ASEAN's staff recognised for its hard work, perseverance, creativity and diversity

Often overlooked in the speeches of the leaders of South East Asia and Asia-Pacific, the ASEAN Secretariat and its staff were highlighted by Indonesia's President, Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, on ASEAN Day.

“ASEAN has remain in the driver’s seat, and it has shown it is capable of managing regional affairs,” said the President, speaking as the Head of State of the ASEAN Chair.

He particularly complimented the Secretary-General, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, and his staff at the ASEAN Secretariat for their hard work, perseverance, and creativity in supporting the regional grouping.

Commenting on the frustrations which the staff must have felt sometimes, he urged them to persevere, as ASEAN is now on its “final lap before the finishing line to the ASEAN Community in 2015.”

Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, also noted that the ASEAN Secretariat "is more than the building. It is the hard work of the staff.”

He added that it is “in the Secretariat – more than any other place – which best captures the spirit of unity in diversity.”

The ASEAN Secretariat is based in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia.