• January 26, 2010

In her first visit to Asia as U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at the Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in a press conference with Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary General of ASEAN. Clinton described the new “smart power” approach to diplomacy and development,international partnership grounded in mutual interests aiming for the greater good. Key to that approach for ASEAN is Clinton’s determination to attend a post-ministerial meeting and the ASEAN Regional Forum in July and to continue supporting the ASEAN-US Technical Assistance and Training Facility.

Managed by Nathan Associates, the Facility has operated at the ASEAN Secretariat since 2004. The Facility provides technical support related to the ASEAN-US Enhanced Partnership and the US-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement and is helping ASEAN meet goals set for achieving an ASEAN Community by 2015.

Over the past four years, the Facility has assisted ASEAN in harmonizing tariff nomenclature, devising roadmaps for integrating priority sectors, developing a pandemic preparedness program for sectors other than health, and cataloging limitations on services trade among member states. Recent accomplishments include

  • Delivering equipment and materials to the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force and Emergency Rapid Assessment Team after Cyclone Nargis devastated Myanmar;
  • Developing a scorecard for measuring member states, progress in meeting obligations agreed to under the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint; and
  • Organizing a roundtable of telecommunications officials and private sector experts to propose ways to advance IT infrastructure development in the region.

The Facility is an ADVANCE project. ADVANCE is jointly funded by USAID and the U.S. Department of State and managed in its entirety by Nathan Associates.

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