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Ministerial Meeting
August 2, 2007

Agreement brings Sri Lanka, Bangladesh into family
Foreign Affairs Secretary and ASEAN Standing Committee Chair Alberto G. Romulo hailed the accession of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to the region’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) as a “positive move that further broadened stakeholder participation in the shared pursuit of greater peace, progress and prosperity for the region.”

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh became the 13th and 14th countries to accede to the ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia in simple ceremonies during the Post Ministerial Conferences of the 40th ASEAN Ministerial Meetings on August 1 at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama signed for Sri Lanka; Foreign Affairs Adviser and Foreign Minister Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury signed for Bangladesh.

Secretary Romulo said Sri Lanka and Bangladesh’s accession came at “a most opportune time” and “reaffirmed a partnership for and shared commitment to security, stability and development in the region.”

“The TAC embodies our aspirations and commitments with our partners within and outside the region. The accession of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka demonstrates the widening of the ASEAN family based on shared values,” Secretary Romulo added.

Under the TAC, State Parties shall be guided by the fundamental principles of mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity and national identity of all nations.

State Parties shall also be guided by: the right of every State to lead its national existence free from external interference, subversion or coercion; non-interference in the internal affairs of one another; settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful means; renunciation of the threat or use of force; and effective cooperation among State Parties.

Signed in Indonesia on Feb. 24, 1976, the TAC raised the provisions of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality in 1971 to the level of a treaty to which other Southeast Asian countries could accede and with which the non-regional countries could associate themselves.

To this day, TAC remains the only indigenous regional diplomatic instrument providing a mechanism and processes for the peaceful settlement of disputes. Office of the Press Secretary, Philippines


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