JAKARTA, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- The ASEAN Charter has been fully ratified by all ten ASEAN member states following Indonesia's ratification on Tuesday, a press release issued by the Jakarta-based organization's secretariat said.
The ASEAN Secretary-General, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, heartily welcomes Indonesia's ratification of the charter, saying that this decision of the House of Representatives of Indonesia Tuesday assures the entry into force of the historic ASEAN agreement before the end of 2008, said the release.
Dr Surin said, "History was made when the ASEAN Leaders signed the charter on the 20th of November 2007. When they next meet at the 14th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok in December 2008, the Leaders will be able to toast to a new ASEAN era."
"ASEAN will be a rules-based, people-oriented and more integrated entity. After the formal entry into force of the Charter, our community-building will shift to a higher gear with full steam forward," he stressed.
"Given the current financial turmoil around the world, a real prospect of a more integrated and solid ASEAN will be welcomed by the international community," he added.
According to the release, so far, seven ASEAN member states have deposited their instruments of ratification with the Secretary-General of ASEAN. Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand will each deposit its instrument of ratification with the ASEAN Secretary-General.
The Charter shall enter into force on the 30th day following the deposit of the tenth instrument.