Jakarta, 10 January 2012

A public lecture on ASEAN-US Dialogue Relations, was an active discussion between former US Defense Secretary, the Hon. William S. Cohen, and the audience.

The Hon. Cohen is also Co-Chair of the US-ASEAN Strategy Commission.

Tracing their long friendship, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, said the talk provided rare insights into the US “thinking and strategies to ASEAN, including highlights of the ASEAN-US Dialogue Relations, the US’s thinking towards the emerging regional architecture, potential hotspots in the region as well as the US non-proliferation policy.”

The Hon. Cohen also spoke on ASEAN’s standing position in the regional and international context, and the potential for ASEAN to build on that position.

The talk and discussion was well received by the audience, which included members of the diplomatic corps, the think-tanks, CSOs, as well as students.

Dr Surin said the talk is a good start to the ASEC lecture this year. He is looking forward to hosting more of these discussions, at the ASEAN Secretariat – which is fondly known as ASEC to staff and friends.

ASEAN and the U.S. have maintained good momentum in dialogue relations since 1977. Last year’s East Asia Summit is the culmination of many years of cooperation and partnership between the leaders of ASEAN and the U.S. The two sides have met regularly and consecutively for three years in a row. This interaction at the highest level is a testimony of the maturity and confidence in the partnership between ASEAN and the US.