ASEAN Embassies in Dili Celebrate the 55th Asean Day

Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta (fourth from right) joins ASEAN Ambassadors/representatives and key Timorese officials in doing the traditional ASEAN handshake. (From left to right: Malaysian Embassy CDA Nadia Azura Mohd Nudri, Brunei Ambassador Wan Hadfi Latif, Indonesian Ambassador Okto Dorinus Manis, National Parliament President Aniceto Guterres Lopes, Thai Ambassador Ekapol Poolpipat, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno, and Philippine Embassy CDA/First Secretary and Consul Dean Jason N. Arriola.)

16 August 2022 – The Embassies of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the Royal Thai Embassy jointly held the celebration of the 55th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the Royal Thai Embassy compound in Dili on 15 August 2022.

The formal ceremony consisted of the singing of the Timorese national anthem, the raising of the ASEAN flag and singing of the ASEAN Anthem, remarks by the most senior ASEAN Ambassador in terms of tenure in Dili and by the Guest of Honor, and the traditional slicing of the ceremonial cake.

Among key officials who graced the event were Timorese President and Nobel Peace laureate Jose Ramos-Horta as Guest of Honor, National Parliament President Aniceto Guterres Lopes, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno. Other attendees included Ambassadors and other officials from the diplomatic corps, Timorese government officials, and members of the business community.

Ambassador Ekapol Poolpipat of Thailand, Ambassador Okto Dorinus Manik of Indonesia, Ambassador Wan Hadfi Latif of Brunei Darussalam, Charge d’Affaires/First Secretary and Consul Dean Jason N. Arriola of the Philippines, and Charge d’Affaires Nadia Azura Mohd Nudri of Malaysia represented the ASEAN Embassies in Dili.

Ambassador Poolpipat, as the most senior ASEAN Ambassador in Dili, delivered remarks on behalf of the ASEAN group. He mentioned the impact of ASEAN in promoting regional peace and stability, and economic prosperity and development in Southeast Asia. He also noted the close collaboration among ASEAN Member States in dealing with common challenges, such as geopolitical rivalries, post-COVID-19 recovery, and the global food and energy crises.

President Ramos-Horta congratulated ASEAN on its founding anniversary. He also praised the organization for its long journey since its establishment and looked forward to its future contributions while anticipating challenges in the next 50 years. He highlighted the past contribution of ASEAN Member-States to peacekeeping efforts, as well as being places of academic development and capacity building for Timorese students and civil servants, respectively.

Upon the end of the formal ceremony, ASEAN Embassies offered a wide and diverse array of dishes and beverages for guests. The Philippine Embassy booth offered the following Filipino main dishes, side, and desserts: chicken adobo, bistek, steamed white rice, biko, and Filipino-style coconut macaroons.

Although there is no official ASEAN Committee in Dili, the five (5) ASEAN Embassies have held joint events over the years to promote ASEAN and to cultivate the spirit of cooperation and camaraderie among officers and staff of these missions.

This year’s theme for ASEAN, with Cambodia as Chair, is “ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together”, which highlights “the importance of ASEAN’s spirit as a united family of ten, with a strong sense of togetherness to address common challenges and achieve shared goals.”1 END

Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta viewing the Filipino food booth.

One of the main dishes: chicken adobo

[1] “Cambodia’s Chairmanship”, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia webpage.