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Ban Ki-moon signs agreement to bolster ties with Southeast Asian forum

Ban Ki-moon signs agreement to bolster ties with Southeast Asian forum

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today entered into an agreement with his counterpart at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to boost ties between the two organizations.

At a ceremony at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Ban and ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong signed a memorandum of understanding to increase cooperation in achieving regional peace and stability as well in reaching the Millennium Development Goals, a series of eight targets to eliminate poverty and other ills by 2015.

Under the memorandum, ASEAN and the UN will collaborate – through the exchange of information and expertise and joint technical assistance programmes – on issues of mutual interest in political, economic and socio-cultural areas, among others.

Both leaders will ensure that the agreement is implemented and that there is effective communication between the two Secretariats.

The granting of UN observer status to ASEAN by the General Assembly and today’s agreement reflect the recognition of the role of the 10-member forum in regional peace and development, Mr. Ong noted.

Acknowledging ASEAN’s contributions, Mr. Ban said the new pact is built on the long-standing relationship between the two organizations as well as the UN’s commitment to work closely with regional groups.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by ASEAN’s foreign ministers, who held a working luncheon with Mr. Ban today.