Following the adjournment of the 7th East Asia Summit (EAS) today, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Marty M. Natalegawa submitted ASEAN Instrument of Ratification to Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan on Hosting and Granting Privileges and Immunities to the Jakarta-based ASEAN Secretariat.

“We really appreciate the commitment made by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia. In this regard, we are pleased to accept this instrument after its internal process”, said Dr. Surin Pitsuwan today marks the event.

The Host Country Agreement sends an important message to the world about the importance placed on ASEAN by its member states, said Dr. Surin adding the agreement is evident of the important role played by the Indonesian government in hosting and facilitating the work of ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat.

“This is, indeed, a momentous occasion that reflects the importance of ASEAN and the commitment that Indonesia and other ASEAN Member States attach to the work of ASEAN,” said Dr. Marty.

The submission of the instrument of ratification was witnessed by nine ASEAN foreign ministers, permanent representatives to ASEAN, SOM leaders, delegates, and ASEAN Secretariat officers who attended the 20th ASEAN Summit.

The Host Country Agreement is the key legal instrument that embodies Indonesia`s continuing commitment and support to ASEAN, as host of the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.It sets out the duties and responsibilities of the parties as well as the privileges and immunities granted by the Indonesian government to ASEAN, including the Secretariat, to enable it to perform its functions and operations effectively.

With its entry into the ASEAN Charter in 2008, the Host Country Agreement replaces the previous one concluded in 1979 and has been reached after a series of discussions and consultations between ASEAN and Indonesia.