Malaysia, and Lao PDR Ratify the ASEAN Charter
JAKARTA, February 20, 2008 (ASEAN Secretariat) —
Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, and Lao PDR have joined Singapore
in ratifying the ASEAN Charter.
Brunei Darussalam deposited its instrument of ratification
on 15 February 2008; Malaysia and Lao PDR's followed suit
this afternoon, 20 February 2008.
In a simple ceremony in Singapore on the sidelines of
the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan,
Secretary-General of ASEAN, handed over to the Minister
of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei Darussalam, H.R.H.
Mohamed Bolkiah, a copy of letter of acknowledgement for
the deposit of Brunei Darussalam's instrument of ratification.
H.E. Tan Sri Rastam Mohd. Isa, Secretary-General of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, representing
the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, deposited
Malaysia's instrument of ratification with Dr. Surin at
the ceremony in Singapore this afternoon.
Similarly, H.E. Dr. Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR,
also deposited the instrument of ratification with Dr.
H.E. George Yeo, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chairman
of the 41st ASEAN Standing Committee, said that the ceremony
was simple but very important and meaningful.
Singapore was the first to ratify and deposit its instrument
of ratification. Its deposit of the instrument was done
on 7 January 2008, at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta,
immediately after Dr. Surin officially assumed the post
of the Secretary-General of ASEAN.
Dr. Surin said at the ceremony in Singapore this afternoon
that he was "the happiest man" in the ceremony,
because his job would be dependent on the support of all
ASEAN Member States for the ASEAN Charter. He is hopeful
that the momentum for the ratification of the ASEAN Charter
will increase and other 6 ASEAN Member States will soon
be able to ratify it. The Charter shall enter into force
on the 30th day after the date of deposit of the 10th
instrument of ratification.
ASEAN Leaders signed the ASEAN Charter during their 13th
ASEAN Summit in Singapore on 20 November 2007. They expressed
hope to see the Charter's entry into force by the time
they meet at the 14th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok later in
2008, so that they can celebrate the ASEAN Charter at
the Saranrom Palace, where the ASEAN Declaration was signed
by the five founding fathers of ASEAN on 8 August 1967.