Calling the project, “simple, readable, yet impressive,” Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN, launched the ASEAN Matters for America project with Dr Satu Limaye, Director of the East-West Center in Washington, on Thursday, June 10, 2010, at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta.
Dr. Surin was pleased that the United States is showing reinvigorated interest in engagement with ASEAN. He also noted ASEAN’s importance to the United States at the local level:
This project is another sign of such interest … and I am pleased to note that the project is one that can directly benefit and reach the grass-roots level – the people. They will, after all, be the new players, the ones keeping the ASEAN-U.S. relations warm and strong.
Josh M. Cartin, U.S. Resident Representative of the Ambassador for ASEAN Affairs, was also in attendance. He praised the project for illustrating the depth of U.S.-ASEAN ties with objective and realiable data:
[The project is] a valuable contribution to the expanding ASEAN-U.S. conversation. It backs up with hard statistics an assumption we know instinctively, which is that there is a great confluence of interests between the US and the countries of Southeast Asia.
I hope our peoples look at the project, learn from it and contribute their own ideas to its expansion.”
The audience included members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), the representatives of ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners, the media and the staff of the Secretariat.