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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     August 17,  2016  

ASEAN celebrates its community during 49th anniversary

JAKARTA, 15 August 2016 – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), for the first time as an ASEAN Community, observed its 49th anniversary on 8 August 2016. A celebration was held today at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In his welcome remarks, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Le Luong Minh highlighted the progress that ASEAN has achieved in the last 49 years, which enabled ASEAN to play a central role in the evolving regional architecture in helping reduce tensions, maintaining peace, stability and promoting economic and cultural cooperation beyond Southeast Asia. He said, “Indeed, ASEAN has come a long way from the limited aspirations of trade and economic cooperation in its early days in divided southeast Asia with serious security concern.”

In her opening speech, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, H.E. Retno Marsudi stressed the relevance of ASEAN centrality and unity as a key principle in achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. She said ‘This principle is key to realize a more ‘down to earth’ ASEAN where ASEAN delivers concrete benefits for our peoples.”

The people-centered celebration also included a panel discussion on ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons, hosted by the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives (ASEAN CPR) during which they shared good practices on anti-trafficking initiatives.

A series of other commemorative activities were also held throughout the day at the ASEAN Secretariat to mark the regional bloc’s 49th founding anniversary. The ASEAN Women’s Circle ran the Food Festival to showcase the ASEAN culinary traditions along with an exhibition of Batik motif. Other highlights of the day included an ASEAN Trivia Booth for visiting students and youth and various performances to celebrate the artistry of ASEAN Community.

ASEAN was founded in Bangkok, Thailand on 8 August 1967 when the five founding fathers signed the ASEAN Declaration. The five original members are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, ASEAN enlarged its membership with the inclusion of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

The 10 Member States established the ASEAN Community in December 2015 with a goal of bringing more opportunities and benefits to the peoples.


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This year in Thailand-what next?

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By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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