Sunday, 9 August 2009

ASEAN commemorates 42nd anniversary with environment issue

Surin Pitsuwan, secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), delivers a speech during a commemoration activity in Jarkata, Indonesia, on Aug. 8, 2009. The ASEAN on Saturday marked the 42nd anniversary of its founding with the theme of "Green Asia" to reflect its care about environment. (Xinhua/Li Xiaoyu)

JAKARTA, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) commemorated its 42nd anniversary with theme of "Green Asia" to reflect its care about environment that has been deteriorated by climate change, the association's chief said here on Saturday.

"Today, we commemorate our 42nd anniversary, to commemorate achievements of we made to our people and the world's, just what our founding fathers wanted," said Surin Pitsuwan, the association's secretary general in his opening speech.

He said that climate change has been the top agenda of many countries, governmental bodies, inter-governmental summits et cetera.

"That's why we choose the topic for our commemorations' theme today," he said.

According to Surin, ASEAN is the home for so many species of flora and fauna that do not exist in other part of the world.

"ASEAN is just 3 percent part of the Earth but we have 20 percent of plants, animals, and marine species of the world's total," Surin said, adding that ASEAN contributed so much oxygen even though it emits much carbon dioxide too.

He said that making more comfortable and more livable Earth is the world's responsibility by preserving green environment.

According to Surin, all across ASEAN and the world that have ASEAN committee is commemorating the anniversary on Saturday.

"In London, Tokyo, Beijing, Brazil, for example, they are commemorating this anniversary. In fact, I just received messages from Moscow and Washington that they are commemorating this event, even though it's still early there," he said.

ASEAN consists of countries located in the Southeast Asia region, namely Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

According to the association's data in 2007, ASEAN has 576 million populations who lived on 4.5 million square meters. The countries have combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 1,282 trillion U.S. dollars with total trade of 1.616 trillion dollars.

Editor: Li Shuncheng

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