The charter of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has received a warm welcome from political organisations around the world, shortly after it was formalised in Jakarta, Indonesia on December 15.
The European Union (EU) on December 15 congratulated the entry into force of the charter, calling it an important day for the regional bloc on its path to create a rule-based organisation and the ASEAN Community for the benefit of all its people.
The EU's French presidency issued a statement on the same day, saying that the Charter will help to deepen economic and trade relations within ASEAN and contribute to regional peace and prosperity.
Meanwhile, the EU presidency also said that the Charter will promote relations between the EU and ASEAN, both economically and politically, adding that the EU and several member states have already announced their intention to accredit ambassadors to the ASEAN General Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Canada has also welcomed the signing of a charter as a “significant achievement”, opening a new chapter in the relations between ASEAN and Canada.
“The ASEAN charter heralds a new chapter in the already close partnership between ASEAN and Canada,” said Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon. “Its entry into force marks an important step toward establishing an ASEAN community comprising the ASEAN Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.”
Canada has been a dialogue partner with ASEAN for more than three decades and its trade with the bloc exceeded 13 billion USD last year.
The ASEAN Charter was formalised in Jakarta on December 15, during the bloc's foreign ministers' meeting.
The charter, signed in November 2007, aims to establish rules of membership in order to transform ASEAN into a legal entity in the region by 2015.
ASEAN consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.