Surin Pitsuwan, Former ASEAN Secretary General, 68

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan of Thailand speaks during the 16th International Conference on The Future of Asia, organized by Nikkei Inc., a Japanese newspaper company in 2010 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Shuji Kajiyama / Associated Press

BANGKOK — Former Association of Southeast Asian Nations Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan has died in Thailand. He was 68.

Thailand’s Democrat Party says Surin died Wednesday in Bangkok of a sudden heart attack.

Surin is a former lawmaker from the party who also served as Thailand’s foreign minister in the late 1990s under a Democrat-led government.

Surin is best known for his time at the head of the 10-member ASEAN from 2008 until 2012. His name was also mentioned as a possible candidate for United Nations secretary-general.

Surin remained active in regional diplomatic circles until his death.