AIT now an International Intergovernmental Organization, as New Charter comes into force
For Immediate Release: 30 January 2012 Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand
The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) today (30 January 2012) became an international intergovernmental organization as its New Charter came into force. The Institute becomes the sole institute of higher learning in the region to achieve this legal status.
The New Charter replaces the AIT Charter of 1970, which was instituted under the South-East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). It now accords AIT the status of a full-fledged international organization, enabling the higher learning institute to assume a greater global role from its home base in Thailand. It invites countries and international organizations to collaborate with AIT as a neutral platform.
So far Sweden, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have deposited their instruments of ratification of the New Charter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand, and now constitute the new governing Council of AIT.
AIT is confident that Thailand, as the Institute’s host country, along with ten other countries and one international organization which have already signed or confirmed to sign the New AIT Charter – namely Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Germany, Indonesia, the Philippines, Seychelles, Timor-Leste, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and the United Nations Development Fund for Women, East and Southeast Asia (UNIFEM) - now part of UN Women) – will join the new AIT Council in the near future.
The New Charter culminates many years of work under the leadership of Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to define AIT’s legal status according to international law. The New Charter is recognition of AIT as a regional international platform of higher education, research, capacity building and outreach, AIT President Prof. Said Irandoust said.
The New Charter was pursued by the current Administration, and is considered to be the crowning achievement of Chairman of the AIT Board of Trustees and former Foreign Minister of Thailand, H.E. Dr. Tej Bunnag, who spearheaded the process and leaves his position as Chairman today (30 January 2012) on the same day the New Charter comes into force.