Late statesman Surin honoured for Asean contribution

Former Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan was awarded a posthumous prize in recognition of his contribution and leadership in promoting Asean. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Former Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan has been awarded a posthumous prize in recognition of his contribution and leadership in promoting Asean integration and raising the group's profile internationally.

Fuadi Pitsuwan accepted the award on behalf of his father on Thursday at the 4th Asia Cosmopolitan Awards (ACA) in Japan. He thanked the Nara Prefecture and Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia which established the awards.

He expressed his gratitude at the organisation's recognition of his father's achievements and pledged to continue Surin's work promoting democracy, human rights and conflict resolution.

"My father knew his work would never finish. But he saw his commitment towards international cooperation, towards a less contentious international system, towards a liberal world order as a necessary calling to protect and promote human dignity," he said at the ceremony in Nara, Japan.

Surin, who died in November 2017, served as Asean secretary-general from 2008-12.

During his term, he helped implement the Asean charter after it came into effect. He also strengthened ties between Asean's secretariat and civil society organisations in the region.

Also honoured was former Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda, who was awarded the Grand Prize for his contributions to building a stronger Asean.

"The world has been paying attention to the recent stable development of Asia. I am pleased to be a member of Asia, and at the same time, I think that it is a great mission for Japan to build a relationship to cooperate with the development of the Asian region in the future," he said.

The Economic and Social Science Prize went to Richard E Baldwin, Professor of International Economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in Geneva, for his work on trade policy and economic integration.


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