"ASEAN: What is its true value?" The world has been watching ASEAN with keen interest as the US and European economies struggle. This edition of Asian Voices speaks exclusively with ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan in the ASEAN region's trade and financial hub, Singapore. With a combined population of 600 million and rapid economic progress in recent years, ASEAN already compares in scale with the EU, China or India. ASEAN consists, though, of 10 nations with diverse political systems, religions, cultures and economies. While some are experiencing unprecedented economic growth, others still lag behind. This multifaceted region has many other challenges to address. Are there any solutions to wealth gaps, human rights and regional security-problems drawing the attention of the international community as a whole? How has ASEAN approached these issues so far? Recently, Japan was hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. What is ASEAN's view of this unprecedented disaster? What economic effects will the earthquake have in Japan and ASEAN? On today's program, we talk with Secretary General Surin about ASEAN's true value as a regional organization and the ramifications of the recent earthquake.