ASEAN grouping will be strong by 2015: Envoy



Wednesday, 10 August 2011 02:00, Herald Reporter

The Association of the South East Asian Nations will become a vibrant international grouping with three major pillars by 2015, Indonesian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Eddy Poerwana has said.
Speaking to journalists at an event to mark this year's ASEAN Day in Harare on Saturday, Ambassador Poerwana said the three pillars were political and security, economic and social and cultural communities.
He said the ASEAN leaders agreed that the three pillars would ensure security of countries in South East Asia.

"These three pillars are for us to guarantee the security of the ASEAN territory. The security community will ensure that we defend our countries against any form of external aggression. The basic idea is to strengthen our relations for the prosperity of the region," he said.
Ambassador Poerwana said in 2008 ASEAN leaders adopted a charter making the grouping a legal entity that could make enforceable decisions.

"Previously, the organisation's decisions were based on friendly political relations but with the adoption of the charter, it is now a legal entity that makes binding decisions.
"What we agree on as ASEAN's position is what we will raise at international level as a regional grouping," he said.

Ambassador Poerwana said the hoisting of the ASEAN flag at the celebrations symbolised the unity among member-states. Mr Mohamad Nizan Mohamad who is the Malaysian charge d' affairs at the Malaysian Embassy in Zimbabwe, said the group wanted to forge relations with other international bodies such as the African Union, Sadc and the European Union. He said mechanisms would be put in place to establish relations with the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).