ASEAN’s founding anniversary celebrated in Indonesia

National flags of ASEAN member states (Source: Internet) Manila,  (VNA) – A grand ceremony took place at the Philippine International Convention Centre in Manila on August 8 to celebrate the 50th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The event was attended by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh, and Foreign Ministers from 10 member states and the bloc’s partner and dialogue countries. The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. With the theme “Under one light, we are one ASEAN”, the ceremony included a series of performances praising the friendship and solidarity of the 10 member states. Participants also paid tribute to the founders of ASEAN and honoured ASEAN citizens who have made great contributions to its socio-economic development. Speaking at the ceremony, Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano emphasised that after 50 years, ASEAN has risen to be a prestigious regional association and a trusted partner of many countries. It has led its member states to overcome a lot of challenges, in which solidarity and consensus are the key factors to help the bloc maintain peace and stability and develop a prosperous and people-centred community, he added. In his message delivered at the ceremony, Duterte reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN over the past five decades, hoping the community will continue growing sustainably. In the period, the role and position of…... [read more]

The event was attended by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh, and Foreign Ministers from 10 member states and the bloc’s partner and dialogue countries. The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. Photo for illustration: vov.vn  With the theme “Under one light, we are one ASEAN”, the ceremony included a series of performances praising the friendship and solidarity of the 10 member states. Participants also paid tribute to the founders of ASEAN and honored ASEAN citizens who have made great contributions to its socio-economic development. Speaking at the ceremony, Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano emphasized that after 50 years, ASEAN has risen to be a prestigious regional association and a trusted partner of many countries. It has led its member states to overcome a lot of challenges, in which solidarity and consensus are the key factors to help the bloc maintain peace and stability and develop a prosperous and people-centered community, he added. In his message delivered at the ceremony, Duterte reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN over the past five decades, hoping the community will continue growing sustainably. In the period, the role and position of ASEAN have been asserted firmly, which is reflected through the strength of the ASEAN Community, the close connectivity in politics, economics and culture among the members, and development in relations between ASEAN and its partners as well as…... [read more]

ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh (Source: VNA) Hanoi (VNA) – ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh highlighted the bloc’s milestones during its 50 years of existence in an interview with Vietnam News Agency. Minh told reporters that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established in 1967 with only five members, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. The purpose at that time was to deal with security-related risks amid the Cold War and the anti-US war in Indochina. The bloc then admitted Brunei in 1984, Vietnam in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997 and Cambodia in 1999. These moves completed its initial target of connecting all Southeast Asian countries which are diverse in political institution, economic structure, cultural identity, language and religion. In 2003, the bloc issued the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II identifying the objective of establishing an ASEAN Community with three pillars of politics-security, economics and culture-society, Minh said, adding that the ASEAN Charter in 2007 created a legal foundation and institution framework for strengthening regional connectivity and for establishing the ASEAN Community in 2015. The most important milestone in ASEAN’s history was the establishment of the ASEAN Community in December 2015 and the launch of the ASEAN Vision 2025 towards a self-reliant, legal-binding and people –centered community on January 1, 2016, he added. [ASEAN – a rare sub-region organisation of solidarity: Deputy PM] Mechanisms including the ASEAN Regional Forum, East Asia Summit and Asia Plus Three are…... [read more]

In 2013, pursuing its national diplomatic orientation, Vietnam identifies as its key tasks deepening its relations with other countries and reinforcing its status in the international arena by proactively involving itself in multi-lateral forums, like ASEAN. An ASEAN member for 18 years, Vietnam considers ASEAN cooperation an important part of its external policy. ASEAN cooperation has become more essential as Vietnam has integrated into the international community. The documents of the 11th Party Congress said that under the motto of being “proactive, positive and responsible”, Vietnam will work with other countries to build a strong ASEAN community. Vietnam has contributed to building a closely integrated, united, and strong ASEAN with an increasingly important role, regionally and internationally, in striving for the common goals of peace, stability, cooperation, and prosperous development. Last year, Vietnam advocated the building of an ASEAN community and completed its role as Country Coordinator of ASEAN – China External Relations from 2009 to 2012. Nguyen Tien Minh, Head of the ASEAN Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, says “Vietnam performed well its coordinating role to boost bilateral ties. China is ASEAN’s strategically important partner and bilateral talks have mentioned the complicated East Sea issue. On one hand, we have to protect Vietnam’s sovereignty. On the other hand, we, on behalf of ASEAN, have to boost the bloc’s friendly relations with China. We were successful when, last July, China and ASEAN met to discuss the implementation of the DOC and to forward the negotiation of the COC.”…... [read more]

Meetings of working groups and Senior Officials Meetings (SOM) will take place from August 1-3 to prepare for the higher level events. The 48 th AMM will officially convene on August 4 with the participation of Foreign Ministers from 10 ASEAN member States and the ASEAN Secretary General. The meeting’s plenary session will focus on issues regarding the establishment of the ASEAN Community in late 2015 and progress of the ASEAN Community’s Post- 2015 Vision. A retreat meeting will discuss regional and international issues of mutual interests. The 48 th AMM will be followed by several related meetings including the 16 th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers Meeting (16 th APT FMM) with the three partners of China, Japan, Republic of Korea, the 5 th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers Meeting (5 th EAS FMM) and the 22 nd ASEAN Regional Forum (22 nd ARF). The ASEAN+3 meeting is expected to discuss cooperation among 13 countries in fields of economic and trade relations, process of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as well as projects under the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. Meanwhile, 26 countries and territories are expected to take part in the 22 nd AFR which will address regional and international political and security issues.... [read more]

