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ASEAN Ascertains Region's Information Network in Response


on Monday, 22 June 2015. Posted in 2015, ASEAN Secretariat News

JAKARTA, 22 June 2015 - "ASEAN is concerned about the widening spread of Middle East
Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)," said H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN. "ASEAN is
taking initiatives on preparedness in responding to the MERS coronavirus (MERS CoV) disease," he
Today, a video conference took place among health experts in ASEAN together with their counterparts
from the World Health Organisation and from China and Japan in response to this health concern.
The conference was held to help ascertain the region's information network and share information and
experience on the current situation and what is being done in ASEAN and other countries towards
MERS. In this video conference, it was re-affirmed that sharing of lessons learned or sharing of
important and updated information in preparedness and response to MERS is very useful to the
internal preparations and response plans of the respective countries in the region.
It was also emphasized in the video conference the need for sharing up-to-date information,
enhancing country surveillance and public health investigation and risk communication, and observing
appropriate protocols for clinical management and public health emergency preparedness.
All ASEAN Member States have been strengthening their preparedness, prevention, detection,
information sharing and response mechanisms which were tested during the time of SARS until the
threat of Ebola. Among others, ASEAN has been vigilant in monitoring travel traffic within the region.

Timor-Leste FM Calls on ASEAN Sec-Gen

on Monday, 20 April 2015. Posted in 2015, ASEAN Secretariat News

JAKARTA, 20 April 2015 H.E. Hernani Coelho da Silva, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, called on H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of
ASEAN, at the ASEAN Secretariat on 17 April.
In his remarks, FM Coelho reiterated that ASEAN remains a key priority in Timor-Leste's foreign policy
and highlighted the nation's commitment and readiness to become a member of ASEAN. Timor-Leste,
Minister Coelho said, is making intensive preparations to boost its institutional capacity and human
capital to participate in ASEAN activities. The measures embarked upon include the establishment of
the General Directorate for ASEAN and the appointment of a Secretary of State for ASEAN Affairs
under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Timor-Leste also aims to complete the opening
of its embassies in all ASEAN capitals by the first semester of 2016. The country, he said, was looking
forward to ASEAN's approval of Timor-Leste's membership application as early as possible.
In commending Timor-Leste's nation-building efforts, especially in securing political stability,
developing a vibrant economy and fostering dynamic external relations, SG Minh said that he
appreciated Timor-Leste's strategic decision to become a member of ASEAN and its active efforts to
consolidate its bid for ASEAN membership. Boosting bilateral ties with all ASEAN Member States with
high-level visits and opening of Timor-Leste's embassies in many ASEAN capitals were all stepping
stones in this endeavour, he noted. SG Minh further reiterated the commitment of ASEAN and ASEAN
Member States to provide necessary assistance for Timor-Leste, especially in human resource
development and institutional building.
Minister Coelho, who assumed office on 16 February 2015 in the new VI Constitutional Government
of Timor-Leste, informed SG Minh that his nation has embarked on public administration reforms to
ensure a more efficient delivery of services for its people. Timor-Leste has also been actively
extending its bilateral relations and outreach in the region and beyond, based on the principles of
human rights, democracy, good governance, justice and the supremacy of international law. As part of
its international obligations, Timor-Leste is currently preparing to hold the Presidency of the
Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).
The visit to the ASEAN Secretariat was part of the foreign minister's activities in Jakarta prior to the
convening of the 60th Anniversary of the Asian-African Conference Commemoration in Jakarta and

ASEAN, Russia to Further Strengthen Economic Ties

on Monday, 20 April 2015. Posted in 2015, ASEAN Secretariat News

JAKARTA, 20 April 2015 - Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, H.E. Arkady Dvorkovich
paid an official visit to the ASEAN Secretariat today and met with Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E.
Le Luong Minh.
After his welcome remarks, Secretary-General Minh recollected with appreciation his visit to Russia
last year and the fruitful discussions he had with Russian officials on strengthening the ASEAN-Russia
partnership. Emphasising the good progress in the state of the relations, he underscored the various
achievements since ASEAN and Russia had forged the partnership and called on both sides to
continue to work closely to further enhance the partnership. ASEAN and Russia will commemorate the
20th Anniversary of their Dialogue Relations in 2016, and the celebrations will include a
commemorative ASEAN-Russia Summit.
Secretary-General Minh also briefed Deputy Prime Minister Dvorkovich on the progress in the ASEAN
Community building programme and expressed appreciation for Russia's support to ASEAN in
realising this vision. He noted with satisfaction the positive growth in trade and investment between
both sides as well as Russia's active participation in ASEAN-led mechanisms and fora, and in this
regard expressed appreciation to Russia for its support to ASEAN's central role in these mechanisms.
Other areas of mutually-beneficial cooperation mentioned by Secretary-General Minh included
cooperation in energy, ICT, infrastructure connectivity development, culture, science and technology,
arts and culture, and disaster management.
Deputy Prime Minister Dvorkovich, who also oversees Russia's economic affairs, stated that Russia
considers ASEAN as an important partner and acknowledged the enormous economic potential to be
gained from this partnership. He said that the current geopolitical environment in the Asia-Pacific
region is conducive for forging international cooperation and in this regard recognised the central role
played by ASEAN. Russia welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Community by 2015. He also
called for closer collaboration to develop practical cooperation projects between ASEAN and Russia.
He further informed Secretary-General of ASEAN of the Eurasia Economic Commission's desire to
work with ASEAN to increase trade and investment flows between the two regions.
The two exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues of common interest,
including the recent developments in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as well as the
forthcoming SCO Summit in July 2015 in Ufa, Russia. Before his departure, Deputy Prime Minister
Dvorkovich informed Secretary General Minh of Russia's intention to hold an inaugural Eastern
Economic Forum in Vladivostok August 2015 and extended an invitation for Secretary-General to
participate in this event.

ASEAN to Raise Public Awareness on Consumer

on Monday, 13 April 2015. Posted in 2015, ASEAN Secretariat News

JAKARTA, 13 April 2015 - International best practices and practical models, and guidelines to
develop effective consumer protection awareness campaign were discussed by ASEAN Member
States (AMS) at the 2nd Workshop on the Development of Public Awareness Models on Consumer
Protection. Held at the ASEAN Secretariat on 8 9 April, the workshop aimed to provide AMS with
additional tools to initiate or build upon existing advocacy programs that would empower consumers
by ensuring that they are well informed of their rights and responsibilities.
The highly interactive Workshop started with identification of the challenges of initiating advocacy
campaigns which, among others, included a lack of understanding of consumer behavior trends and
resource limitations. The participants underwent an elaborate four-step planning, development,
implementation and evaluation exercise. They were required to develop effective public awareness
campaigns in the five key priority areas identified in consumer protection which are: i)
telecommunications; ii) consumers entering loans; iii) food safety and quality assured foods; iv) online
purchases; v) defective goods and unsafe products.
The models are divided into basic, advanced and best practices models which differ based on the
resources invested and the extensive planning involved. The workshop noted that a good campaign
will take approximately five years in order to achieve a sustained behavioral change where consumers
are well informed and more empowered to act against unfair practices such as defective products or
unfair contracts, and where companies are well aware of good governance.
Supported by the ASEAN Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II (AADCP II), the
ASEAN public awareness models and guidelines will soon be made available as a source of