS cooperation, the Joint Press Statement of the 4th East Asia Summit on the Revival of Nalanda University was issued. The Leaders expressed their support for the establishment of the university as a non-state, non-profit, secular and self governing international institution with a continental focus. The networking and collaboration between the university and existing centres of excellence in the EAS participating countries to build a community of learning was further encouraged.
The global economic and financial crisis and climate change were some of the other critical issues that were addressed and discussed. The meeting also exchanged views on East Asia community building.
The Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) will enter into force on 1 January 2010.
Tariffs on more than 90% of products traded between ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand will be eliminated either upon entry into force of the Agreement or within the early stages of its implementation.
In noting that the ratification processes in all of the 12 AANZFTA parties are on track to be completed soon, the Leaders, in a Statement issued today, said that the entry into force of the agreement underscores the fact that plurilateral trade outcomes – even among countries with diverse levels of development – are achievable.
ASEAN – China MOUs to Support FTA
Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 25 October 2009
Three Memorandums of Understanding signed between ASEAN and China today would enhance trade growth especially within the context of the successful realisation of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area.
On the final day of the 15th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, the Economic Ministers of ASEAN and China signed the MOU on Strengthening Cooperation in the Fields of Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment.
The MOU specifically provides for a transparent communication system for exchange of information, collaborative research on market trends in areas of mutual interest and for the exchange of experts.
The Economic Ministers also signed the MOU on Cooperation in the Field of Intellectual Property, which provides for coordination on intellectual property rights issues and exchange of information including best practices relating to examinations and quality control.
The MOU further puts additional emphasis on the mutual development and protection of genetic resources, traditional knowledge and folklore in ASEAN and China.
These MOUs are expected to further promote ASEAN-China trade, which, since the launch of the FTA, has been growing at an annual rate of 26%, resulting in more than a tripling of ASEAN’s trade with China, to US$192.5 billion in 2008 from US$59.6 billion in 2003.
This translates to an increase in China’s share of ASEAN trade to 11.3% in 2008 from 4.2% in 1995, only behind Japan and the European Union, but ahead of the United States. This reflects a consistently increasing inter-dependent partnership in trade over time.
Another main outcome of the ASEAN-China Summit was the signing of the MOU on Establishing the ASEAN-China Centre by the Foreign Ministers. The Centre is aimed to serve as a one-stop information and activities centre to promote cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, education and culture.
ASEAN Plus Three Summit to Deepen Cooperation and Revive Economic Growth
Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 24 October 2009
Apart from reviewing the progress of cooperation to date, the 12th ASEAN Plus Three Summit largely focused on deepening regional cooperation and on reviving growth.
On the financial sector, the Summit discussed the implementation of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) and reiterated their call for the CMIM, with a total fund value of USD 120 billion, to be operational by the end of the year.
The Asian Bond Markets Initiative, a mechanism for the financing of development projects, and the proposal for an East Asian Free Trade Area (FTA), were also on the table.
The 12th ASEAN Plus Three Summit issued the Cha-am Hua Hin Statement on ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation on Food Security and Bio-Energy Development. The statement aims to enhance food production capabilities and promote the harmonisation of safety and bio-energy production standards. The statement also encompasses the establishment of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve mechanism.
The 12th ASEAN Plus Three Summit further discussed youth exchange, especially in terms of cross-cultural education, climate change and health-related issues.
ASEAN Kicks off Summit with Dialogue Partners
Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 24 October 2009
The 15th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits shifted gears today with the ASEAN Leaders having individual meetings with the Leaders of China, Japan, the republic of Korea and India.
At the ASEAN-China Summit, the Leaders addressed a wide range of issues including infrastructure development, trade, investment and people-to-people contacts. The operationalisation of the China-ASEAN Fund on Investment Cooperation and on commercial credit was also discussed.
Separately, three Memorandums of Understanding – on the Establishment of the ASEAN-China Centre, on Cooperation in the Field of Intellectual Property and on Strengthening Cooperation in the Fields of Standards, Technical Regulations and Conformity Assessment – will be signed tomorrow.
The Report of the ASEAN-Japan Eminent Persons Group was submitted to the ASEAN-Japan Summit. The report addresses the identification and the acceleration of key activities, and also proposed new areas of cooperation under ASEAN-Japan cooperation. The Leaders also discussed energy security, connectivity, economic integration and pandemic diseases.
