(From right to left) Ambassador Alex G. Chua (PH), Ambassador Arthur Andambi (KE), Ambassador Mohamad Hery Saripudin (ID), Ambassador Sasirit Tangulrat (TH), and Ambassador Loh Seck Tiong (MY) (Photos courtesy of the Indonesian Embassy)

NAIROBI – The momentous occasion of the 54th Founding Anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) was commemorated by the Asean Nairobi Committee (ANC) through a special flag-raising ceremony on Aug. 18, 2021 at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.

The Philippine Embassy, led by H.E. Ambassador Alex G. Chua, joined the other resident embassies of Asean Member States (Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand) in gracing the event and welcoming the guest of honor, Director for Middle East of the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), H.E. Ambassador Arthur Andambi.

The program included the hoisting of the Asean flag accompanied by the singing of the Asean Way and followed by the remarks from H.E. Indonesian Ambassador Mohamad Hery Saripudin and Ambassador Andambi.

“I would like to reiterate Asean’s commitment to further strengthen its bilateral cooperation with Kenya,” said Ambassador Saripudin in his capacity as the current ANC Chair.

He also lauded Asean’s consistent efforts to forge stronger ties with its dialogue partners through various Asean-led mechanisms.

In return, Ambassador Andambi expressed Kenya’s deep appreciation for the excellent bilateral relations with Asean which can be exemplified through the periodic exchanges of high-level official visits between the two regions, a synergy of interests in multilateral fora, and Asean’s donation of 280,000 Kenyan shillings to Kenya Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund in 2020.

ASEAN Family photo

 He also requested the support of Asean Member States concerning Kenya’s plan to join the Asean by acceding to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

Also in attendance during the event was Deputy Director for Asia and Pacific Edward Mwangi of the Kenyan MFA.

Before the ceremony, the Asean Ambassadors convened at the 3rd ANC Meeting 2021 and discussed the ways forward of their projects and activities for this year including the Asean Virtual Food Festival, Asean Family Day, Joint Call on Prominent Figures in Kenya, as well as the book donation to Kenya Library Services, among others.

The event was concluded with a socially distanced outdoor reception featuring traditional cuisines and delicacies contributed by the ANC, including Filipino favorites chicken adobo and cheese puto. (PR)