Today, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers were briefed by the High Level Task Force on the progress of their work on preparing a draft ASEAN Charter.

We thanked them for their work and proceeded to discuss, in retreat format, specific issues relating to the drafting of the ASEAN Charter.

We discussed a number of issues. We agreed on several provisions and referred others for further work by the HLTF.

I am pleased to announce that among the issues on which there was consensus among the ASEAN Foreign Ministers is the inclusion of a provision in the ASEAN Charter that mandates the creation of a human rights body.

We have instructed the HLTF to include this provision in the draft Charter.

I would like to personally thank the ASEAN Foreign Ministers for their friendship and support, for which I credit the success of our discussions.

Thank you.

Posted on 31 Jul 2007