ASEAN EMBARKS ON
NEW ERA - ASEAN Charter Fully Ratified
The ASEAN Charter has been
fully ratified by all ten ASEAN Member States.
The final ASEAN Member State, Indonesia, has ratified
the Charter in accordance with its internal procedure.
The ASEAN Secretary-General, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, heartily
welcomes Indonesia's ratification of the ASEAN Charter,
saying that this decision of the House of Representatives
of Indonesia today assures the entry into force of the
historic ASEAN agreement before the end of 2008.
Dr Surin said, "History was made when the ASEAN
Leaders signed the Charter on the 20th of November 2007.
When they next meet at the 14th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok
in December 2008, the Leaders will be able to toast to
a new ASEAN era." Dr Surin added, "We in ASEAN
thank Indonesia and all other ASEAN Member States for
their support for and expeditious ratification of the
"ASEAN will be a rules-based, people-oriented and
more integrated entity. After the formal entry into force
of the Charter, our community-building will shift to a
higher gear with full steam forward," he stressed.
Dr Surin added, "Given the current financial turmoil
around the world, a real prospect of a more integrated
and solid ASEAN will be welcomed by the international
So far, seven ASEAN Member States have deposited their
instruments of ratification with the Secretary-General
The Philippine Senate on 8 October approved the ratification
of the Charter, with only one dissenting vote. In mid-September,
the Thai Parliament passed a legislation to enable the
Thai Government to undertake necessary legal follow-ups
to the ASEAN Charter. The new legislation is awaiting
the signature of His Majesty the King and its promulgation
in the Royal Gazette. After that, Thailand's ratification
of the Charter will be complete.
Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand will each deposit
its instrument of ratification with the ASEAN Secretary-General.
The Charter shall enter into force on the 30th day following
the deposit of the tenth instrument.
"We now look forward to an early entry into force
of the ASEAN Charter before the ASEAN Leaders meet in
Bangkok for their summit," said Dr Surin.
Dr Surin also thanked ASEAN's Dialogue Partners for
their faith and confidence in ASEAN and its peoples. The
U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, have announced
the appointment of their respective Ambassadors to ASEAN
to work directly with the ASEAN Secretary-General and
the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.
"These appointments demonstrate the confidence
and goodwill of these countries for ASEAN and its peoples.
We certainly appreciate their gesture of goodwill and
we expect more Dialogue Partners to follow their lead,"
said Dr Surin.