On the evening of September 27th, the US-Asia Institute and the Singapore International Foundation co-hosted the “50 Years of ASEAN Dialogue & Reception” to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN’s establishment and 40 years of strong US-ASEAN relations.
The theme of the dialogue revolved around “Strengthening Meaningful Connections between the U.S. and ASEAN”, and addressed questions that touched on strategies to promote ASEAN’s presence and values to the American community and the key challenges necessary to confront in order to develop better relations and foreign policy between our nations.
Participating panelists included former Secretary General of ASEAN Ambassador Ong Keng Yong; former US Ambassador to Singapore, Ambassador David Adelman; US-Asia Institute Trustee, Chris Fenton; Chairman of the Singapore Institute International Affairs, Simon Tay; and writer for CityLab, Mimi Kirk. The topics discussed covered a wide range of topics including bridging the East and West through pop culture and social media, business ventures, and grassroots people-to-people diplomacy by means of encouraging foreign exchange opportunities and language instruction. USAI was also honored to have Congressman Hank Johnson, Congressman Denny Heck, and Congressman Joaquin Castro present at the event to give remarks recognizing the importance of these relations and the extensive work done to support diplomacy with the Asian Pacific region.
Ambassador of Singapore Ashok Kumar Mirpuri, Ambassador of Thailand Pisan Manawapat, and Ambassador of Brunei Dato Serbini Ali were in attendance as the US-Asia Institute honored them with medals to commemorate their unwavering commitment and the contributions they have made throughout their diplomatic career fundamental to the strengthening of US-ASEAN relations.
At the conclusion of the event, the dialogue continued during the reception over a rich variety of delicious food. Provided by Capitol Host, our guests enjoyed seafood fried bee hoon, roti prata with a vegetable curry, chicken satay, hainanese chicken rice, vegetable stir fry, laksa, and Tiger beer.
After months of preparation, and with more than 175 attendees present, the ASEAN-US Dialogue was a huge success! Thank you to the Singapore International Foundation for your hard work in preparing for this event, and thank you to all who came out and made this event possible!