ASEAN Summit Gets Under Way
Cha-Am Hua Hin, 23 October 2009
The 15th ASEAN Summit got under way today with a reaffirmation of regional commitment towards ASEAN integration and community building.
In his Opening Speech, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand said that as the region moves on to a new phase, it can look back with pride on what it has achieved together in the past year including initiatives on addressing the economic and financial crisis, pandemic disease, climate change and on issues involving food security.
In a historic move, the Leaders had inaugurated the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) during the day.
There was also an Informal Meeting with representatives from the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), ASEAN youth and ASEAN civil society.
During their meeting, the civil society representatives expressed their wish to see more engagement with regional governments in their activities. They also said that they wanted to be more involved in ASEAN community building and be given the opportunity to engage with relevant authorities on issues facing the region such as the economic crisis.
During the meetings, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, expressed his readiness to work with all stakeholders towards regional community building.
The Summit continues tomorrow with individual meetings with the Leaders of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and India respectively and the ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) Summit. It concludes with the East Asia Summit on the 25th.