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ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan Believes Energy Cooperation Will Bring about a Better Future for the Region

8 August 2008 (Readers 874)
As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) celebrates its 41st year on August 8, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said that ASEAN was given a new identity, a renewed life and spirit with the signing of the ASEAN Charter in November last year. He believes that energy cooperation will bring about a better and secure future for the people of ASEAN.

The statement was part of his keynote speech delivered on August 7 at the Twenty-Sixth ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting in Bangkok. Dr. Surin said that the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta had received ratification instruments from seven Member States. He is confident that the remaining three Member States would have deposited their instruments before the end of the year and in time for the 14th ASEAN Summit, hosted by Thailand.

Dr. Surin explained that the ASEAN Charter would send a strong signal to the world of the regions resolve for deeper integration, which would help strengthen the region in facing the mounting challenges of rising energy prices, risks of supply security and climate change that are adversely impacting each countrys economic, political, environmental, and social well-being.

He said that the charter would open more opportunities for greater cooperation in the regional and international level. "There is more to be done in promoting energy-efficiency and conservation measures and awareness among the general public. Innovation to produce energy efficient products and trade should be encouraged. The development of clean, renewable, and indigenous energy is our guarantee for a secure future, while continued exploration for additional resources is our safeguard against volatilities in prices and supply risks. These are key areas for increased cooperation to bolster our capabilities in meeting challenges and remaining competitive in the global community.

The ASEAN Secretary-General said that he had been informed that the MOU for the ASEAN Power Grid was also in the process of ratification and that the ASEAN Petroleum Security Agreement (APSA) was expected to be signed on August 7.

He said, "More than ever, ASEAN enjoys strong and close relations with external partners. The ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, and Korea) cooperation is in its second decade with the adoption of the ASEAN+3 Cooperation Work Plan (2007-2017) in Singapore last year. New priority areas including in the energy sector have been set out for implementation. The ASEAN+3 gave birth to the East Asia Summit cooperation three years ago.

He also hoped that regional energy cooperation would be stepped up in the years ahead and would bring about a better and secure future for the people of ASEAN.

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