Representatives of the people’s organisations of ASEAN discussed the opportunities and challenges that ASEAN will meet in building its Community, and how it is situated in a changing world.
The topics took centre stage during plenary sessions of the sixth ASEAN People’s Forum (APF-6) on September 24, following the event’s opening session.
The representatives said in the context that ASEAN is implementing its Charter and speeding up the roadmap of building the ASEAN Community by 2015, Southeast Asia is an important geo-politics and geo-economic region which and it is attracting a lot of interest from powerful countries.
They noted that these factors offer both opportunities and challenges to ASEAN and its people as well.
They agreed that ASEAN needs to boost its external relations and cooperation to deal with existing challenges, and maintain peace and stability in the region.
ASEAN should focus on promoting people-centred, sustainable and equal development and building a people-centred community, the people’s representatives said.
They discussed measures and made recommendations for actions to be coordinated by ASEAN people’s organizations in tackling common challenges arising during the course of building the ASEAN Community, and increasing the people’s involvement in the decision-making process of the group.
In the afternoon session themed, “Understanding Vietnam”, representatives acknowledged the multi-dimensional achievements attained by the Vietnamese people and expressed a desire to learn about the challenges the country is facing and experiences gained from developing models towards sustainable development.
Taking the floor, former Vice State President Nguyen Thi Binh and former Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly’s Committee for External Relations Ton Nu Thi Ninh spoke frankly and sincerely of the Vietnamese people’s wishes for peace and friendship for constructing and developing their country.
They also underlined Vietnam’s need to cooperate and learn from other countries for advancing further in a world that is changing rapidly, while coping with numerous challenges.
The Vietnamese officials told ASEAN friends about the country’s efforts in addressing the aftermath of war, developing the economy, building a learning society, educating younger generations, protecting labourers’ rights and interests as well as activities of the people’s organizations.
Later the same day, APF-6 delegates were entertained by an artistic performance - participated by some foreign representatives - in an event called the Solidarity Night.