The launching of Positioning the ASEAN Community in an Emerging Asia: Thai Perspectives. A compilation of the views and recommendations of four Thai ASEAN unofficial Thai translation of ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together, which includes the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and its three blueprints, saw an overwhelming number of participants from both the public and private sector, academia, media, civil society organizations, and the diplomatic corps on 29 January 2016.
Mr. Jakkrit Srivali, Director-General of the Department of ASEAN Affairs opened the floor by welcoming all participants to the seminar and explained to the audience how and why the project came to fruition. He further hoped that the forum would be a platform where the audience will be beneficial to the community.
H.E. Mr. Virasakdi Fotrakul, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs then delivered his Opening Remarks, highlighting that the ASEAN Community should be a people-centred. Competitive, and globally connected Community, where everyone has a stake and on one is left behind.
The seminar, as moderated by Mr. Suriya Chindawongse Deputy Director-General of the Department of ASEAN Affairs, presents the views and recommendations of four Thai ASEAN experts namely, Mr. Kavi Chongittavorn, Dr. Termsak Chalermpalanupap. Dr. Suthad Setboonsarng, and Mr. Apichai Sunchindah, in shaping the ASEAN Community for the betterment of ASEAN peoples. Participants also included Ambassadors, representatives of the National Legislative Assembly, members of the media, Ambassador and the Permanent Representative of Thailand to ASEAN, and the Thai representative to the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, to name a few.
The panelists presented their views on the future of the ASEAN Community and underscored several key points indicating the need for ASEAN to reinforce its centrality in dealing with external powers and to strengthen its internal resilience in order to more efficiently deal with rising challenges in the region, and to promote greater awareness of and a sense of belonging to the ASEAN Community. Where internal resilience was highlighted in both the political-security section and the economic section, panelists touched upon on the socio-cultural aspect by suggesting greater attention to improving education and other technical skills as well as develop a plan to tackle the growing problem of an aging population so that ASEAN would truly embody a Community that leaves no one behind.
Overall, there was a sense of optimism that, with support of ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Community can better meet the expectations of the peoples of Southeast Asia, following the adoption of the ASEAN Community’s ten year vision (2016 – 2025).
The second part of the seminar in structured as a Q&A session whereby panelists candidly answer questions addressed to them. A wide variety of questions were brought to the stage including the fundamental principles of ASEAN such as non-interference and consensus decision making.
For those interested in obtaining the books launched at the seminar, please contact the Department of ASEAN Affairs at 02 203 5000 ext. 14384, or download the pdf versions at the following links:
Positioning the ASEAN Community in an Emerging Asia: Thai Perspectives: http://www.mfa.go.th/asean/contents/files/asean-media-center-20160204-120454-919449.pdf
ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together with unofficial Thai translations http://www.mfa.go.th/asean/contents/files/asean-media-center-20160203-160850-836205.pd