Similarly, the Report of the ASEAN-ROK Eminent Persons Group was submitted to the ASEAN-ROK Summit. The report recommends that ASEAN-ROK elevate their comprehensive cooperation to a higher level of strategic partnership for the next fifteen years and beyond. Climate change issues including low-carbon and green growth were also addressed by the Leaders.
During the ASEAN-India Summit, Leaders reviewed the progress of joint activities under the Plan of Action to implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity signed in 2004. This included science and technology, combating terrorism and human resource development.
The Leaders noted that amidst a background of much accomplishment in ASEAN-India relations, there was potential to broaden and deepen the cooperation. In this respect, they called for the early ratification of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement. The ASEAN Leaders further welcomed a range of new proposals by India, such as an open skies policy, enhanced youth and parliamentarians exchange, and increased cooperation on agriculture, climate change and space technology.
ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights
Launched by ASEAN Leaders during the 15th ASEAN Summit
Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 24 October 2009
ASEAN Leaders launched the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in a ceremony in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, on 23 October 2009, thus signaling top political blessing to this new ASEAN body to promote regional cooperation on the promotion and protection of human rights.
They reiterated their support for cooperation on human rights in ASEAN and for the AICHR to become, and to provide the overarching framework for human rights cooperation in ASEAN. See the Summit Declaration issued during the launch at http://www.asean.org/wp-content/uploads/archive/15thsummit/Declaration-AICHR.pdf.
The ten national representatives – one from each ASEAN Member State – that constitute the AICHR are: Pehin Dato Hamid Bakal (Brunei), Mr. Om Yentieng (Cambodia), Mr. Rafendi Djamin (Indonesia), Mr. Bounkeut Sangsomsak (Lao PDR), Dato’ Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (Malaysia), Mr. Kyaw Tint Swe (Myanmar), Mrs. Rosario G. Manalo (the Philippines), Mr. Richard Magnus (Singapore), Dr. Sriprapha Petcharamesree (Thailand), and Mr. Do Ngoc Son (Viet Nam).
The AICHR Representatives met for their introductory meeting on 24 October 2009. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Sriprapha Petcharamesree, the national representative of Thailand.
The meeting agreed to convene an informal meeting in Bangkok from 18-19 December 2009 to discuss how to prepare the 5-year work plan for the AICHR, priorities in 2010 and funding modalities for the work of the AICHR, among others.
The Chair of the AICHR issued the following Press Statement on the Introductory Meeting of the AICHR:
“Representatives of ASEAN Member States to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) convened an informal introductory meeting on 24 October 2009 in Hua Hin, Thailand, after its inauguration by ASEAN Leaders a day earlier. The list of Representatives to the AICHR is attached.
During the meeting, we had a discussion with the High Level Panel on the ASEAN Human Rights Body (HLP), the drafters of the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the AICHR, on issues relevant to the implementation of the TOR with a view to ensuring that the AICHR will be able to function in an effective and evolutionary manner as envisaged by ASEAN Leaders.
We also had a preliminary discussion on our procedures of work and schedule of meetings this year and in 2010. We agreed to convene an informal meeting in mid-December this year in Bangkok to discuss our work plan and activities.
For the next year, apart from the two regular meetings as provided for in the TOR, we agreed to convene an additional meeting in the light of the substantial amount of work that lies ahead of us. In this connection, we appreciate the offer of Malaysia to host an additional meeting in the later half of 2010.
Our meeting was conducted in the traditional ASEAN spirit of cordiality and solidarity.”
ASEAN Summit Gets Under Way
Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 23 October 2009
The 15th ASEAN Summit got under way today with a reaffirmation of regional commitment towards ASEAN integration and community building.
In his Opening Speech, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand said that as the region moves on to a new phase, it can look back with pride on what it has achieved together in the past year including initiatives on addressing the economic and financial crisis, pandemic disease, climate change and on issues involving food security.
In a historic move, the Leaders had inaugurated the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) during the day.
There was also an Informal Meeting with representatives from the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), ASEAN youth and ASEAN civil society.
During their meeting, the civil society representatives expressed their wish to see more engagement with regional governments in their activities. They also said that they wanted to be more involved in ASEAN community building and be given the opportunity to engage with relevant authorities on issues facing the region such as the economic crisis.
During the meetings, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, expressed his readiness to work with all stakeholders towards regional community building.
The Summit continues tomorrow with individual meetings with the Leaders of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and India respectively and the ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) Summit. It concludes with the East Asia Summit on the 25th.
For the statement by H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, at the Opening Ceremony of the 15th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, please clickhere.
ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children to be Established
Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 23 October 2009
Just shortly after the establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), another mechanism on the rights of women and children, the ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children, will be set up next year.
“This and other regional mechanisms shall be part and parcel of the ASEAN human rights regime under the single umbrella of the AICHR,” H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of Thailand, said today in his remarks at the Inaugural Ceremony of the AICHR.
The terms of reference of the ASEAN Commission on the Rights of Women and Children has recently been approved by the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Social Welfare and Development.
Each Member State is to appoint one representative on women’s rights and one on children’s rights by next year.
The work of the soon-to-be established Commission will be in line with the principles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which, all ASEAN Member States are parties to.
ASEAN’s Newest Body Makes Its Debut
Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 23 October 2009
Marking an important step in ASEAN’s evolution, the ASEAN Leaders today inaugurated the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR).
To welcome the establishment of the Commission, the Leaders adopted the Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on the Inauguration of the AICHR. The Declaration envisages the AICHR as the overarching institution responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN as the region’s cooperation on human rights itself continues to evolve and develop.
“AICHR is not an end in itself but an evolutionary process towards strengthening the human rights architecture within the region,” said H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of Thailand, in his remarks at the Inaugural Ceremony of the AICHR at the 15th ASEAN Summit in Cha-am Hua Hin.
Prime Minister Abhisit also announced that the ASEAN Member States have committed themselves to provide USD 200,000 as seed money to support the activities of the Commission in its first year of operations.
The terms of reference of the AICHR will be reviewed every five years to further develop and strengthen the mandate and function of the body.
For the Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on the Inauguration of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, please click here.
For the Terms of Reference of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, please click here.
For the remarks by H.E. Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, on the Occasion of the Inaugural Ceremony of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), please click here.
The Road Ahead for ASEAN Auto Industry
Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 22 October 2009
ASEAN’s auto industry representatives today received the assurance that tariffs on products in their sector would be eliminated by 1 January 2010 as committed under the region’s free trade framework.
This affirmation was made at the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) – Private Sector Policy Dialogue on the Automotive Sector held at the sidelines of the 15th ASEAN Summit in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand.
Under the ASEAN Common Effective Preferential Tariff (CEPT) Scheme, six ASEAN Member States (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) are to eliminate import duties on 99.6% of products traded within the region, including automotive products.
“Policy dialogues with the private sector, especially those in key strategic industries for ASEAN, are useful avenues for governments and industry players to have frank discussions on issues vital to ASEAN’s community-building, in particular, the creation of a single market and production base,” said the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan.
The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), ASEAN Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASEAN- CCI) and the ASEAN Automotive Federation (AAF) were invited to the dialogue.
The private sector had identified seven challenges to the automotive sector in moving towards the ASEAN Economic Community and made some requests and suggestions to address these challenges.
“The Ministers responded positively to the issues raised by the private sector,” Dr Surin said.
Automotive is one of the priority integration sectors in the ASEAN Framework Agreement for the Integration of Priority Sectors signed by the ASEAN Leaders in Vientiane in November 2004.
One of the key outcomes of the policy dialogue was the decision for the private sector to work closely with government officials in working on a roadmap for the harmonisation of common standards for automobiles.
This public-private sector policy dialogue follows the success of the policy dialogue on the textiles industry organised at the margins of the 41st AEM Meeting in Bangkok in August 2009.
Set for the Summit
Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 22 October 2009
The ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) today discussed issues pertaining to the preparation of the 15th ASEAN Summit paving the way for the ASEAN Leaders to start their meetings tomorrow.
In their meeting, the ACC reviewed the list of issues expected to be raised by the Leaders and the draft outcome documents of all the meetings.
A set of wide ranging issues from connectivity and educational cooperation, climate change, economic and financial cooperation, disaster and pandemic management, and food and energy security are all on the agenda of the Summit.
“The ACC is coordinating the efforts of all the sectoral bodies and the Community Councils to ensure that our community-building is on course. We are now all set for the Summit,” said Dr Surin Pitsuwan, the Secretary General of ASEAN after the ACC meeting.
The ACC, which comprises the ASEAN Foreign Ministers, is tasked under the ASEAN Charter to prepare the meetings of the ASEAN Summit.
Just prior to the ACC meeting, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Council and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Council also convened their meetings. The AEC Council discussed the current regional economic situation while the ASCC Council considered draft documents on education and climate change that are to be submitted to the Leaders.
Meanwhile, the ASEAN Leaders have started arriving at the coastal resort towns of Cha Am Hua Hin in Thailand for the 15th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits which are to take place from 23 to 25 October. The theme this time around is “Enhancing Connectivity, Empowering Peoples”.
