Monday, August 10, 2015

Assisting Timor-Leste's ASEAN Accession

The blog has been quiet for a while, due to a combination of reduced reportable developments and my own schedule.  I was on leave, taught the AEC law and policy course at Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) in Jakarta, and spoke at the Foreign Service Institute (U.S. State Department), the Indonesian Ministry of International Trade, and the European University Institute on ASEAN.
My AEC Law and Policy class at UPH
Most importantly, I am now part of a team assisting the Government of Timor-Leste on its ASEAN accession. Our team is funded by the Asian Development Bank, and we just completed a successful week of meetings and training workshops in Dili.

Ed with H.E. Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Mr. Roberto Soares, who is responsible for ASEAN affairs
Ed also conducted a 2 day workshop on ASEAN

However, the project’s ultimate success will be Timor-Leste’s becoming an ASEAN member.  I still think that ASEAN accession by 2020 should be viewed as the absolute minimum, as continued indefinite delay would be both demoralizing to Timor-Leste and destabilizing for the region.  In any event, I look forward to working with the Government of Timor-Leste, the ASEAN members and the ASEAN institutions over the coming months.