KOTA KINABALU (Bernama) – Asean senior officials began their meeting yesterday morning in preparation for the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Retreat today.
The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM), attended by representatives from all the 10 member states, is being held at the Magellan Sutera Harbour Resort, chaired by Malaysian Foreign Ministry secretary-general Datuk Othman Hashim.
The Malaysian delegation also comprises Asean-Malaysia National Secretariat director-general Datuk Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob.
It is believed that the senior officials will follow up on, among others, decisions taken by Asean Leaders at the 25th Asean Summit in Myanmar last year on Asean Community building and the Asean Community Post-2015 Vision while the ACCWG meeting is expected to discuss, among others, a progress report of its activities.
Last night the Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman hosted a welcome dinner in honour of his Asean counterparts and the delegates. The ministers had an informal chat during the dinner.
In all, about 200 delegates from the 10 Southeast Asian nations are expected to attend the Asean Foreign Ministers’ Retreat and other preparatory meetings from Jan 26 to 28.
Another preparatory event, the Meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to Asean (CPR), took place on Monday.
The foreign ministers’ retreat is the first in a series of Asean meetings under Malaysia’s chairmanship of Asean this year.
Malaysia assumed the Asean chairmanship on Jan 1, taking over from Myanmar. Malaysia’s vision throughout the chairmanship – themed ‘Our People, Our Community, Our Vision’ – is the creation of a people-centred Asean involving all sectors of society in the grouping’s activities.
Asean (the Association of South East Asian Nations) groups are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.