The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), comprising Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam, invited H.E. Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand and the ASEAN Candidate for the post of Secretary-General of the United Nations (UNSG), to attend a session with the ASEAN Foreign Ministers on 24 July 2006 in Kuala Lumpur. The session was chaired by H.E. Dato’ Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia and Chairman of the 39th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM)/Post Ministerial Conferences (PMC)/13th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and attended by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers, by the ASEAN Candidate for the post of UNSG and by the Secretary-General of ASEAN.
At the session, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers were briefed by the ASEAN Candidate on the latest developments in the coordinated ASEAN campaign for the post of UNSG. These developments include, inter alia, the joint action undertaken by ASEAN Committees in Third Countries and ASEAN Embassies worldwide in support of the coordinated campaign for the ASEAN Candidate and, most recently, the participation of the ASEAN Candidate at the Special Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) and the AU Summit on 30 June-2 July 2006 in The Gambia, and the meeting between the ASEAN Candidate and all regional groups at the United Nations in New York on 6-11 July 2006. These activities are widely regarded as re-emphasizing the ASEAN Candidate’s adherence to global good governance and transparency in sparing no efforts to meet as many UN Member States as possible to hear their views and their concerns on UN reform, social and international issues throughout the campaign. Consequently, there has been an increase in the momentum of support for the ASEAN Candidate as well as for Asia’s turn for the post of UNSG.
The ASEAN Foreign Ministers reaffirmed the decision taken by the ASEAN Leaders at the 10th Summit in Vientiane on 29 November 2004, expressing their support and endorsement of Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai as the ASEAN Candidate for the post of UNSG, who remains the only candidate to receive endorsement of a regional grouping. They and the ASEAN Candidate discussed and agreed on a coordinated campaign strategy to be pursued in the next critical months, bearing in mind the beginning of informal consultations on the UNSG issue in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the conducting of a straw poll by the UNSC on this issue this month. In this connection, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers also agreed to collectively and individually help seek support for the ASEAN Candidate from ASEAN Dialogue Partners and other countries in the various PMC and other meetings here in Kuala Lumpur and beyond.
As part of the continuing efforts to promote global good governance and transparency, the ASEAN Candidate is scheduled to hold bilateral consultations with ASEAN Dialogue Partners and other countries during the 39th AMM/PMC/13th ARF in order to share his vision of the United Nations and UN reform and exchange views on aspirations and concerns of UN Member States who are all stakeholders in the UN.
24 July 2006