Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul S. Hernandez agreed to assume the next rotating six-month chairmanship of the ASEAN Committee in Seoul (ACS) from the outgoing head, Malaysian Ambassador Dato’ Rohanabinti Ramli, in turnover ceremonies at the latter’s official residence on June 26.
Despite arriving only in late May and even before presenting his credentials to President Park Geun-hye, Ambassador Hernandez indicated his readiness to chair the ACS starting on the 1st of July, six months ahead the country’s turn in the alphabetical rotation in order to ensure the continuity of “ASEAN’s strong representation in Seoul.”
At the meeting, Malaysia’s last event as chair for the January-June 2014 period, Ambassador Rohana proposed the creation of a troika for the ACS chairmanship, reflecting the structure of the leadership succession in ASEAN itself. The motion was approved by the other seven ambassadors and chargés d’affaires present.
Myanmar was scheduled to take up the leadership of the gathering of ASEAN ambassadors in the latter half of this year, but passed up the opportunity given that its new ambassador had yet to arrive. It will now take up the chairmanship in early 2015 after the Philippines relinquishes the position at the end of December 2014.
As chair for the second half (H2) of 2014, the Philippines will be the lead ASEAN embassy in Seoul to backstop crucial events marking the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-Korea dialogue partnership this year, including the ASEAN-Korea Commemorative Summit to be hosted by President Park in early December 2014.
Like ASEAN Committees in other cities around the world, the ASEAN Committee in Seoul gathers all the heads of the ASEAN diplomatic and consular missions resident in Seoul in order to coordinate their common actions, policies and initiatives vis-à-vis the host government for greater effect.
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