The UN attached great importance to forging closer cooperation with regional organisations in general and in particular with ASEAN. This was clear as that message was conveyed repeatedly in remarks by both the UNSG and President of the UN General Assembly. ASEAN-United Nations (UN) Ministerial Meeting, or annual ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting with the UN Secretary-General and President of the UN General Assembly took place on 28 September, 2012.

The UN Secretary-General (UNSG), Mr Ban Ki-Moon observed that, “I see great progress in the ASEAN nations, and great progress in the ASEAN-UN Partnership.”

The UNSG further informed Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN, “The UN regards ASEAN as one of the most successful regional organizations in the world.” He encouraged ASEAN to play a greater role in shaping the global agenda, and to share ASEAN’s experience and best practices with other regions in the world, including through collaboration with the UN.

In his closing remarks, UNSG Mr Ban Ki-Moon acknowledged that while Dr Surin would participate in his last UN General Assembly as the Secretary-General of ASEAN, he was thankful for his leadership and commitment throughout his tenure. He noted that ASEAN and the UN had been working very closely together, and an exemplary example of this successful cooperation was the tripartite cooperation to rehabilitate Myanmar following cyclone Nargis. He recalled that one airport in Thailand was used as the logistical hub, and concluded that, “Whatever your future career may be, I’m sure that you will be needed by the international community.”