The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has a longway to go before it achieves the goal of establishing a single, unitedcommunity by 2015.
Founded 46 years ago, the association has made great strides informing a common community based on three key pillars:politics-security, economics, and socio-culture.
In an interview granted to VOV, ASEAN General Secretary Le Luong Minhsaid the community building initiative has received strong support fromall ASEAN member states.
|ASEAN General Secretary Le Luong Minh reaffirmed the grouping’s determination
to build a close-knit community by 2015 on schedule
A score of measures have been adopted to implement the blueprints forthe three key pillars. For example, Minh said, by March 2013 ASEANmember states had done nearly 80% of the workload to form the EconomicCommunity.
However, challenges are lying ahead and, as the deadline is drawingnear, the member states should exert a greater effort to fulfil theircommitments, he said.
He emphasised the importance of support and assistance from ASEAN’s partners to realise the plan on schedule.
It is important that all ASEAN’s partners have shown their strongcommitment to supporting this community building effort, said Minh.
He noted as many as 74 non-ASEAN countries have sent theirambassadors to ASEAN, showing their desires to strengthen cooperationwith the grouping.
This is a good chance for ASEAN to make the most of non-ASEANcountries’ assistance to fulfil its community building goal by 2015, hestressed.
|ASEAN leaders showed their unity at the opening ceremony of the 22nd ASEAN Summit in Brunei
A key task for ASEAN is setting development orientations for thegrouping beyond 2015 to ensure it will continue integrating deeper andmore comprehensively, and becoming a highly economic competitive region.
ASEAN will also consider restructuring its apparatus, including theSecretariat, to make its operations more efficient and transparent.
Maintaining security is a big challenge for ASEAN that needs to beaddressed very soon. There is growing concern about territorial disputesover the East Sea among a number of countries in the region.
Minh confirmed that ASEAN member states have reached high consensus on the way to solve the issue based on the grouping’s , in order to maintain security and peace for not only ASEAN countries but also China and other involved parties.
Settling East Sea issues is associated with ensuring maritime safety and security which captures great global attention.
According to Minh, ASEAN’s partners have supported the grouping’sstance and its capacity to tackle East Sea issues based on the six-pointprinciples.