ASEAN foreign ministers endorse landmark Charter

SINGAPORE, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) — Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Monday accepted a new charter aiming to transform the grouping into a rules-based and more integrated regional entity.

    On the second day of the 13th ASEAN Summit and related meetings, the ministers listened to the presentation by the High Level Task Force of the ASEAN Charter, which will be submitted to and signed by the leaders of 10 member countries on Tuesday.

    Before the presentation, Singapore’s Foreign Minister George Yeo said the landmark document will take regional integration to a higher level.

    After the meeting, Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win told reporters that his country agrees with the charter, saying, “We will sign, sure.”

    Founded in August 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

    In order to be more ready to face challenges, ASEAN needs a legal foundation and institutional framework for building up the regional integration.

    In 2004, ASEAN leaders decided to introduce a Charter for the bloc, and hoped to realize ASEAN’s long-term goal of becoming a closely integrated regional entity through the implementation of the Charter.

    During the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting last July in Manila, the Philippines, all the participants agreed to endorse the Charter at this year’s summit.

    Set out principles and rules for ASEAN for the first time, the Charter will build a solid institutional framework that will facilitate a more focused and coordinated agenda.

Editor: Sun Yunlong

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