ASEAN chair invited to UNSC meeting on Cambodian-Thai border dispute

ASEAN chair invited to UNSC meeting on Cambodian-Thai border dispute

Indonesia's Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa shakes hands with Thailand's Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok February 8, 2011. (FOTO ANTARA/REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Following swift diplomatic efforts by the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Dr Marty Natalegawa - as Indonesia is the current Chair of ASEAN - to defuse ongoing violence between Cambodia and Thailand that started over the weekend, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has taken on the issue as an urgent matter.

The ASEAN Chair has been invited to attend a vital meeting alongside Cambodia and Thailand at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday, 14 February, a press statement from the Jakarta-based ASEAN Secretariat said here Thursday.

" This reflects the global community`s trust in ASEAN as a viable regional instrument to facilitate peaceful means for dispute settlement." the statement said.

"ASEAN Chair`s attendance at the UNSC meeting represents an evolution of ASEAN`s effort to resolve bilateral disputes amongst its Member States as provided for by the ASEAN Charter," said the Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin.

This is particularly important as it will set precedence for future ASEAN dispute settlement mechanisms," he added.

In the spirit of the ASEAN Charter, calling for closer and more effective consultations on political and security matters, ASEAN is seeing its Chair personally engaged in offering good offices for the first time in its history.

"Both sides welcome Minister Marty to help in their search for an amicable and peaceful solution to their differences, as ASEAN continues to strengthen its dispute settlement mechanism, in line with the ASEAN Charter," added Dr Surin.

According to Article 52 of the United Nations Charter, collaboration with "regional arrangements" on the maintenance of peace and security is encouraged.

At least eight lives have been lost in clashes between troops of both countries over the weekend near the 900-year old Hindu Temple of Preah Vihear which sits on a disputed border area.

"We at the ASEAN Secretariat stand ready to provide all possible support for the renewed efforts to seek a peaceful and amicable solution to this long-running dispute between our two Member States," Dr Surin concluded.(*)