Bali, Indonesia, 21 November 2011

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The 19th ASEAN Summit & Related Summits have ended on Saturday. Today the Secretary-General of ASEAN continued his work and briefed the public about the key highlights and outcomes of the Summits which took place here from 17-19 November.

During the event, Dr Surin briefed the public on the discussions and decisions agreed by the Leaders at the Summits. His engagement with the public was made possible by the World Bank and the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) in the East Asia and Pacific region. Almost anyone who is interested in ASEAN affairs and have a good internet connection on their computer could tune in to the briefing via a video conference technology, which was then streamed over the world wide web to the global audience.

In addition to Bali, the briefing saw the participation of representatives from seven ASEAN Member States in the capitals of Phnom Penh, Vientiane, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Bangkok and Ha Noi; as well as those in four capitals of ASEAN Dialogue Partners, namely Canberra, Beijing, Tokyo, and Seoul. The representatives are from regional and international organisations, diplomatic community, policy and law makers, civil society, academic, media, and the private sector.

During the briefing, Dr Surin was asked a wide variety of questions from each of the 13 capitals, ranging from political-security to social-cultural issues. Members from the global audience also emailed their questions to the ASEAN Secretariat, which conveyed the questions to him at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre.

From the Tokyo site, for example, a representative from the Embassy of Fiji posed a question, while a representative from the Asian Productivity Organisation questioned the missing link of “productivity” in last week’s Summits. “Productivity is the key to food, energy and water security in the region. It is crucial for economic development and critical for betterment of environment,” he shared his opinion with Dr Surin and the rest of the web audience.

A banker in Cambodia also asked about financial crime, while a representative from the Embassy of Tunisia asked about the kinds of assistance which ASEAN Member States could contribute to the Middle East and North African countries.

The hot topic, however, was the 6th East Asia Summit (EAS), which made official the memberships of new partners, Russia and United States, to the grouping this year.

A video-clip of the two-hour briefing and question-and-answer session was recorded and then archived on the Tokyo Development Learning’s Centre on http://streaming.jointokyo.org/viewerportal/vmc/player.do?eventContentId=21399. For those who missed the live briefing this morning, they can still watch it by downloading the archived clip.

The World Bank Indonesia also provided live tweets throughout the briefing on some of the interesting facts made by Dr Surin.

Mr Rodolfo Severino, the former Secretary-General of ASEAN, and His Royal Highness Prince Norodom Sirivudh, Supreme Privy Counselor to His Majesty the King and Founder & Chairman Board of Director of Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace, an ASEAN-ISIS member, were also in attendance and posed questions to Dr Surin.