The Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council (APRC) made its debut at a meeting in the headquarters of the Jakarta-based ASEAN Secretariat on January 23.

The meeting saw the participation of the council’s Chairman, former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Thailand Surakiart Sathirathai, former high-ranking Asian leaders, and a number of diplomatic representatives and delegates from the ASEAN Secretariat and Indonesia .

Addressing the event, Sathirathai said the council aims to set up a knowledge network inside and outside Asia to share experiences, research and analyses. It will facilitate the process of peace reconciliation, and manage and resolve conflicts.

Former Vice President of Indonesia Yusuf Kalla, former Prime Minister of Malaysia Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi and former Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz stressed the necessity of ensuring citizens’ rights to peace, security and stability. All disputes, including those in the East Sea , need to be resolved via peaceful dialogue and negotiations, they added.

In addition, council members swapped reconciliation experiences, including reestablishing peace in Aceh in northern Indonesia , Mindanao in southern Philippines and border disputes between Cambodia and Thailand .

The 23-member council is an independent international organisation.-VNA