The Thai government has decided to reschedule the ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+6 summits and set the meeting venue. The move will help restore confidence in Thailand and show the country’s political stability.
ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan and Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva have held talks on the issue, after the 14th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, scheduled for April 11 and 12 in Pattaya, Chon Buri province, were abruptly cancelled.
The cancellation was made because a group of protesters, led by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship, stormed into the meeting venue at the Royal Cliff Beach Hotel. Concerned over the safety of visiting leaders, the Thai government decided to postpone the related summits. It is determined not to allow the renewed sessions with dialogue partners to end in failure. In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was assigned to coordinate with all countries involved regarding the new program. It is expected that the related summits will be held in June. The Ministry is considering Phuket in the South as the venue.
Mr. Surin said that all 15 ASEAN members and dialogue partners would like Thailand to host the ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+6 summits as soon as possible, He earlier said that what had happened in Pattaya and Bangkok would not erode the credibility and dignity of Thailand’s chairmanship of ASEAN. On the contrary, the restrained government responses showed the integrity of the Thai government in restoring law and order with admirable respect for life, safety, and constitutional rights of all.
He was confident that Thailand and its ASEAN partners would emerge from this chaos stronger and more determined to promote dialogue and cooperation, thus building lasting peace, security, and prosperity for all in individual countries, as well as in the ASEAN Community.
The ASEAN+3 Summit is a meeting between 10 ASEAN leaders and leaders of China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan. The ASEAN+6 Summit consists of the 10 ASEAN countries and six dialogue partners, namely China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, India, Australian, and New Zealand.
Leaders from ASEAN, China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan are expected to discuss ways and joint responses to boost the regional economies, as well as to encourage the early conclusion of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization by their finance ministers, following the 13th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Pattaya, from April 6 to 9. The Chiang Initiative Multilateralization has been expanded from 80 billion US dollars to 120 billion dollars.
The leaders are expected to endorse the expansion to enhance the regional surveillance mechanism to monitor the regional and global economic situation.