The ASEAN-Pretoria Committee (APC) hosted a special luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria on 12 September 2022 to commemorate the 55th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Philippine Ambassador to South Africa Noralyn Jubaira Baja joined other APC heads of missions (Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) in welcoming the guest of honor, South African Foreign Minister Dr. Naledi Pandor.
In his capacity as the current APC Chair, Singapore High Commissioner Zainal Arif Mantaha highlighted the central role of ASEAN in the evolving regional architecture in Southeast Asia and surrounding regions. He welcomed South Africa’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation which is indicative of the country’s intent to enter into a more structured dialogue with ASEAN.
In return, Minister Pandor recognized the accomplishments of ASEAN and described it as a dynamic, evolving and outward-looking organization. She expressed her government’s desire to deepen its engagement with the Southeast Asian region, particularly in priority sectors such as trade and investment and digital technology.
The commemorative lunch was attended by the Chair of the National Council of Provinces Amos Masondo, Deputy Foreign Minister Candith Mashengo-Dlamini, other high-level officials from different government departments in South Africa, as well as heads of missions of dialogue partners.