Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-At-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore delivered the ASEAN Lecture on “The ASEAN Charter at 10: Prospects and Retrospect”.
Professor Tommy Koh delivering the ASEAN Lecture on 3 August 2017 (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)
3 August 2017– Professor Tommy Koh, Ambassador-At-Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore delivered the ASEAN Lecture on “The ASEAN Charter at 10: Prospects and Retrospect”. In his Lecture, he explained the history of the making of the ASEAN Charter and the reasons why the Charter is considered to be a revolutionary document. He also reviewed the suggestions made to amend the Charter.
Prof Koh considers the ASEAN Charter as a revolutionary document as it seeks to make a paradigm change to the nature of ASEAN. Before the Charter, ASEAN had weak institutions although it was strong on networks. He noted that after the establishment of the Charter, the ASEAN Way has been strengthened by a greater reliance on institutions and the rule of law.
He stressed the importance of the Charter where ASEAN has to be a people-oriented and a people-centred organisation. This meant that ASEAN must not be an elitist organisation where it is out of touch with its people. ASEAN must bring benefits to the citizens of ASEAN. The ASEAN Secretariat needs to make special efforts to cultivate our youths, young leaders, small and medium-sized businesses, the sports, media and arts communities to feel a sense of ownership of the organisation.
Participants at the ASEAN Lecture (Source: ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute)
Over 100 people, including diplomats, government officials, business leaders, academics, students and members of the media attended the lecture.
The ASEAN Lecture Series features high-level policy-makers, eminent scholars, public intellectuals and business leaders discussing transformative ideas that will shape the development of the region, in addition to fostering a better understanding of ASEAN, and its relations with the international community.
Click here to read the transcript of his Lecture.