A Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) in preparation for the 19 th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) opened in the Indonesian northern province of Sumatra on September 13.

The 19 th ASEAN Summit (ASEAN-19) will take place in Bali from November 17-19.

In the framework of the SOM, senior officials of the ASEAN’s member countries will discuss the deployment of issues agreed at the 44 th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM-44), the post-AMM-44 meeting and the 18 th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF 18) that took place in Bali from July 16-23.

The meeting will also work to finalise plans for setting up the ASEAN Institution for Peace and Reconciliation; and debate the implementation of the ASEAN Charter and the Agenda for building ASEAN Community, especially the ASEAN Political-Security Community.

Other items of the SOM’s agenda include ASEAN’s external relations, especially cooperation with its dialogic partners; preparations for the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and the 3 rd Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in October this year and the meeting between ASEAN’s leaders with the General Secretary of the United Nations (UN) and the Chair of the UN General Assembly this month./.