Reception to celebrate the handover of ASEAN Chairmanship for 2018

The Hague, 16 January 2018 - A dinner reception at the Indonesian Embassy in The Hague was convened on Tuesday, 16 January 2018 to celebrate the handover of ASEAN Chairmanship for 2018 as well as to raise awareness of ASEAN’s half-century journey which began with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration Bangkok, Thailand on 8 August 1967. Now ASEAN has matured and evolved to become a Community that is politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible.

ASEAN has also become a platform connecting to the world and has been successful in working with economies and bringing them to the table as Dialogue Partners.

Being the host of the event, Ambassador I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja in the capacity as Chairperson of the ASEAN Committee The Hague welcomed members of the ASEAN diplomatic corps both based in The Hague and Brussels, ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners as well as other stakeholders, namely: the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, the Van Vollenhoven Institute from Leiden University, Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), Groningen Research Centre for Southeast Asia and ASEAN of the University of Groningen and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

Ambassador Puja informed the public, particularly the stakeholders, about the core principles of ASEAN echoing unity and solidarity, known as “ASEAN Way”, a regional integration, which is based on consultation and consensus. He also informed about the historic strides in regional cooperation and the eagerness of the ASEAN, through its regional architecture, to work with stakeholders and Dialogue Partners towards a common aspiration for a world of peace, security and prosperity. 

Also presiding the occasion are Ambassador Jaime Victor Ledda of the Philippines and Ambassador Jaya Ratnam of Singapore. 

Ambassador Ledda highlighted that the year 2017 was a landmark year for ASEAN and the Philippines is proud to have been ASEAN’s Chair during its 50th Anniversary. The theme for 2017 was “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”.  Ambassador Ledda presented ASEAN’s achievements during the Philippines Chairmanship.

On a separate presentation, Ambassador Ratnam conveyed that Singapore is honoured to assume the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2018, and assured that Singapore will build on the foundation laid by previous Chairs to advance the ASEAN Community. Ambassador Ratman itemized what are expected during Singapore’s Chairmanship focusing on its twin themes - “Resilience and Innovation”, as ASEAN moves forward to the next 50 years

As a background information, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines turned over his chairmanship to the next in line, Singapore - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong which concluded the 31st Summit of the ASEAN in Manila last November 2017.