Junior diplomats from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) marked the end of their one-year term at the ASEAN Secretariat as Attachment Officers (AO).

H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN, commended the success of the Programme and said, “ASEAN sees the Attachment Programme as a valuable contribution to narrowing the development divide in ASEAN by enhancing the knowledge, skills, and experience of Officials from CLMV countries to manage and promote regional cooperation in their respective countries and lines of work.”

H.E. Kimihiro Ishikane, Ambassador of Japan to ASEAN, sent encouragements to the AOs saying that “People like you—young, capable, motivated, open-minded will make things happen” and expressed his hope that the Attachment Programme “could be of help to CLMV officials who share the same passion for ASEAN Community-Building.”

SG Minh and Ambassador Ishikane presented the certificates of completion in a reception held at the ASEAN Secretariat yesterday.

Ms. Khin Myo Myat Soe of Myanmar expressed her sincere thanks to Japan and the ASEAN Secretariat and said that her attachment experience “would be of value to (her) work back at the Ministry and will help (her) country in the preparations of its upcoming ASEAN Chairmanship in 2014.” She is joined by Mr. Phay Kimthorng of Cambodia, Ms. Daleevanh Phetsamone of Lao PDR, and Ms. Do Phuong Thanh of Viet Nam in this batch of AO graduates.

Ambassadors and other officials from the Permanent Missions to ASEAN of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam and officials from the Mission of Japan to ASEAN attended the occasion. ASEAN Secretariat officers and AOs currently posted at the Secretariat through another attachment programme were also in attendance.

Started over a decade ago, the AO Programme has been one of the earliest, longest-running and most successful projects under the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI). The Programme aims to introduce the 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.

The IAI was launched in the year 2000 and its current Work Plan covering the year 2009-2015 aims to support Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam in achieving their commitments to ASEAN Community building, thereby supporting the integration process of the entire ASEAN region.

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