Class is in session for a selected group of young diplomats from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam (CLMV) who have arrived in Jakarta to begin their training at the ASEAN Secretariat. The Attachment Officer (AO) Programme, which is in its 12th year, focuses on building the capacity of the CLMV junior officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the CLMV countries.

The one-year Programme aims to introduce the junior officers to the activities and scope of work of the ASEAN Secretariat and involve them in a series of high-level events such as ASEAN Ministerial and Summit meetings.

A courtesy visit to H.E. Kimihiro Ishikane, Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN was made by the junior officers at the Mission of Japan to ASEAN on 26 September 2012. The officers, accompanied by a team from the ASEAN Secretariat, met with staff of the Mission to share a conversation about the expectation and objectives of the Programme.

“The success of the AO Programme has provided the junior officers with direct hands-on experience at the ASEAN Secretariat and optimises the opportunities to learn about ASEAN. The Government of Japan is pleased to support this program which will contribute to ASEAN Integration.” said Ambassador Ishikane.

The Junior Officers work in different departments and divisions at the ASEAN Secretariat, giving them the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and enhance their experience in various areas of cooperation.

To enrich their experience as Attachment Officers, the Programme also includes a visit to Tokyo where the Officers will get a chance to meet the ASEAN Tokyo Committee which comprises ASEAN Ambassadors responsible for ASEAN affairs in Japan, and dignitaries at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.

The programme is well regarded and very much appreciated by our Ministry. There is no better way to obtain an ASEAN perspective of regional and global issues than by being part of the ASEAN Secretariat”, says Mr Phay Kimthorng of Cambodia

Graduates of the Programme have returned to their respective Ministries taking on higher responsibilities related to ASEAN and promoting a greater sense of ASEAN solidarity and identity among their colleagues.