A busy week in Phnom Penh
Novan Iman Santosa
The Jakarta Post
Diplomats, officials and leaders from ASEAN member nations and their dialog partners have assembled in Phnom Penh for a series of meetings in conjunction with the 21st ASEAN Summit.
The two most anticipated events that will take place during the Summit are the launch of the contentious ASEAN Declaration of Human Rights and the launch of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)
Events began on Thursday with a series of meetings held by the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) throughout the day and culminated in a working dinner.
On Friday, the Senior Officials’ Preparatory Meeting (SOM) and the Senior Economic Officials’ Preparatory Meeting (SEOM) convened, both of which were held at the Sofitel Hotel.
Friday ended with an informal working dinner for the foreign ministers of ASEAN’s member nations.
From Saturday onward, the venue for the summit will move to Vimean Santepheap, also known as the Peace Palace, in the western part of the city, with other activities to be held at the adjacent Council of Ministers building.
The ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) will start Saturday morning, followed by the 8th meeting of the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Council and the Preparatory meeting for the ASEAN Economic Ministers (Prep-AEM).
After lunch, the 11th Meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) is expected to take place before the signing ceremony for the instruments for Brazil’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) and the extension of the TAC itself.
The 21st ASEAN Summit will officially open on Sunday, which will also see the official launch of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR).
The Phnom Penh Statement on the Adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration is also expected be signed on Sunday.
After lunch on Sunday, there will be the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting, before the day ends with a retreat.
On Monday, there are a number of ASEAN summits with dialog partners Japan, South Korea, China, India and the US, as well as the ASEAN Plus Three Commemorative Summit.
There are three documents slated to be signed on Monday: the ASEAN Agreement on Movement of Natural Persons, the third protocol to amend the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between ASEAN and China and the protocol to incorporate technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary issues into the agreement on trade in goods of the ASEAN-China economic cooperation framework.
The last day of the Summit will still be a busy day, starting with ASEAN Global Dialogue between ASEAN chiefs and the heads of international institutions, such as Asia Development Bank president Haruhiko Kuroda; IMF managing director Christine Lagarde; World Bank managing director Caroline Anstey; UN Conference on Trade and Development secretary-general Supachai Panitchpakdi and World Trade Organization director-general Pascal Lamy.
The East Asia Summit will get underway after lunch on Tuesday. followed by a retreat session. In the afternoon, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Negotiation will be officially launched before the ASEAN Summit ends.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is scheduled to present closing statements before handing over ASEAN’s rotating chair to Brunei Darussalam Sultan Hasanal Bolkiah.
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