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Thailand to Make ASEAN a Stronger Organization

22 July 2008 (Readers 843)
Thailand is determined to make the Association of Southeast Asian Nations a stronger organization during its chairmanship of ASEAN.

The Thai government attaches great importance to promoting and developing relations with ASEAN. It has set out a policy to enhance the countrys role in strengthening ASEAN to realize the goal of creating an ASEAN Community.

Thailand has played an active in ASEAN since this regional grouping was founded in Bangkok in 1967. It was a key player in pushing for the establishment of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), launched in 1992, the formation of the security dialogue "ASEAN Regional Forum in 1994, and the enforcement of the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone in 1997. Most recently, Thailand has played an active role in enhancing ASEANs disaster management, following cyclone Nargis in Myanmar.

In his remarks at the press conference to release the Post-Nargis Joint Assessment Report on July 21 in Singapore, Deputy Prime Minister Sahas Bunditkul said that Thailands Don Mueang International Airport would continue to serve as a United Nations staging area for the mobilization of international humanitarian assistance into Myanmar for at least six months after cyclone Nargis. As the next Chair of ASEAN, he said that Thailand pledged to ensure that ASEAN, in partnership with the UN and the international community, would to continue to facilitate recovery in Myanmar and use this unique experience to improve the regional management arrangements for the sake of all people in this region.

Thailand is working closely with its ASEAN partners in building an ASEAN Community of Sharing and Caring by 2015. The ASEAN Community consists of three pillars, namely the ASEAN Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community, and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

The ASEAN Security Community aims to ensure that countries in this region live at peace with one another and with the world in a just, democratic, and harmonious environment. Toward this aim, ASEAN members pledge to rely on peaceful processes in the settlement of intra-regional differences and regard their security as fundamentally linked to one another and bound by geographical location, common vision, and shared objectives.

The goal of the ASEAN Economic Community is to create a stable, prosperous, and highly competitive ASEAN economic region, in which there is a free flow of goods, services, and investment. ASEAN will be established as a single market and production base, while its economic competitiveness will be enhanced.

The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community envisages a Southeast Asia bonded together in partnership as a community of caring societies and founded on a common regional identity. The Community will foster cooperation in social development aimed at raising the standard of living of disadvantaged groups and the rural population. It will seek the active involvement of all sectors of society, in particular women, youth, and local communities.

After the ongoing 41st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, which will end on July 24 in Singapore, Thailand will assume the chairmanship of ASEAN. The country will actively promote and enhance the interest and well-being of ASEAN, including efforts to build an ASEAN Community. It will also work effectively with other ASEAN partners to move ASEAN forward and make it a stronger organization.

Foreign Office, The Government Public Relations Department, Office of the Prime Minister
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