Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has delivered a message on the occasion of the 53rd founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 25th anniversary of Vietnam’s admission to the bloc. Following is a translation of the message.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today is a very important day of our region as we are celebrating the founding anniversary of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (August 8, 1967) together. Throughout 53 years of development with its historic missions stated in the Bangkok Declaration 1967 kept in mind, ASEAN has truly become an organization representing regional countries and uniting them in friendly and cooperative neighborliness on the basis of mutual respect and understanding to strive for peace, progress and prosperity of people.
From a grouping of only five members, ASEAN has developed into a community of ten Southeast Asian nations with a population of 650 million and an economy ranking fifth in the world registering GDP of more than 3 trillion USD in 2019 and even gone beyond the regional border.
ASEAN has expanded relations with many partners in and outside the region, including world powers, creating momentum for cooperation and dialogue processes for peace, security, stability and development in Asia-Pacific and the world.
That is a precious achievement built by many generations that we must cherish and have the responsibility to preserve and promote.
Can we fulfill this mission? Will ASEAN continue maintaining its value and vitality sustainably to meet expectations of people? It requires the concerted efforts, consensus, strong political will and determination of all states.
ASEAN’s basic principles, recognized regional standards and above all, international law, the spirit of multilaterism and regional connectivity, as well as ASEAN’s centrality should be further promoted. ASEAN’s values as a common market, an united production base, an open movement and work space, a community of mutual care, support and sharing must be widely spread for all people and businesses to enjoy and contribute to the bloc’s development.
Twenty-five years ago, Vietnam joined ASEAN. The image of the red flag with the yellow star in the center of Vietnam flying alongside with the national flags of other ASEAN member countries in the Brunei sky on July 28, 1995 will be remembered as an important milestone for both Vietnam and ASEAN. A new journey started for Vietnam, bringing the country into a process of intensive and extensive international integration.
It can be said that Vietnam’s development achievements over the past 25 years have important contributions from the ASEAN membership. The active, positive and responsible participation of Vietnam has also contributed to the development of the ASEAN Community.
With the cohesive and responsive spirit, as the ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnam gives the highest priority to promoting solidarity and unity and effective coordination among member countries, as well as strengthening relations with partners to enhance the capacity to deal with unprecedented challenges: the COVID-19 pandemic and fierce competition in the regional and global geopolitical environment, in which the respect for law, including 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) must be heightened.
Joining hands with other ASEAN member countries in overcoming the existing difficulties and challenges, Vietnam has continued to promote the successful implementation of the ASEAN Vision 2025, enhance the position and promote the role of ASEAN, thus contributing to peace, security and sustainable growth in the region and the world.
Ladies and gentlemen,
ASEAN has always been one of the important pillars in Vietnam’s foreign policy. An united, strong, prosperous and self-reliant ASEAN Community with high international role and position is our shared interest. This can only be reached if all of us “think community and act community”. Vietnam has been exerted efforts, together with other ASEAN members, to successfully implement this noble goal.
Thank you very much.- (VNA/VLLF)