At the Opening Session of The 37th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting

Jakarta, 30 June 2004

Your Excellency President Megawati Soekarnoputri,
Distinguished Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

        I am pleased and honoured to report to you, Madam President, on the preparation and programme of work of the 37th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. This meeting, which is attended by all ASEAN Ministers of Foreign Affairs, will be particularly important because it is our first formal meeting since the Bali Summit.

        Reflecting the ASEAN Leader’s decision embodied in the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II, the 37th AMM will take the theme, “Striving for Full Integration of ASEAN: A Prosperous, Caring and Peaceful Community.” Accordingly, the AMM will formulate the actions that we have to take in order to achieve an ASEAN Community within a just, democratic and harmonious environment.

        Today’s meeting will be the culmination of many activities undertaken since Indonesia assumed chairmanship of the ASEAN Standing Committee in July 2003. Since then, we have held a number of meetings of ASEAN Ministers, Senior Officials and ASEAN Directors-General. These were convened both to prepare for the Bali Summit and to follow-up on its decisions, as well as on earlier decision.

        In this regard, I am privileged to report to Your Excellency that ASEAN Foreign Ministers and their officials have covered much ground and progressed significantly in deliberating on and formulating the ASEAN Security Community Plan of Action and the ASEAN Socio-cultural Community Plan of Action. ASEAN Foreign Ministers will submit these plans of action for endorsement by ASEAN Leaders at the 10th Summit in Vientiane this November.

        The work of this Ministerial Meeting began last night at an Informal Working Dinner, during which we exchanged views on regional and international issues of common concern. Later this morning, at our retreat at Gedung Pancasila, we will deliberate on various issues, including ways and means of bringing about the attainment of an ASEAN Community by 2020 and the way forward for ASEAN’s cooperation with its Dialogue Partners. In the afternoon, we will deliberate on a number of other important issues, including preparations for the Vientiane Summit.

Madam President,

        I am pleased to report to you that all the foreign Ministers of ASEAN are present here. Also in attendance are the Foreign Minister of Timor Leste, who is guest of the host, and the Special Envoy of Papua New Guinea, which is a Special Observer of ASEAN. The Foreign Ministers of ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners will be arriving soon to participate in the Post-Ministerial Conferences and the 11th ASEAN Regional Forum. In addition, the Foreign Ministers of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Mongolia will also be joining us for the 11th ASEAN Regional Forum.

        In all, the number of ASEAN delegates stands at 197, while ARF delegates at 629. Members of the national media covering events total 121, while foreign media representatives number 479.

        Many factors contribute to the success and productiveness of a meeting; a key ingredient to this AMM is undoubtedly the cooperation, support and encouragement of my ASEAN Colleagues. Another factor that will contribute to the success of this meeting is the strong support extended by the people of Jakarta and the city administration. We are, indeed, gratified by their warm welcome and hospitality.

Madam President,

        I now have the honour to invite you to deliver you Opening Statement and to officially open the 37th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting.

Thank you.