“We hope more initiatives and proposals for cooperation could be put forth following the establishment of the Mission of the ROK to ASEAN,’’ said Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan during the presentation of credentials from H.E. Mr. Baek Seong-taek, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea (ROK) to ASEAN today. Dr. Surin stressed that establishment of the Mission of the ROK to ASEAN would contribute to strengthening cooperation between ASEAN and the ROK, especially to facilitate the effective implementation of ASEAN-ROK Plan of Action 2011-2015.

Ambassador Baek said that the opening of the Mission of the ROK to ASEAN would provide a fresh momentum to elevate ASEAN-ROK relations to a higher level. “The opening of the Korean Mission to ASEAN reflects the importance and priority that the Korean Government attaches to ROK-ASEAN relations,’’ added the Ambassador.

Dr. Surin and Ambassador Baek exchanged views on various ASEAN-ROK projects and activities such as the ASEAN-ROK Cyber University, people-to-people and media exchanges scholarship programmes and private sector engagement as well as cooperation on disaster management.

Over the past years, significant progress has been made in the implementation of joint activities in political and security, economic, and socio-cultural areas under the framework of ASEAN-ROK cooperation. Dr. Surin encouraged the ROK to implement high impact and multi-year programmes with ASEAN.

Ambassador Baek also highlighted that ASEAN has played an increasingly important role in the world and hoped that the ASEAN integration process would contribute to the peace and stability of East Asia.

Under the ASEAN Charter, non-ASEAN Member States and relevant intergovernmental organisations may appoint and accredit Ambassadors to ASEAN. Ambassador Baek is the first resident Ambassador of the ROK to ASEAN in Jakarta.