ASEAN "builds strong" Dispute Settlement Mechanisms

ASEAN is strongly committed to establishing dispute settlement mechanisms in all fields of cooperation, said Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Community and Corporate Affairs, Mr AKP Mochtan, in his opening remarks at a workshop to familiarize stakeholders with ASEAN Dispute Settlement Mechanisms (DSM) held in Siem Reap, Cambodia last week. “DSM is a key component in the realisation of a rules-based community, where the rule of law is strengthened and disputes are resolved through peaceful means with legal certainty and predictability,” Mr Mochtan told the participants.

According to Mr Mochtan, the successful conclusion of the Protocol to the ASEAN Charter on Dispute Settlement Mechanism in 2010 has shown ASEAN’s strong commitment to realise the ASEAN Charter’s objective of creating dispute settlement mechanisms in all fields of ASEAN cooperation. “This Protocol to the ASEAN Charter, together with the existing Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia and the Protocol on Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism (EDSM), is a significant achievement in establishing reliable and trustworthy dispute settlement mechanisms,” he added.

In his remarks, Dr SOK Siphana, Advisor to the Royal Government of Cambodia and Chairman of Board of Directors of the Cambodian Development Research Institute stated that “I believe that workshop would provide an excellent opportunity for all participants to obtain new knowledge and best lessons-learned with regard to the ASEAN disputes settlement mechanisms to better prepare themselves for the arrival of the ASEAN Community in 2015, which is only one year ahead and beyond.”

The Workshop, which was attended by Cambodian participants from various line Ministries, practicing lawyers, think-tanks, private and financial institutions and civil society organisations, as well as ASEAN Secretariat staff members, provided a forum for participants to exchange views and ideas with speakers and experts on ensuring the effectiveness of these mechanisms within both national and regional contexts. There was also a panel discussion that focused on challenges and next steps on the ASEAN Protocol on EDSM. 

The Workshop was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat and with the support of the “Capacity Building for the ASEAN Secretariat” project, a partnership between the ASEAN Secretariat and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, which is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.