Issues such as activities for 2013, implementation of the ASEAN Political Security Community Blueprint, ASEAN centrality, as well as cross-sectoral coordination were center to the discussion themes during the ASEAN Defence Ministers and the Minister representing the Defence Minister retreat. The session took place in the historical city of Siem Reap on 16 November 2012.
2013 will be an exciting year for the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) as three field exercises; ADMM-Plus Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief and Military Medicine Exercise – termed the AHMX, counter terrorism, and maritime security will be carried out. In preparation, this year alone, two table-top exercises on military medicine and maritime security were conducted successfully in Tokyo on 17-20 July 2012 and in Langkawi on 3-7 September 2012, respectively.
Cambodian Honours for the ASEAN Secretariat
The ASEAN Secretariat has every reason to cheer today, as Cambodia award one of the highest honours on some of its senior staff.
Leading the list is ASEAN Secretary-General, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, who was awarded the “Grand Cross of the Sahakmetrey Order, a Class 5 award. Officially known as the Kroeung Essariyakyuos Sahakmetrey Order, this the highest class of the 5 classes, and the honour is decided by His Majesty, the King.
“The order is conferred to foreign citizens who displayed outstanding efforts to develop friendship and cooperation between an organization with Cambodia.
“Your 5-year term in the services of ASEAN has been marked with many successes that cannot be separated from your personal involvement. The Grand Cross is just a token of our appreciation for the hard work you have rendered to the people of ASEAN, and to the people of Cambodia,” said the citation.
“It is indeed an honour to receive the award. I also want to thank my team at the ASEAN Secretariat, for their whole-hearted support all these years. I am sure they will continue to put in all their best for ASEAN,” said Dr Surin, who also thanked Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen and his officials, as well as the people, for their hospitality, and the excellent organization of the 21st ASEAN Summit and other related Summits.
The honour list also included the current and former ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General for Economics.
Dr Lim Hong Hin, and Mr Pushpanathan are both awarded the Class 3 of the Sahakmetrey Order, the Commander of the Sahakmetrey Order.
“This is a proud and humbling moment. It reminds me of the responsibilities we carry on our shoulders, and our pledge to work for the good of ASEAN and all its people,” said Dr Lim.
Reflecting the same sentiments, Mr Pushpanathan said he is touched that the hard work by him and his team were not forgotten.
“ASEAN’s work is a lifelong commitment. It goes beyond the call of duty. I still recall each and every ASEAN member State with fond memories and affection,” said Mr Pushpanathan, who spent more than 16 years at the ASEAN Secretariat.
The following staff were also awarded the Class 4 – Officer of the Sahakmetrey Order: 1. Mrs Anna Robeniol 2. Mr Tan Tai Hiong 3. Mrs Glanda T Ryes 4. Mrs Mariana Sushanti 5. Mrs Yuanita Ruchyat, and 6. Mr Beny Irzanto