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17 December 2009
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Asean marks charter’s first anniversary

The Asean Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Tuesday observed the first anniversary of the Asean Charter which was adopted at a special Asean foreign ministers meeting in Jakarta on December 15, 2008.

The Charter which aims to transform Asean from a loose association of states to a more integrated and rules-based organisation, has many ground-breaking institutional arrangements and inspirational goals in its provisions.

"We are now in high gear placing all the elements of the Asean Charter into place," said Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, according to press statement from the Asean Secretariat, Tuesday.

On the first anniversary of the Charter’s entering into force, a new Jakarta-based Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) to Asean institution was established under the charter.

Consisting of full-time permanent representatives from the Asean member States, the CPR will coordinate on a broad range of issues and with all relevant stakeholders.

The first year of the implementation of the Charter also saw the Asean Summit as the supreme policy-making body in Asean. There has also been a flurry of non- Asean member states and inter-governmental organization appointing and accrediting their ambassadors to Asean. In fact, some 27 non- Asean ambassadors have been accredited to Asean.

Another Asean initiative was the launch of the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) by the Asean leaders at the 15th Asean Summit in Thailand in October 2009.



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