The visit came with The Permanent Court of Arbitration(PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands, about to announce its final ruling on the Philippines’ maritime rights lawsuit against China. Some analysts say Beijing’s scheme behind this visit was to cause division within ASEAN over East Sea disputes. Arguing that East Sea disputes are not “an issue between China and ASEAN” and should not affect their ties, the 4-point agreement that Beijing announced is aimed at winning diplomatic support before The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) makes its final decision on the Philippines’ complaints against China’s nine-dotted line claim. Beijing seeks ASEAN allies After ending his tour of Laos, Cambodia and Brunei, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a press briefing that China and the 3 ASEAN nations have agreed that disputes over islands, rocks and sand banks are not “an issue between China and ASEAN”. He added that each of the 4 countries has the right to resolve disputes in accordance with international laws that others should respect. The PCA is likely to deliver a ruling in favour of the Philippines by the end of May or early June. Earlier, China rejected the PCA s’ authority, insisting on resolving disputes bilaterally and seeking opponents to the court’s ruling. It’s not coincidental that Beijing sent its top diplomat to Laos, Cambodia and Brunei ahead of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) slated for this summer which will be attended by the new foreign ministers of these 3 countries. Furthermore, the host country…... [read more]

President of the National Food Institute Petch Chinabutr said that the institute would initiate a project on the “Safe Kitchen of the World,” so that the quality and safety of Thai food would gain greater recognition at the international level. He believed that the project would double the number of small and medium-sized food business operators in the next three years. The institute would offer assistance in terms of research and development in order to increase the value of Thai food products. Thai ready-to-eat food items, such canned rice and canned fish, stand a good chance for further growth in the export market. Mr. Petch said that the project would also help promote Thailand as a food hub, in preparation for the realization of the ASEAN Community by 2015. Several Thai foods have become very popular among international consumers, so vast opportunities are open for Thailand to push for the safe kitchen of the world policy. Thailand’s massaman curry was recently ranked first in the “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods,” according to a survey conducted by CNNGo.com. Other Thai dishes on the list include tom yum goong (spicy prawn soup), ranking eighth; nam tok moo (Thai spicy salad with pork), coming 19th; and som tam (green papaya salad), ranking 46th. ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan cited Thailand as the number one food producer in the ASEAN region and the sixth in the world. He is confident that Thailand has great potential for its Kitchen of the World project because of its…... [read more]

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism and Sports, Mr. Chumpol Silapa-archa, recently represented Thailand in signing the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals, aimed at facilitating the mobility of tourism professionals within the region. The ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals is one of the key ASEAN tourism initiatives to support the establishment of ASEAN Economic Community 2015. In his remarks at the signing ceremony, ASEAN Secretary-General, Mr. Surin Pitsuwan welcomed the signing of this agreement by Thailand, saying that it marked an important milestone for ASEAN in fully implementing this agreement and in successfully pursuing the important initiatives for the integration of ASEAN and realization of the ASEAN Community in general. Another purpose of this arrangement is to improve the quality of services delivered by tourism professionals. There are 32 job titles covered under this mechanism, ranging from housekeeping, front office, food and beverage services, and food production, in the hotel division, to travel agencies and tour operators, in the travel division. The travel and tourism sector plays an important role in the overall ASEAN economy. Based on the ASEAN Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2012, it is estimated that this sector accounts for 4.6 percent of ASEAN GDP. The contribution rises to 10.9 percent when all indirect contributions from the sector are taken into account. In addition, this sector directly employs 9.3 million people, or 3.2 percent of total employment, and indirectly supports some 25 million jobs. The growth of international tourism in ASEAN…... [read more]

Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Pham Thi Hai Chuyen is leading Vietnam’s delegation to the event. Addressing the opening ceremony on September 6, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh highlighted the effective inter-ASEAN cooperation as well as that between the Association and its partners, focusing on a variety of programmes to promote poverty reduction and protect the welfare of society’s most vulnerable. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen emphasised the importance of maintaining social welfare in developing countries and ensuring the underprivileged—such as the disabled, domestic and international migrants, and the economically disadvantaged—are not excluded from the ASEAN community. Delegates recounted some of the region’s significant recent achievements in improving social welfare and development. They discussed potential care provision and service reforms to support the disadvantaged more effectively. They also contributed opinions on two important documents: the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection and the ASEAN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women and Children. Both drafts will be submitted for consideration at the 23rd ASEAN Summit in Brunei in October 2013. The week-long meeting encompasses a number of other important regional events including the ASEAN Plus 3 (Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea), the 9th ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD 9), and an ASEAN forum on social welfare conducted with non-governmental organisations.... [read more]

In his speech at the 2013 ASEAN Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX-13) in Hanoi on October 21, Hai said natural disasters pose a threat slowing down the development process of many countries, including Vietnam, which is among hardest-hit countries. The Vietnamese Deputy PM highlighted the ARDEX-13 as an important rehearsal, which has shown strong ASEAN cooperation in natural disaster management- a prioritized area the ASEAN community given to stepping up cooperation with its partners. The exercise gave regional countries a good chance to practice, share experience and evaluate their capacity in information sharing, search and rescue work, disaster emergency response. Despite numerous economic difficulties, the Vietnamese government has always paid due attention to natural disaster response and helped other regional countries respond to major natural catastrophe ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh hailed Vietnam’s hosting the regional rehearsal, affirming that natural disaster prevention and control is top priority of the ASEAN bloc which suffered an estimated loss of more than US$4 billion annually. The ARDEX-13’s aim is to promote the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and increase regional cooperation in responding to natural disasters, Minh said. The exercise equipped with modern facilities will take place in Hanoi’s Son Tay township on October 23, with the participation of more than 2,000 people from many countries. The ARDEX-13 is regarded as the biggest ever natural disaster response rehearsal in Vietnam.... [read more]




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