JAKARTA, 19 March 2014 – Officials from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) marked the end of their one-year stint at the ASEAN Secretariat as Attachment Officers (AO) from government ministries related to the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the ASEAN Socio-cultural Community (ASCC).

H.E. Koichi Aiboshi, Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN; H.E. Kan Paridh, Permanent Representative of Cambodia to ASEAN and Chair of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Task Force; and H.E. Lim Hong Hin, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN presented the AOs’ certificates of completion in a reception held at the ASEAN Secretariat yesterday.

“I am pleased to learn that the eight CLMV officials who joined this pilot programme for the AEC and ASCC were able to actively participate in ASEAN meetings… and provide efficient support to the ASEAN Secretariat,” said Ambassador Kan Paridh. “I am confident that the participants of this programme will be able to contribute more to their respective countries through this experience.”

In his remarks, Ambassador Koichi Aiboshi addressed the AOs saying, “ASEAN Community building is not something to be completed in 2015. It is a process which continues beyond 2015. Thus, it is necessary that young, capable and motivated people like you all will take lead in order for ASEAN to continue developing and become centre of the region in deed as well as in name.”

Through the support of Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF), the eight officials from CLMV worked in various divisions at the ASEAN Secretariat, covering the areas of trade and investment, trade facilitation, external economic relations, connectivity, education, and culture and information. For one year, the AOs worked alongside the ASEAN Secretariat and Member States in preparing and servicing meetings, managing activities, and organizing official missions. The AOs also participated in trainings and workshops, and culminated their term with a study tour in Japan.

Ambassadors and other officials from the Permanent Missions to ASEAN and officials from the Mission of Japan to ASEAN graced the occasion. ASEAN Secretariat officers were also in attendance.

Introduced over a decade ago, the AO Programme supported by Japan is one of the earliest, longest-running and most successful projects under the IAI.

The IAI was launched in 2000 and its current Work Plan covering the year 2009 to 2015 aims to support ASEAN’s newer member states, CLMV, in achieving their commitments to ASEAN Community building, thereby supporting the integration process of the entire ASEAN region.

This year’s graduates are Mr. Suong Savath and Mr. Hor Serey Vath of Cambodia, Mr. Khambou Thavixay and Mr. Vilaxay Boupha of Lao PDR, Ms. Soe Yu May and Ms. Phyoe Aung Kyaw of Myanmar, and Ms. Do Kim Toan and Ms. Bui Thu Ha of Viet Nam.

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To learn more about IAI, follow this link.

Link for the photos