By Dr. Toshu Fukami
Chancellor of the University of
Excellency ASEAN Secretary-General, Mr. Ong Keng Yong,
My friend Kao Kim Hourn,
Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. First of all, I would like to thank the Secretary-General of ASEAN, His Excellency Ong Kong Yong, for taking the time to be here with us and to delivery his closing keynote address on the “Role of ASEAN in East Asia Cooperation: The Way Forward.”
2. I believe that the Secretary-General’s contribution to our First East Asia Young Leaders is significantly important and it is indeed a great honor for the University of Cambodia to have His Excellency Ong Keng Yong to speak to us on this timely subject.
3. As the Secretary-General of ASEAN, I am quite sure that His Excellency Ong Keng Yong has been extensively involved in practically everything related to ASEAN. In my view, he is considered to be one of the most dynamic Secretary-Generals of ASEAN, given his commitment, professionalism, and dedication to ASEAN.
4. Since yesterday, our discussion on the future of East Asia, including the ASEAN+3 cooperation, the East Asia Cooperation, the East Asia Summit, the East Asia Free Trade Area, and the East Asia Community, has made our meeting very much interesting, stimulating, and thought-provoking.
5. When we kicked off this First East Asia Young Leaders’ Forum, with the speech of Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I had the feeling that we started on the right track, which we did. I believe that the rich discussions and extensive debates that we have had in the past two days have contributed to our better understanding of where East Asia today and the challenges that continue to face in the future.
6. Next year, when the University of Cambodia will be hosting the Second East Asia Young Leaders’ Forum, I think we will do it prior to the proposed East Asia Summit in Malaysia in November 2005. This will be our contribution to the Track One, and we will continue to raise the profile of this East Asia Young Leaders’ Forum, particularly focusing on the issues of significant interests to all of us in East Asia.
7. So with that, I wish to thank you all of you for your participation and active involvement in the discussions of the various sessions of this Forum.
Thank you very much.