At the closing of the Fourth Meeting of the 37th ASEAN Standing Committee
Jakarta, 28 June 2004
Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me first welcome all of you to Jakarta. Despite your busy schedule during the last couple of days, I hope you managed to rest and enjoy Jakarta. There is still a great deal of work for us in the days ahead.
As we close this cycle of ASEAN Standing Committee meetings, I am pleased to observe that once more the ASC, through its accomplishments, has proven itself instrumental to ASEAN’s maturation as a regional organization.
Since a year ago, the work of the ASC has been marked by determination to shed the “business as usual” approach. It has been driven by a sense of urgency commensurate with the bold and innovative vision of an ASEAN Community that our Leaders adopted during their Summit in Bali last October.
The establishment of the ASEAN Community is a difficult task but not a lonely one. We can expect support for this endeavor from our Dialogue Partners, considering that China and India acceded to the TAC during our latest Summit, while Japan and Pakistan are likely to do the same in the next few days.
The TAC, as stipulated in the Second Bali Concord, serves as the code of conduct governing relations between states and as an instrument for the promotion of peace, stability and cooperation in the region, Thus, commitment to the TAC on the part of these powers should easily translate into support for an initiative so vital to the security, stability and prosperity of the ASEAN Region.
The establishment of the ASEAN Community also requires a great deal of housekeeping work on the part of our Association. I therefore welcome and support the efforts of the Secretary General and the Standing Committee to streamline the Secretariat, to modernize it and to make it a better tool for the realization of an ASEAN Community.
I am gratified that the Secretary General has been instilling modern corporate policies in the Secretariat’s units, strengthening their accountability, and ensuring continuity of organizational approaches and methods of operation. Indonesia will work closely with other members of the Standing Committee to support the Secretary General in this important undertaking.
While we are making the Secretariat more responsive to our requirements, we should also look at the bigger picture. That means we should tackle a major task mandated by the Ha Noi Plan of Action, namely to review ASEAN’s overall organizational structure, taking into account the expansion of ASEAN activities, the enlargement of ASEAN Membership, and the regional situation.
Such a review is essential and, indeed, with the decision by our Leaders to establish an ASEAN Community, comprising the pillars of a Security Community, an economic Community and a Sociocultural Community, will certainly require an institutional framework of matching strength and effectiveness.
Hence, it is important that we should all be exchanging vies and ideas on this issue. I look forward to reading the Report of the Secretary General on the views of Member States and the Secretariat on ASEAN’s institutional framework, which will soon be submitted for the perusal of the Foreign Ministers.
Meanwhile, we have reached a period of transition from the Ha Noi Plan of Action to the Vientiane Integration Agenda. This transition is important in the implementation of the ASEAN Vision 2020, as well as the Initiative for ASEAN Integration and the Roadmap for the Integration of ASEAN.
During this transition period, we began our preparations for the second six-year development plan toward achieving the goals of the ASEAN Vision 2020. Covering the period 2005-2010, the new plan should fully benefit from the insights derived and lessons learned from the implementation of the HPA.
Much was accomplished during the term of the HPA and we are called upon to build on those accomplishments. In this regard, I am greatly pleased to observe that all of the ASEAN member countries have participated actively and constructively during the meetings of the 37th ASEAN Standing Committee. I extend to Member States and their delegations my heartfelt appreciation.
should also like to express my gratitude to the ASEAN Secretariat and its hardworking staff for their invaluable services and assistance, which helped to ensure the success of all meetings of the 37th ASEAN Standing Committee.
Finally, I pledge Indonesia’s support and cooperation to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic as the incoming Chair of the ASEAN Standing Committee. I am confident that under the able leadership pf H.E. Somsavat Lengsavad, the ASC will be even more successful in the furtherance of ASEAN Cooperation.