ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Asean Ministerial Meeting
Group to set up permanent representatives in January
The Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) will set up the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) on January 1 2009 to take over much of the regional-level coordination that is under the Asean Standing Committee's (ASC) purview, Malaysian news agency Bernama quoted Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo as saying Saturday.
Yeo who is ASC chairman said with the signing of the Charter by Asean leaders last November, the grouping has opened a new chapter in its history.
"(Through CPR) the directors-general, who remain heads of their national secretariats, will focus on coordination at the national level.
"However, the division of duties should not be a stark one. We need the CPR and the Asean directors-general to work closely together and keep the Asean machinery humming along," he said at the closing session of the 41st ASC meeting here Saturday.
Yeo said the ASC performed a critical function in the entire Asean machinery.
"Asean is like an elaborate timepiece with the ASC at its heart ensuring that all the parts are in sync," he said. He said the past year has been a challenging one for Asean.
"We have worked hard to draft the Charter. We are working equally hard now to get it ratified by the Bangkok Summit later this year."
Yeo said the ASC has been busy with the various blueprints and work plans and also stepped up its cooperation with dialogue partners.
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