Jakarta, 25 April 2011

The ASEAN Secretariat has thrown its full support for Indonesia’s outreach activities – starting with rock music at the ASEAN Youth-Cultural Exchange Festival this Sunday. Conveying his appreciation to Indonesia for hosting the activities, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, has called for the full participation of the Secretariat to show their support.

The ASEAN Secretariat will invite representatives from ASEAN Member States in Jakarta, Embassies of Dialogue Partners and Youth Ambassadors to sing along together at the Festival.

To be held at the Backstage Beach cafe in Ancol, the ASEAN Secretariat band will perform an original composition, titled “Move Towards Hope”. Featuring the talent of the Secretariat staff and Dialogue Partners, the song is dedicated to the people and government of Japan, who had faced the triple crises of the Great Earthquake of East Japan on March 11. The tremor triggered devastating tsunami, which knocked out Japan’s nuclear reactors at Fukushima.

“I can see

The flowing of tears as they drop to the ground

I can feel

The pain as you are suffering from losing everything,”

said the lyrics, which acknowledged the strength and courage of the Japanese people, and pledged ASEAN’s solidarity with Japan.

“ASEAN feels the devastation of the Japanese people as it has also experienced tsunami and earthquakes in the past, in Indonesia as well as other countries in ASEAN, even in bigger scale of calamity. We need to give our support to Japan so they can recover and regain their confidence and strength. After all, Japan is not only a friend and a partner, but also a family to ASEAN,” said Bagas Hapsoro, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs, who penned the lyrics and wrote the score for the song.

He added that ASEAN’s message is for Japan to regain itself and become a strong nation that it has always been.