UNI Apro and ASETUC's tribute to the late Dr. Surin Pitsuwan
UNI Apro and ASETUC is deeply saddened at the passing of Dr. Surin Pitsuwan on 30 November.
Dr. Pitsuwan, or Surin, as he was affectionately referred by, was widely known as an astute political leader in Thailand before being appointed the Secretary-General of ASEAN from 2008 to 2012. To ASETUC and many others in the regional civil society movement, he would undoubtedly be remembered as the de facto chief cheerleader in the ASEAN establishment for peoples’ involvement with ASEAN during his term.
When ASETUC was first founded by UNI Apro, BWI AP and PSI AP in early 2007 in order to engage ASEAN on labour and trade union issues, Surin was the natural target of engagement when his appointment was announced. It was apparent that he would soon become the natural ally as he firmly believed that for ASEAN to succeed it must involve the opening up of space to accommodate the peoples’ participation.
Throughout his tenure as ASEAN’s Secretary-General, he walked the talk by actively engaging with civil society’s activities. He was instrumental also in leading and preparing the ASEAN Secretariat to understand better how to communicate and work with civil society. It was with his active support and efforts that ASETUC was inspired and remains committed to promote social dialogue and social partnership as part of an integrating ASEAN.
UNI Apro and ASETUC express our sincere prayers and condolences to his family.
On behalf of UNI Apro and the ASETUC fraternity,
Christopher Ng, UNI Apro Regional Secretary,
Datuk Mohd Shafie BP Mammal, ASETUC Secretary General