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Thailand assumes Asean chairmanship


July 25, 2008

Asean Ministerial Meeting:
Thailand assumes Asean chairmanship

Thailand on Thursday pledged to realise its commitments under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Charter, to revitalise people-centered community and to reinforce human development and security for peoples in the region as it took over the Asean chairmanship from Singapore, reported TNA.

The handing over ceremony of the Asean chairmanship was conducted between Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo and Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Sahas Banditkul following the close of the 41st Asean foreign ministers meeting held in Singapore.

Thailand Hote
Thailand will assume the Asean chairmanship for 18 months, until December 2009. The 10-member countries of the bloc will join in the 14th Asean summit in Bangkok this December under the theme "Asean Charter for Asean Peoples".

In a speech after handing over the Asean chairmanship, Sahas said: "The signing of the Asean Charter has opened a new Chapter in Asean history providing a legal and institutional framework for a more integrated Asean Community.

Thailand's actions may be summarised by "The Three Rs", he said. Firstly, it wants to realise its commitments under the Asean charter through pursuing the "establishment and implementation of new Asean organs envisaged in the Charter," Sahas said.

He said Asean must continue to remain an "outward-looking organisation through our active engagement with Dialogue Partners and other Development Partners."

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