6th China-ASEAN Expo Opens in Nanning
Nanning, China, 20 October 2009
The 6th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) was officially opened today at the Nanning International Exhibition and Conventional Centre by H.E. Li Keqiang, Vice Premier of the State of Council of People’s Republic of China. This year’s CAEXPO focuses on the cooperation between customs authorities and the business community. Along with the Expo, the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit is also being held.
Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, noted the timeliness of this year’s CAEXPO, as January 2010 will mark the establishment of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA). He further emphasised that CAEXPO has played and will continue to play an important role in enhancing the ASEAN-China strategic cooperation.
Despite the financial crisis, this year’s Expo was held at a larger scale. 4,000 booths have been set up, compared to 3,400 last year. The number of booths taken up by enterprises from ASEAN countries has also increased. Six ASEAN countries have also booked exhibition halls to further enhance their participation. The ASEAN Secretariat, like in previous years, is also participating in the Expo. It has set up booths showcasing the ASEAN Community, Customs and Trade Facilitation in ASEAN and general information on ASEAN.
The Expo will last for five days until 24 October, involving the ten ASEAN countries as well as Australia, France, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Spain, United Arab Emirates and the United States.
Coming Up: The 15th ASEAN Summit
ASEAN Secretariat, 19 October 2009
The 15th ASEAN Summit, themed “Enhancing Connectivity, Empowering Peoples”, will be held in Cha-am/Hua Hin, Thailand, from 23 to 25 October 2009.
One of the main highlights of this Summit will be the inauguration of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. The Commission will work for the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN and the inauguration will represent yet another historic milestone for the region.
The 15th Summit will also see the Declaration on Strengthening Cooperation on Education to Achieve an ASEAN Caring and Sharing Community to be adopted by the Leaders. The Leaders are also expected to adopt the ASEAN Declaration on Climate Change.
On the economic front, the Leaders will be presented with the Executive Summary of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Scorecard. The AEC Scorecard is a monitoring tool that enables ASEAN to capture information and produce an assessment of the current situation of AEC implementation towards meeting the goals of a single market and production base.
Also at the Summit, the ASEAN-Japan Eminent Persons Group (EPG) and the ASEAN-Korea Eminent Persons Group will submit their final reports. The EPGs were established to assess the dialogue relations and explore ways and means to deepen and widen the existing cooperation between ASEAN and the two Dialogue Partners.
Related Summits, which include the Plus One Summits with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and India; the ASEAN Plus Three Summit; and the East Asia Summit will also take place. Informal meetings between the ASEAN Leaders and representatives from the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), ASEAN youth and ASEAN civil society are also on the agenda.
For more information, please visit the official website of the 15th ASEAN Summit at http://www.15thaseansummit-th.org
ASEAN Master Plan on ICT to be Developed
Vientiane, 16 October 2009
The 9th ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting (TELMIN-9) meeting has agreed to develop an ASEAN ICT Master Plan (2010-2015). With a vision of “Towards an Empowering and Transformational ICT: Creating an Inclusive, Vibrant and Integrated ASEAN”, the work plan would be finalised next year.
The Ministers also adopted the “Vientiane Declaration on Promoting the Realisation of Broadband across ASEAN”.
The Meeting, which was held in Vientiane and concluded on Friday, included a series of consultations at both ministerial and senior official levels between ASEAN and Dialogue Partners, i.e. China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and India, respectively. Several work plans were also adopted.
The European Commission, International Telecommunication Union and the US-ASEAN Business Council had also sent representatives to their meetings with ASEAN senior officials.
The Ministers also agreed to enhance regional cooperation on using ICT to manage and mitigate the effects of natural disasters.
The next ministerial meeting (TELMIN-10) and its Meetings with Dialogue Partners will be held in Malaysia in 2010.
ASEAN – EU Exchange Views on Non-Traditional Security Issues
ASEAN Secretariat, 16 October 2009
The ASEAN Secretariat and a visiting delegation from the European Union (EU) exchanged views on areas of mutual concern, in particular those related to non-traditional security issues such as disaster relief and peacekeeping support operations.
Gen Henri Bentégeat, the Chairman of the European Union Military Committee, was received by H.E. Sayakane Sisouvong, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political-Security Community.
Gen Bentégeat was accompanied by Ambassador Ewa Polano, Swedish Ambassador to Indonesia (EU Presidency), several other officials from the European Council and the Delegation of the European Commission in Jakarta.
