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ASEAN needs to boost cooperation beyond politics, economy: chief

(Xinhua)

08:41, April 10, 2012

JAKARTA, April 9 (Xinhua) -- ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan said on Monday that the region needs to increase cooperation beyond politics and economy, namely sports, drugs issue, environment, education, arts, culture, natural disasters and labor.

"During the 20th ASEAN Summit in Cambodia's Phnom Penh on April 3-4, sports, drugs issue, environment, education, arts, culture and labor were discussed in order to make sure that we can make ASEAN for its people," said Pitsuwan at a post-20th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings briefing at the ASEAN Secretariat on Monday.

Therefore, he urged officials to be transparent on things that happened in their countries so that help can come immediately.

"With the mechanism, we can address problems together," said Pitsuwan.

He took examples of natural disaster and labor issues in several member states.

"Now, disaster is a major challenge of the world. In terms of migrant workers, please do something, move away from labor intensive," said Pitsuwan.

Chairman's Statement at the 20th ASEAN Summit on April 3-4 touched on issues of a drug-free ASEAN in 2015, improvement of people's livelihood, trafficking in persons and people smuggling, the need to ensure effective operation in dealing with disasters, among others.

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