Special Report: ASEAN Day to be celebrated in Thailand


Thailand is moving with its ASEAN partners toward an ASEAN Community. As ASEAN will celebrate its 47th anniversary on 8 August 2014, Thailand will organize various activities to commemorate this event.

The Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will host ASEAN Day on Friday, 8 August. ASEAN Ambassadors, Friends of ASEAN, and members of the media are invited to join the opening ceremony.

According to a report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the event will highlight Thailand’s long-standing relationships with fellow ASEAN members and its ongoing preparations for the ASEAN Community in 2015 as part of the national agenda.

The objective is to further elevate awareness and understanding of the ASEAN Community among the public, especially young people. More than 600 students and teachers from 80 schools nationwide will also participate in the event.

The opening ceremony will commence with the raising of the Thai national flag and the ASEAN flag, followed by the ASEAN anthem, “The ASEAN Way.” Other activities will include an ASEAN Quiz competition for secondary school students, exhibitions on ASEAN and on the 100th anniversary of Dr. Thanat Khoman, ASEAN mini-games, ASEAN food stalls, a work display from the ASEAN Association of Thailand, and a seminar entitled “100 Years of Dr. Thanat Khoman: ASEAN from its birth toward a peaceful and prosperous community.”

Activities to mark ASEAN Day are held each year to promote awareness and understanding of the ASEAN Community among the Thai public. This endeavor will help raise the young generation’s preparedness for Thailand’s future in the ASEAN Community.

On 8 August 1967 the “Bangkok Declaration” gave birth to ASEAN, an organization that would unite Southeast Asian countries in a joint effort to promote economic cooperation and the welfare of their peoples. Dr. Thanat Khoman of Thailand was among the five foreign ministers, considered ASEAN’s founding fathers, who signed the document. The other four foreign ministers were from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

In 2008, Thailand was entrusted with the duty of the ASEAN Chairmanship. An important fact that made the Thai Chairmanship exceptional was that the ASEAN Charter, the guiding principles for the new ASEAN, came into force on 15 December 2008.

An important aspect, and one of the aspirations for the new ASEAN, is for ASEAN to become a community by 2015. Thailand’s ambition to build an ASEAN Community is also reflected in the theme that was chosen for the 15th ASEAN Summit in 2009. The theme – “Enhancing Connectivity, Empowering People” – echoed Thailand’s vision that in moving forward with the creation of an ASEAN Community, it should concentrate its efforts in three areas: creating a community that is action oriented, fostering a community that is interconnected both physically and through mutual understanding, and realizing the goal of a community that truly belongs to the peoples of ASEAN.