Secretary General of ASEAN delivers special guest lecture at the Divinity School

The Secretary General of ASEAN, Dr Kao Kim Hourn, delivered a special guest lecture to students and academics on Wednesday 1st November. Dr Kao held the lecture as part of his visit to the UK, and was accompanied by members of the ASEAN Secretariat and British diplomats from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, including UK Ambassador to ASEAN Sarah Tiffin.

Dr Kao was welcomed to Oxford by the Head of the School of Global and Area Studies, Professor Paul Chaisty, and was presented with a gift of appreciation.

The lecture given to students from across the University of Oxford was entitled ‘The Future of ASEAN: Challenges and Opportunities Beyond 2025’ and discussed a variety of topics central to the region including public health, climate change, demilitarisation, economic development and education. Dr Kao also discussed the growing relationship between the UK and ASEAN, stating that it is one of ASEAN’s most dynamic relationships and will provide many opportunities in future. The floor was then opened to students who put forward a series of questions on a wide range of issues currently facing ASEAN.

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Professor Paul Chaisty presenting a gift of appreciation to Dr Kao


The Secretary General’s visit comes at an important time for OSGA, having recently launched a campaign to establish a new Institute of ASEAN Studies. The new Institute will serve as a permanent home for ASEAN Studies here at Oxford and act as a global resource for knowledge, analysis and teaching. The Institute will also play a pivotal role in expanding opportunities for collaboration, nurturing talent from the region, and forging connections with both the ASEAN Secretariat and member states.

We are delighted to announce that following his visit, Dr Kao has accepted our offer to join the International Advisory Board for the new Institute once it is established, in his ex officio capacity as Secretary General of ASEAN. Dr Kao’s position on the board will both bolster engagement with member states and provide strategic direction to the academic focus within the Institute.