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Jakarta Post

Making ASEAN for the people

  • Pokpong Lawansiri

Bangkok   /   Thu, December 4 2008   /  10:47 am

As the country currently chairing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently came up with the campaign slogan: "ASEAN Charter for ASEAN People," referring to the organizations newly ratified charter. To observers of ASEAN, this phase comes as a new and positive change. This sub-regional, inter-governmental body has always been referred to as the governments' club and has been constantly criticized for its lack of involvement from the people of its member nations. On Oct. 21, 2008, Indonesia became the final ASEAN member state to ratify the Charter. In accordance with the country's internal procedures, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, said that, "ASEAN will be a rules-based, people-oriented and more integrated entity". It is highlighted in the chapter relating to the purpose of ASEAN...