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ASEAN: Summit in Thailand to Proceed Despite Fears of Protests

Updated On: Sep 22, 2009

As leaders from nine other ASEAN countries and six dialogue partner countries have signaled they will participate in the ASEAN Summit, Thailand has stated that anti-government protestors will not be allowed to get inside the ASEAN Summit's venues.

Thailand, which is the current chair of ASEAN, will host the 15th ASEAN Summit and related meetings during Oct. 23-25 in central beach resort town Cha-am and Hua Hin.

"We are pretty sure that this time nothing will disturb the meeting," said Vitavas Srivihok, Director-General of ASEAN Affairs Department at Thailand's Foreign Ministry.

In mid-April the ASEAN Summit and related meetings in central resort town Pattaya were canceled due to violent protests by thousands of members of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD).

Thailand will push for the establishment of an ASEAN Community within six years as indicated in the ASEAN Charter.

Issues including the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, food and energy security, natural disaster management, climate change, financial crisis and educational promotion within the region will be raised in the upcoming summit.

"The most important agenda in the meeting is the announcement of the establishment of an ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights and seeking its commissioners from the 10 member countries with three-year terms," said the director-general.

Mr Vitavas added the leaders will also hear recommendations regarding the study on an East Asian Free Trade Agreement (EAFTA) and the study on Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA), which will lead to the future establishment of working committee at the governmental level.

The director-general said that the Foreign Ministry will propose some 20 documents of the ASEAN Summit for Cabinet consideration, two of which deal with establishing an ASEAN-China Centre and an Agreement on Diplomatic Privilege Immunity to be forwarded to Parliament.

The leaders are also scheduled to meet with representatives of Parliament, youth and civil society from ASEAN countries on October 23 - the first day of the summit. Thailand, as the host country, wants to set up a meeting between civic representatives and ASEAN leaders. In an earlier summit in February, prime ministers from Myanmar/Burma and Cambodia refused to meet two civil representatives from their countries.

The regional bloc comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, as well as the host, Thailand, while the six dialogue partners are China, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.

Source:

Antara News, All Asian leaders to attend October summit: Thailand, 21 Sept 2009, http://www.antara.co.id/en/news/1253535638/all-asian-leaders-to-attend-o...

Philippine Star, Thailand ensures no anti-government protest in ASEAN Summit venues: Senior official, 21 Sept 2009, http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=507563&publicationSubCate...

MCOT News, Foreign Ministry: 16 leaders will attend 15th ASEAN Summit in Thailand, 21 Sept 2009,  http://enews.mcot.net/view.php?id=11929

The Nation, Asean leaders not keen on meeting activists at summit, http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2009/09/21/regional/regional_30112707.ph...







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