Press Release
June 19, 2010


Moscow - Senator Edgardo J. Angara graced the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Centre at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) University on Tuesday, 15 June 2010.

Angara addressed MGIMO professors and students, business representatives, members of the academe and the media with special interest in ASEAN and in the strengthening of political, economic and socio-cultural engagement between ASEAN and Russia.

The Senator joined Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, MGIMO Rector Anatoly Torkunov, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Kuang Vinh, and ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Sayakane Sisouvong in the opening ceremony of the Centre.

In his brief remarks, Angara lauded the efforts of the Philippines in staunchly supporting initiatives to bring closer relations between ASEAN and Russia, especially during the period July 2006 and July 2009, when the Philippines served as Country Coordinator for ASEAN-Russia Dialogue relations. He likewise congratulated H.E. Victor G. Garcia III, Philippine Ambassador to the Russian Federation, for his appointment as Co-Chair of the Executive Board of the ASEAN Centre, and expressed confidence in the latter's capability to carry out the tasks, as well as do justice to the trust bestowed upon him by his ASEAN colleagues in Moscow.

The Centre aims to be the main vehicle for raising the level of mutual awareness and consciousness of the respective peoples of ASEAN and Russia, about ASEAN as an organization and a community, and of the individual member countries of ASEAN. The activities of the Centre is expected to contribute significantly to the preparations for the 2nd ASEAN-Russia Summit, which will be held in Ha noi, Vietnam in the 4th quarter of this year.

The establishment of an ASEAN Centre was originally proposed by Thailand during the 1st ASEAN-Russia Summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2005. The MOU on the Establishment of the ASEAN Centre in MGIMO was signed during the Post Ministerial Conference with Russia in Phuket, Thailand in July 2009.

The Centre is one of the projects funded under the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership Financial Fund that was established in 2007 to finance ASEAN-Russia joint activities and programmes. The Russian side has infused a total of USD 1.75 million since the establishment of the fund.

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