UN Chief Deepens Ties with ASEAN on Visit to Indonesia

Posted March 20th, 2012 at 1:00 am (UTC-5)
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The United Nations says a recently adopted partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations was the focus of talks Tuesday between Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the head of ASEAN.

Mr. Ban's office says the meeting in Jakarta with ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan dealt with disaster risk reduction and peace and security issues. They also discussed regional issues, including Burma, East Timor, Cambodia and the Thai-Cambodia border dispute.

ASEAN, which represents 10 member states, signed a “comprehensive partnership” pledge with the U.N. in November to maintain and enhance peace and stability, as well as to promote prosperity in the region.

Mr. Ban arrived in Jakarta on Monday for a three-day visit to Indonesia, where he is expected to discuss the strengthening of U.N. ties with Indonesia. The U.N. chief will meet Tuesday with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

The two will reportedly discuss increasing Indonesia's contribution of U.N. peacekeepers. Indonesia currently contributes 1,966 peacekeepers to the United Nations, making it the 15th largest contributor in the world. A presidential spokesperson says Indonesia aims to eventually have 4,000 members in the global peacekeeping force.

The U.N. chief will also speak at the U.S.-funded International Peace and Security Center, one of the region's largest training centers for international peacekeeping forces.