Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha addresses the opening ceremony of the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on June 23, 2019. Photo: VGP
Addressing the opening ceremony, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said 52 years ago, the Foreign Ministers of five Southeast Asian countries signed the Bangkok Declaration at Saranrom Palace, giving birth to ASEAN.
At that time, few could have imagined, or dared to dream, that the small Association of five nations would eventually become a tight-knit Community of ten.
“But because from one generation to the next we dared to dream, we built a united Community of peace and security, a rules-based Community, and now the 6th largest economy in the world. We have become a Community of cooperation, with the people at the heart,” stated Prayut.
ASEAN countries have been through thick and thin together, overcoming challenges from the Cold War to the present.
When the financial and economic crisis hit Asia, ASEAN joined hands with each other and its friends, becoming a key force in the region’s rapid recovery.
Leaders of 10 ASEAN member countries launch the ASEAN Satellite Warehouse in Chainat Province under the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN, or DELSA. Photo: VGP
The host Prime Minister said: “Today, our region remains peaceful, with no war and conflict, because in ASEAN we are consistently reminded to respect difference and diversity and aspire to live together in peace and harmony.”
Prayut affirmed that, as the Chair of ASEAN this year, Thailand will take forward the good work and initiatives of previous Chairs in the endeavor to realize the dreams that the member countries all have set out and to ensure that the peoples of ASEAN, present and future, can deal with the challenges that come and truly benefit from ASEAN.
He stressed that “it is now time for our generation to drive forward our dreams and aspirations of ASEAN’s Founding Fathers over five decades ago to build a region of peace, progress and prosperity for all ASEAN peoples and to lay down a solid foundation for future generations in the next half century.”
Prayut expressed his belief that a people-center Community can only be realized through partnership and cooperation among all sectors in the ASEAN Member States, public, private, civil society and most importantly, the heart of our Community, our peoples in every generation.
The same day, the ASEAN leaders will witness the launching of the ASEAN Satellite Warehouse in Chainat Province under the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN, or DELSA, and the inclusion of the ASEAN Center of Military Medicine, or the ACMM, as a subsidiary body in Annex 1 of the ASEAN Charter. These two Centres will enhance ASEAN’s disaster response and management capabilities.
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