OPENING CEREMONY OF THE ASEAN-KOREA CENTRE
AND INAUGURAL COUNCIL MEETING
- The ASEAN-Korea Centre officially held its inauguration ceremony today at the International Conference Hall of the Press Center Building in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The Unveiling Ceremony of the Centre was presided over by H.E. Dr. Han Seung-soo, Prime Minister of the ROK, with the participation of H.E. Mr. Yu Myung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the ROK; H.E. Mr. Kasit Piromya, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, in the capacity of ASEAN Chair; H.E. Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, in the capacity of ASEAN-ROK Coordinator; and H.E. Mr. Sayakane Sisouvong, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN. Members of ASEAN diplomatic missions in Seoul as well as invited guests also attended the Opening Ceremony.
- At the 11th ASEAN-RoK Summit held in 2007 in Singapore, ASEAN and the Republic of Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing the ASEAN-Korea Centre. The MoU was ratified by all Member Countries in November 2008, laying the groundwork for the official opening of the Centre.
- The ASEAN-Korea Centre is an intergovernmental organization comprising the Republic of Korea and the ten ASEAN Member Countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The Centre's objectives are to increase trade, accelerate investment flows, invigorate tourism and enrich cultural exchanges between ASEAN and Korea.
- In conjunction with the launch of the Centre, the Council of Directors of the Centre held its Inaugural Meeting at the Press Center Building. The Meeting was attended by Council Directors appointed by each of the ASEAN nations and the Republic of Korea. the successful conclusion of the Meeting officially launched the ASEAN-Korea Centre, an international organization dedicated to enhancing cooperation between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea;
- The Council elected ASEAN Director General of Thailand as its Chairman. ASEAN Director General of Vietnam were elected as Vicechair and ASEAN Director General of Singapore was elected as Rapporteur of the Council. The Council also appointed Ambassador CHO Young-jai as the first Secretary-General of the ASEAN-Korea Centre. As a career diplomat, Ambassador Cho had been posted to various ROK Embassies abroad, including Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand as well as Washington D.C. He has also worked as the Director of the International Organization Division and as the Deputy Minister for Planning and Management in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea. Ambassador Cho has served as the ROK Ambassador to Italy and was the Permanent Representative of the ROK to international organizations based in Rome, such as FAO, WFP, and IFAD.
- During its Meeting, the Council approved the Plan of Operation, Internal Regulations, Annual Budget and the Annual Work Program of the Centre for 2009. The Work Program consists of various projects to promote trade and investment as well as cultural exchanges and tourism between ASEAN countries and Korea. In adopting these, the Council Directors expressed their commitment to work together and provide maximum cooperation to ensure the success of the ASEAN-Korea Centre.
- A special exhibition was also held to commemorate the Inauguration of the ASEAN-Korea Centre. The exhibition, entitled ASEAN PRISM, premiered today at the newly-opened ASEAN Hall, located on the 8th Floor of the Press Centre Building. The exhibition presents culturally inspired products from the ten countries of ASEAN and the Republic of Korea that harmonizes tradition with modern design.
Seoul, Republic of Korea 13 March 2009