Bangkok, 12-14 March 2012

Your Honorable Professor Wisit Wisitsore-at, Director General of Legal Execution Department, Ministry of Justice,

Distinguished Delegates,

Ladies and Gentlemen;

First of all, I would like to express my appreciation to the Royal Government of Thailand, in particular the Ministry of Justice for hosting the 4th Working Group on Model ASEAN Extradition Treaty, and warm hospitality extended to me and all delegations.

The organization of this Meeting is an important step in our efforts towards the realization of the ASEAN Political Security Community Blueprint which calls for the continuation of the working group as mandated by the ASEAN Laws Ministers Meeting, and enhancing cooperation on the issue of extradition.

I also wish to thank each and every person involved in making this meeting possible. It gives me a great pleasure and honor to be among the leading you.

I wish to recall the importance the 14th ASLOM and 8th ALAWMM which were held on 1-5 November 2011 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, attached to the work of the ASLOM Working Group on Model ASEAN Extradition Treaty; and I do hope that the today Meeting would bring us a very significant outcome.

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The continued effort and commitment of the ASEAN Law Ministers Meeting, particularly the ASLOM Working Group in developing a Model ASEAN Extradition Treaty will certainly contribute to ASEAN overall goal to put in place proper legal and institutional framework to intensify integration and enhance cooperation on the issue of extradition and combating transnational crimes and terrorism.

To this end, I just would like to briefly update you on the on-going work of various ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies to create rules and regulations as well as legal instruments to facilitate the realization of integration and community building efforts and ASEAN’s rules-based organization. As you might know, following the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter, which is a constituent instrument of ASEAN, various rules and procedures have been adopted or being developed by relevant ASEAN organs to operationalise the ASEAN Charter.

The Protocol on the ASEAN Charter on Dispute Settlement Mechanisms was concluded in 2010. Various rules and procedures to be annexed to the Protocol are being developed and finalized. The Rules for Reference of Non-Compliance to the ASEAN Summit, together with the Instrument incorporating the Rules to the Protocol on the ASEAN Charter on Dispute Settlement Mechanisms has been finalized and will be signed by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers during the upcoming ASEAN Summits in Cambodia. Once entered into force, the Protocol would provide ASEAN with appropriate mechanisms to address the dispute among the ASEAN Member States on application and interpretation of the ASEAN Charter and ASEAN instruments.

Our Ministers were pleased to take note of the entry into force of the ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism and development on the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters that could serve as important legal instruments to combat transnational crime and terrorism in the region.

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Last year the ASEAN Ministers further took note of the work of ASLOM on the Model ASEAN Extradition Treaty, in strengthening mutual judicial assistance in civil and commercial matters among ASEAN Member States, including work towards a Treaty on the Abolishment of the requirement for Legalisation of Foreign Public Documents among ASEAN Member States, examining modalities for harmonization of ASEAN trade laws, the progressive liberalization of trade in legal services in ASEAN, and proposals for a model law on maritime security, uniform laws on legalization of documents and an ASEAN agreement on the conservation of coastal and marine environment.

The ASEAN Secretariat is working closely with the ASEAN Dispute Settlement Task Force to further improve the operationaization of the ASEAN Protocol on Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism. This Protocol is an important instrument to support the ASEAN Economic Community by offering ASEAN with necessary mechanism to resolve disputes on ASEAN economic agreements.

Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I strongly believe that the ASLOM WG is also undertaking a very significant exercise in assisting ASEAN to deal with many challenges including coming up with a legal instrument to support ASEAN goal of building an ASEAN Community by 2015. I am certain that the outcome of the work of the ASLOM WG and the existing legal instruments such as the ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism and the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters would provide ASEAN with more comprehensive legal instruments to combat transnational crimes and terrorism.

Finally, it is my fervent hope that with the spirit of friendship and cooperation among ASEAN Member States, the 4th Meeting of the ASLOM WG on ASEAN Model Extradition Treaty would produce a very satisfactory result, and I would like to assure you that the ASEAN Secretariat would try all our best to facilitate and coordinate the work of Member States toward this success.

Thank you for your kind attention.