During the meeting, the EU conveyed its willingness to expand its cooperation with ASEAN in several areas including in peace keeping operation support and in disaster management.
The visiting delegation was also briefed on the latest developments in ASEAN and the institutional changes that were taking place with the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter.
11-Year Old Tropical Storm Ondoy Survivor
Wins First Prize of the 2009 ASEAN Regional Drawing Competition
ASEAN Secretariat, 16 October 2009
Jamia Mei Tolentino, an 11-year-old from Manila who survived the ravages of Tropical Storm Ondoy (international name: Ketsana), has won the first prize of the 2009 ASEAN Regional Drawing Competition for children.
The Grade 5 student and her family were among those affected by Tropical Storm Ondoy, which made landfall in the Philippines in the early hours of 26 September, causing massive flooding and displacing thousands of people in Manila and nearby provinces.
“The flood waters reached up to the 2nd floor of our house, the first time that it ever happened to us. Classes were suspended,” said Jamia, adding that she and her family were very thankful for the wonderful news after such a harrowing experience.
“This is the 1st time I have been on a plane and the prize money is a blessing for us. Thank you very much to ASEAN for this lifetime experience,” said a beaming Jamia after receiving the prize at an awards ceremony on 14 October at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok. The ceremony was the highlight of the regional joint commemoration of the 2009 ASEAN Day for Disaster Management and the International Day for Disaster Reduction.
Joining Jamia were the 2nd prize winner Tharhudee Paisalsombun from Thailand, 3rd prize winner Athapol Wirojrat from Thailand, 4th prize winner Mohammad Yusdi Haji Mohd Yusof from Brunei Darussalam and 5th prize winner Trisha Co Reyes from the Philippines. Apart from winning cash prizes from the Siam Commercial Bank and gifts from ASEAN and the United Nations, the winners also got the opportunity to travel from their home countries to Bangkok to join the commemoration activities.
The theme of the Regional Drawing Competition, “Safe Hospitals: Hospitals in ASEAN Safe from Disasters” is in line with the 2008-2009 World Disaster Reduction Campaign for Disaster Risk Reduction, which has been focusing on the theme of Hospitals Safe from Disasters. The competition drew the interest of over one thousand school children aged 8-12 who, in their paintings and drawings, tried to describe how safer hospitals and buildings can contribute to realising ASEAN’s vision of a disaster-resilient and safer community.
“ASEAN hospitals is a big tree which protects people from disasters, “said second prize winner, Tharhudee of her painting which featured a big tree, while 3rd prize winner, Athapol, also from Thailand, said that his inspiration from his winning entry was based on witnessing the help provided by doctors and nurses during a major flood in a village in Thailand. “As disasters can strike any time, hospitals need to be ready and function as safe places for everybody,” he said.
Organised by the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management, the ASEAN Secretariat and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), the joint commemoration also included a panel discussion on “Safer Communities and Disaster Resilient Health Facilities in the Asia Pacific Region”, which highlighted national and local achievements on safer hospitals.
The ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management, which comprises national disaster management organisations in ten ASEAN countries, has organised the ASEAN Regional Drawing Competition on an annual basis since 2008. It is part of ASEAN’s continuous efforts to increase awareness of the future generations of ASEAN on the importance of preventive and mitigation measures, before disasters happen. The theme for next year’s drawing competition will be in line with theme of the 2010-2011 World Disaster Reduction Campaign, which focuses on cities safe from disasters.
ASEAN and UN to Deepen Cooperation on Disaster Relief
ASEAN Secretariat, 15 October 2009
UN has reaffirmed its eagerness to deepen cooperation with ASEAN in the area of disaster management and emergency response. This transpired during the meeting between the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Political-Security Community, H.E. Sayakane Sisouvong, with the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Sir John Holmes, at the ASEAN Secretariat.
Both sides agreed that there is a need for ASEAN and UN to forge closer collaboration, following the series of disasters that occurred almost simultaneously in five ASEAN Member States.
Sir Holmes further suggested potential areas of collaboration that could be pursued by ASEAN and UN, such as building national and regional capacity in search and rescue; stockpiling of emergency supplies; disaster risk reduction; automaticity of mutual assistance; early warning systems; and advanced technology in weather forecasting.
Mr Sayakane also briefed Sir Holmes on the result of the visit of the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, to the Indonesian cities of Padang and Pariaman, including his own visits to the Philippines and Viet Nam, in addition to the visits to Cambodia and Lao PDR by the Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, H.E. Dato’ Misran Karmain.
