Following a decision reached during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat Meeting in Lombok, January 2011, and in accordance with the Guidelines on the Use of ASEAN Flag by ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC), on Thursday, 12 April 2012, the Indonesian Embassy in Oslo had hoisted the ASEAN flag in front of the Embassy, alongside the Indonesian national flag.
The flag hoisting ceremony was co-hosted by the Indonesian Embassy and other ASEAN countries’ representatives in Oslo, namely the Philippines Embassy, the Royal Thai Embassy, and the Embassy of Vietnam. The ceremony also marked the hoisting of ASEAN flag in respective Embassies, alongside their national flags.
The ceremony was attended by the Ambassadors of ASEAN countries in Oslo, each with their diplomatic staffs, the Ambassadors of the ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, and South Korea), Dean Troika (Ambassadors of Poland, Portugal, and Argentina), Ambassador of Slovakia, Ambassador of the Czech Republic, as well as representatives from other Embassies and officers in charge of ASEAN countries at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Guest of Honor on the occasion was the Director General for Regional Affairs and Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Ms. Aud Marit Wiig.
The flag was hoisted in accompanied by the ASEAN Anthem. The ceremony went solemnly, and afterwards, the guests were invited to a light reception held in the Embassy’s hall.
In her remark, Indonesian Ambassador to Norway H.E. Ms. Esti Andayani said that the decision to hoist ASEAN flag alongside national flag demonstrated the resolve of ASEAN to further enhance the ASEAN identity and to strengthen the sense of togetherness among the citizens of the Member States, while also served as a precursor to the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015. Further, the Ambassador added that Norway’s Presidency in the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2012 would be a good opportunity to further foster mutual understanding to establish the cooperation between the two regional organizations, the ASEAN and the Nordic Council of Ministers.
H.E. Aud Marit Wiig in her remark stated that the hoisting of the ASEAN flag was a significant political symbol, which is important because it represents cooperation across borders, as shown in cooperation on the field of disaster relief. She also welcomed ASEAN’s increasing role in various dialogues while stressing the importance of Norway’s membership in ASEM, and hoping that the cooperation of both regions increases and stays robust.
Meanwhile, representing the Dean Troika, Poland Ambassador to Norway H.E. Mr. Wojciech Kolanczyk, also spoke on behalf of EU countries, said that the ASEAN flag hoisting will strengthen the integration of ASEAN member countries, which become an added value to ASEAN as an organization.
The event was closed with a mingling session, in which guests were welcomed to enjoy traditional snacks of the four ASEAN countries, among others onde-onde and semar mendem of Indonesia.
KBRI Oslo, 12.04.12