Singapore, 16 August 2010

Your Excellency Prof. Tommy Koh, Chairman of the Centre for Internatioanal Law (CIL),

Prof. Robert Beckman, Director for the CIL of the National University of Singapore (NUS),

Deputy Director of the CIL Dr. Navin Rajagopal,

Our Honorable former ASEAN Secretaries-General, H.E. Ong Keng Yong and H.E. Rodolfo Severino,

Prof. Michael Ewing-Chow, Co-Director, CIL ASEAN International Research Projects,

Prof. Dr. Hikmanto Juwana, Professor for International Law of the University of Indonesia,

Distinguished Speakers,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Secretary-General of ASEAN Dr. Surin Pitsuwan I have the honour to speak at this important event in the presence of all the distinguished delegates. I also take this opportunity to congratulate the CIL to convene an outstanding workshop on the CIL ASEAN Charter Series 2010.

This seminar provides for an interactive discussion forum on important legal issues in international law including the legal personality and privileges & immunities.

With the active role of the CIL in promoting international law in the ASEAN region, ASEAN Secretariat values the great contribution of the CIL.

Only three weeks ago we met Prof. Beckman in Surabaya when we were invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia at the First ASEAN Maritime Forum. There are many areas where cooperation can be further developed together. In one such area, the maritime area, we acknowledge the multi-dimensional nature of legal capacity of the ASEAN Charter.

This seminar will provide “capacity building” to the personnel of the Legal Services and Agreements Division of the ASEAN Secretariat. I sincerely believe that this seminar will also further compliment and support the work of the ASEAN Secretariat generally. We need the CIL to continue to help the ASEAN Secretariat. Presently, ASEC is attending to some activities, inter-alia:

1. Convening High Level Eminent Group later this month

2. Elaborating the Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism (EDSM)

3. Host Country Agreement

4. AGLOP (ASEAN Government Officials Meetings).

In addition, there are also many queries from ASEAN Member States on the use of titles of the documents’ outcomes, such as the Joint Declaration or Joint Communiqué. In anticipation of similar queries from future Meetings of other ASEAN Bodies, we have been requested by AMS to provide them with a study on the said guidelines on the use of such titles. We hope the guidelines could also provide clarifications, definition or distinction on the degree of importance on the use of Declaration, Joint Declaration, and Statement.


Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to state that among the speakers presence in this meeting is Dr. Termsak Chalempalanupap. He will give the perspective of the ASEAN Charter Provisions on Legal Personality and 2009 ASEAN Privileges and Immunities Agreement. I believe that through exchange of discussions, the CIL and the ASEAN Secretariat will further enhance their relationship for mutual benefit.

Last but not least, may I also take this opportunity to express my sincere heartfelt condolence at the great loss of the late Mr. Tiwari.

As I knew Mr. Tiwari, he was always well briefed, knew his law and was one of Singaporean’s outstanding negotiator. He had also provided various support activities to the ASEAN Secretariat including in understanding the drafter’s intention when drafting the ASEAN Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism. May he rest in peace.

Thank you and have a fruitful discussion.