The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) convened its 27th Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on November 21.
|Leaders take photo at the event (Photo: VNA)|
Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, which chaired the Summit, said in his opening speech that the ASEAN leaders will on November 22 officially announce the formal establishment of the ASEAN Community on December 31, affirming the move was generated from endeavours made for decades for integration, connectivity and mutual progress.
He highlighted the achievements obtained by ASEAN over recent time, stressing that without ASEAN, the 10 Southeast Asian countries hardly achieved their goals and accomplishments today.
ASEAN today is a peaceful region with a combined GDP of 2,600 billion USD (a surge of 80 percent over the past seven years). It has been intensively and extensively integrating into the global security architecture and economy while offering a lot of opportunities and prospects for immense development, according to the PM.
The formation of the ASEAN Community will bring in many practical benefits for the bloc’s people and member countries, as well as facilitating market access, lower commodity and service costs stemming from tariff elimination, unemployment reduction and favourable movement.
Sharing the bloc’s development orientations, the Malaysian PM said ASEAN will continue reinforcing and promoting obtained achievements, deepening internal connectivity, and enhancing the bloc’s response capacity to many challenges.
He underscored that when becoming a single community, ASEAN needs to take more actions, especially in promoting culture cooperation and people-to-people exchange, seek efficient solutions to environmental pollution, natural disasters, terrorism, and extremism, and maintaining peace and security.
Regarding the East Sea issue, PM Razak emphasised the need for ASEAN to call on parties concerned to exercise restraint and avoid actions that could complicate the situation and escalate tension in the sea area.
He said ASEAN needs to work together in joint actions, which include the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the East Sea, and laid stress on the importance of settling disputes by peaceful means with respect to international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Themed “Our people, Our Community, Our Vision”, the 27th Summit will focus on the formal establishment of the ASEAN Community, and the bloc’s extensive integration.
The leaders will discuss and ink the Kuala Lumpur Declaration 2015 on the establishment of the ASEAN Community and the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on ASEAN 20145: Forging Ahead together. They will touch upon shared regional and international issues.
Set up in 1967, ASEAN groups Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.
The Vietnamese delegation to the Summit and related meetings from November 21-22 was led by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.