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NZ to appoint Ambassador to ASEAN

Thursday 24 July 2008, 6:27PM

By Rt Hon Winston Peters

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New Zealand will appoint an Ambassador to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), says Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters.

Mr Peters made the announcement in Singapore at a meeting with ASEAN Ministers.

“The appointment comes at a time when ASEAN is moving to ratify a new Charter that will give ASEAN a legal personality – much like the United Nations – along with a more efficient structure,” Mr Peters said.

“Accreditation of a New Zealand Ambassador to ASEAN will be concrete evidence of our support for the organisation and its new Charter. It will also facilitate discussion with the Secretariat on projects of co-operation.

“New Zealand has a long history of working with ASEAN in fields ranging from security to education and has been a formal dialogue partner with ASEAN for more than 30 years.

“New Zealand’s ASEAN Ambassador is likely to be our resident Ambassador to Indonesia, where ASEAN has its headquarters. The Ambassador would serve both roles concurrently,” said Mr Peters.

ASEAN is made up of 10 countries in South East Asia: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.