Thailand accepts ASEAN Chairmanship for 2019 , vows to ‘advance partnership for sustainability’

Marje Pelayo   •   November 15, 2018   •   4541

 

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong formally hands over the ASEAN chairmanship to Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha during the closing ceremony of the 33rd Asean Summit on November 15, 2018.

 

SINGAPORE – The Chairmanship of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was finally handed over by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha at the conclusion of the 33rd ASEAN Summit on Thursday (November 15).

In his closing remarks, the outgoing ASEAN Chair Prime Minister Lee thanked all ASEAN members and outside partners for the support towards Singapore’s vision of a resilient and innovative ASEAN.

He presented an infographic that reflects all the initiatives that ASEAN was able to established under Singapore’s leadership this year.

He called on all ASEAN members to maintain the spirit of unity and “continue to think regionally” despite individual and national interests.

“This is just the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for us. We are not and never will be done building and strengthening the ASEAN Community. We must continue to uphold the ASEAN friendship framework and engage our partners, keep our region open. We must be on the core of economic integration and pool our talents and resources to improve our people’s lives,” Prime Minister Lee said.

“Singapore has full confidence that Thailand as the incoming ASEAN chair will continue to take ASEAN forward and will uphold to continue working with the rest of the ASEAN family to fulfill our common goal – one vision, one identity, one community,” he added as he formally handed over the chairmanship to Thailand.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha in his acceptance speech vowed that: “Thailand will continue the good work on issues to which ASEAN has given priority in the past years.”

Specifically, PM Prayuth emphasized the ASEAN Smart Cities Network which aims at ensuring continuity and and sustainability in the ASEAN community.

He noted that since the establishment of ASEAN in 1967, it is commendable that the regional bloc has grown into becoming “a community and a region of peace and security” and has grown as the 6th largest economy in the world with roles recognized internationally.

He hopes that ASEAN will be able to grow to become the 4th largest economy in 2030.

The Thai prime minister acknowledges that there are a number of challenges ahead and so he encouraged all ASEAN member states to continue working in unity.

“All 10 countries must collaborate even more closely on the foundation of ASEAN unity on the principle of three M’s – mutual trust; mutual respect; and mutual benefit – to realize concrete deliverables and sustainability for ASEAN in all dimensions,” he said.

Before he ended his speech, the incoming Chair announced next year’s ASEAN theme which is “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability.”

In accordance with the regional grouping’s rotating chairmanship, Singapore will again have its turn as host of the ASEAN in year 2028. – Marje Pelayo

Give your best shot! Join the ASEAN-wide photo contest

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 9, 2020

The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity has launched a photo contest open to all amateur and professional photographers from the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Photographs are powerful visual tools that can tell a story, spark appreciation, and even inspire action. Through…

Posted by Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines on Tuesday, September 8, 2020

This year’s theme, “Healing with Biodiversity: Building a Better Normal”, aims to promote appreciation for the region’s rich biodiversity and thereby promote its conservation to prevent future pandemics.

Interested individuals can https://aseanbiodiversity.org/zoomingin/ and check out this video for more information: https://www.facebook.com/ASEANBiodiversity/videos/2350271111946475/

Deadline of submission will be on September 21.

Schools across Thailand reopen after coronavirus cases slow down

UNTV News   •   July 1, 2020

Schools across Thailand re-opened on Wednesday (July 1) with coronavirus prevention measures in place, following months of closure.

Nearly 5,000 students returned to Sam Khok school, about 50 km north of Bangkok, wearing face masks and receiving face shields and temperature checks from the school.

“Once students arrive at school, teachers hand face masks to them because it’s mandatory to wear them. We (school) are also providing face shields for students’ project presentations or for eating,” said principal Chuchart Thiengtham.

He added that students were told to stay in home quarantine for 15 days before school re-started as an extra precaution.

The school has also turned old ballot boxes into classroom partitions to enforce social distancing between students.

“I feel safe, but annoyed at the same time because partition blocked my view,” said 17-year-old student, Soponwich Thianthong.

Thailand on Wednesday marked 37 days without a case of local transmission. The coronavirus has killed 58 people among its 3,173 infections.

The country has extended an emergency decree until the end of July in a bid to avoid the risk of a second wave of the coronavirus, although it is also set to ease more restrictions on Wednesday, including reopening bars and allowing some foreigners into the country. (Reuters)

(Production: Vorasit Satienlerk, Jiraporn Kuhakan)

No more touching: Thai mall installs foot pedals in elevators

UNTV News   •   May 21, 2020

No more touching in the elevators as a Thai shopping mall in Bangkok installed foot pedals for customers to step on instead of pressing the buttons, lowering the risk of having to be exposed to germs.

“Now everyone is worried about getting infected with the COVID-19 and the easiest way to get infected is that when you touch an object that has been contaminated with the COVID-19 virus, and then eventually touch your face and the virus will go into your mouth, your eyes or whatever. So, we came up with this idea of hand-free foot-operated elevator,” said Prote Sosothikul, the vice president of Seacon Development PLC which oversees the mall.

The foot-operated elevator pedal system is also welcomed by mall customers, saying they felt safer to use the lift without actually touching the buttons, reducing the risk of getting infected.

“I think they did a good job in preparing this. I feel much safer… Now that we can use our foot to press the elevator, it’s really great,” said 26-year-old Watcharaporn.

Thailand on Sunday (May 17) reopened malls and department stores for the first time since March in its second phase of relaxing measures as the number of new cases slowed.

Thailand has reported a total of 3,034 cases of the coronavirus and 56 deaths. (Reuters)

(Production: Artorn Pookasook, Juarawee Kittisilpa)

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