The 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has sought permanent observer status in the UN, the Philippines' top envoy to the UN said on Monday.
Philippine Ambassador to UN Lauro Baja said ASEAN foreign ministers endorsed the application of the regional grouping for a permanent observer status in the world body.
Baja said that once granted observer status, ASEAN would have a seat in all meetings in the UN that the grouping is interested in and will gain added visibility and importance.
"I don't foresee any difficulty in the approval of the ASEAN's application," he said, adding that even UN Secretary General Kofi Annan noted that the ASEAN is the only regional grouping in the world that does not have observer status in the UN.
The ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.