The ASEAN Charter has been fully ratified by all ten ASEAN Member States.

The final ASEAN Member State, Indonesia, has ratified the Charter in accordance with its internal procedure. The ASEAN Secretary-General, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, heartily welcomes Indonesia’s ratification of the ASEAN Charter, saying that this decision of the House of Representatives of Indonesia today assures the entry into force of the historic ASEAN agreement before the end of 2008.

Dr Surin said, “History was made when the ASEAN Leaders signed the Charter on the 20th of November 2007. When they next meet at the 14th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok in December 2008, the Leaders will be able to toast to a new ASEAN era.”  Dr Surin added, “We in ASEAN thank Indonesia and all other ASEAN Member States for their support for and expeditious ratification of the Charter”.

“ASEAN will be a rules-based, people-oriented and more integrated entity. After the formal entry into force of the Charter, our community-building will shift to a higher gear with full steam forward,” he stressed.

Dr Surin added, “Given the current financial turmoil around the world, a real prospect of a more integrated and solid ASEAN will be welcomed by the international community.”

So far, seven ASEAN Member States have deposited their instruments of ratification with the Secretary-General of ASEAN.

The Philippine Senate on 8 October approved the ratification of the Charter, with only one dissenting vote. In mid-September, the Thai Parliament passed a legislation to enable the Thai Government to undertake necessary legal follow-ups to the ASEAN Charter.  The new legislation is awaiting the signature of His Majesty the King and its promulgation in the Royal Gazette.  After that, Thailand’s ratification of the Charter will be complete.

Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand will each deposit its instrument of ratification with the ASEAN Secretary-General.  The Charter shall enter into force on the 30th day following the deposit of the tenth instrument.

“We now look forward to an early entry into force of the ASEAN Charter before the ASEAN Leaders meet in Bangkok for their summit,” said Dr Surin.

Dr Surin also thanked ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners for their faith and confidence in ASEAN and its peoples.   The U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, have announced the appointment of their respective Ambassadors to ASEAN to work directly with the ASEAN Secretary-General and the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

“These appointments demonstrate the confidence and goodwill of these countries for ASEAN and its peoples.   We certainly appreciate their gesture of goodwill and we expect more Dialogue Partners to follow their lead,” said Dr Surin.