Mr Sayakane also informed Sir Holmes of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER), which is expected to come into force by the end of the year.
Prior to this, Dr Surin had last week met Dr Noeleen Heyzer, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNESCAP Executive Secretary, to discuss related matters.
Enhancing ASEAN – Latin America Economic Connectivity
ASEAN Secretariat, 12 October 2009
Some participants at the workshop
Despite the logistical challenges between the Southeast Asian and Latin America regions, economic engagement should no longer be impeded by geographical distance, but must be promoted on the basis of mutually beneficial economic growth through closer engagement.
This is especially so in the area of small-and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), said H.E. Sundram Pushpanathan, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community today.
Noting that there is a substantial productivity gap between SMEs and large enterprises in ASEAN, boosting the productivity of SMEs is essential in increasing overall productivity of the region, said DSG Puspanathan. As the situation is also similar in the Latin American region, “exchanging views and sharing of best practices in policies towards SMEs and in the development and management of SMEs could certainly be beneficial for policy makers in ASEAN and Latin America,” he said when delivering his keynote address when opening the workshop on the “Prospects of Economic Relations between Southeast Asia and Latin America: Some Policy Options including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)” held at the ASEAN Secretariat.
The workshop, an initiative by the ASEAN Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), in cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat, is the first of its series. The series aim to develop a better understanding of the issues related to trade and investment between Southeast Asia and Latin American countries and to contribute to enhancing trade and investment relationship.
The participants of the discussion included experts from relevant organisations from Southeast Asia and Latin American countries.
Click here for Mr Pushpanathan’s full speech.
Thai Students Learn about the ASEAN Community during Visit to the ASEAN Secretariat
ASEAN Secretariat, 7 October 2009
Student leaders from 62 universities in Thailand visited the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) today and met with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan and ASEC officers.
The group, led by Assoc. Prof. Padoongyot Duangmala, Vice President for Students Development, Sports and Culture at Prince of Songkla University, were briefed on the ASEAN Community building process under the three pillars, namely ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).
The visit to the ASEAN Secretariat is part of the Students Exposure for Global Awareness (SEGA) programme organised by the Commission on Higher Education of Thailand.
1st Meeting of ASEAN Focal Points on Tobacco Control
Bangkok, 6-7 October 2009
ASEAN is to strengthen collaboration in tobacco control. The ASEAN Focal Points on Tobacco Control (AFPTC), who met for the first time on 6-7 October 2009 in Bangkok, has identified three areas for such collaboration: (1) discussion and formulation of common positions/policy recommendation on tobacco control for ASEAN Member States; (2) the development of ASEAN short-term and medium-term Framework/ Programme on Tobacco Control; and (3) implementation of graphic health warnings, smoke free areas, surveillance of new emerging tobacco products, cross-border advertising, and the protection of public policy on tobacco control from the tobacco industry.
15th ASEAN Youth Day Award
Nay Pyi Taw, 5-7 October 2009
Seven youths from ASEAN have received the ASEAN Youth Award. They are Mr. Iswandy bin Ahmad (Brunei Darussalam); Ms. Tri Wahyuni (Indonesia); Ms. Tep Sokpanh (Lao PDR); Mr. Hishamuddin Bin Hj. Abd Rahman (Malaysia); Daw Su Wai Lwin (Myanmar); Ms. Melissa Aratani Kwee (Singapore); and Ms. Rosnee Kari-Uma (Thailand).
The seven awardees had showed their commitment towards voluntary activities in raising awareness on HIV and AIDS among the youth, empowering human resources in rural areas and in promoting youth leadership programmes in rural districts. They had also shown their spirit of voluntarism in activities involving the eradication of poverty and illiteracy.
The awards were given out at the 15th ASEAN Youth Day Meeting (AYDM) that was held in Nay Pyi Taw in Myanmar from 5 to 7 Oct 2009.
In his welcome remarks, Brig-Gen Kyaw Myint, the Deputy Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement of Myanmar, said that the purpose of the AYDM is to highlight the role and contribution of young people in ASEAN towards the development and continued prosperity of the ASEAN region. He added that it is essential that the youth of ASEAN are fully tapped to shape ASEAN’s economic, social, political developments, and to ensure regional peace and prosperity within the region.
The theme of the 15th AYDM is ASEAN Community Building through Youth Volunteerism. Delegates from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand, as well as a representative of the ASEAN Secretariat attended the event.