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ASEAN: Protocol on Dispute Settlement Mechanisms Signed
Source: aseansec.org
Source Date: Thursday, April 08, 2010
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Created: Apr 12, 2010

The Foreign Ministers of ASEAN today signed the Protocol to the ASEAN Charter on Dispute Settlement Mechanisms, further signaling ASEAN’s transformation into a rules-based organisation. The Protocol aims to put in place a mechanism to help ASEAN Member States resolve disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the ASEAN Charter. The Protocol also applies to other ASEAN instruments which do not specifically provide for dispute settlement mechanisms.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Viet Nam, H.E. Pham Gia Khiem, in his statement as the current Chair of ASEAN, said that the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN had reaffirmed their commitment to finalise three other instruments, namely the rules for references to the ASEAN Summit; the procedures for authorisation under international law and domestic law; and the rules of procedure for requesting the ASEAN Secretariat to interpret the ASEAN Charter, of which the first one shall become an integral part of the Protocol. The Foreign Ministers have now tasked their senior officials to complete the drafting of the instruments as soon as possible, and to submit a progress report at the 43rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 2010 in Ha Noi.

The Protocol would now be subjected to the respective internal procedures of the ASEAN Member States after the adoption and inclusion of the rules for references to the ASEAN Summit in the Protocol.

The signing of the Protocol, which would facilitate the implementation of the ASEAN Charter, follows that of the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of ASEAN that was signed by the Foreign Ministers in October 2009 in Cha-Am Hua Hin, Thailand.

The signing ceremony was held at the National Convention Center after the conclusion of the 6th Meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) which is mandated to prepare for the 16th ASEAN Summit. Cognisant of the need for enhancing ASEAN identity, the ACC adopted the Guidelines on the Use of the ASEAN Anthem, Name and Emblem. The ACC also called for the development of an ASEAN Communications Strategy in order to convey to both the ASEAN peoples and the world community about ASEAN. The ACC stressed that a people knowledgeable of ASEAN’s purposes and principles would be in a better position to contribute towards the ASEAN Community-building process.
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