Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet ratified the document on March 6, but Thursday's announcement at government spokesman Le Dung's monthly press conference was the first public notification of the move.
"There is an obvious and objective need to move ahead in building a stronger ASEAN for the purpose of peace and stability in the region and in each member country," Le Dung said.
The charter was drafted at ASEAN's most recent summit in Singapore in November. It sets a goal of turning the Southeast Asian body into a multilateral legal and trading bloc modeled on the European Union by 2015.
Skeptics say countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos insisted the document be watered down over concerns that international pressure on the dictatorial regime in Myanmar would lead to interference on human rights issues.
The charter asserts the principle of non-interference in member countries' internal political affairs.
Last Mod: 20 Mart 2008, 15:55