Asia

Happy 49th ASEAN Day!

The Celebration of the 49th anniversary of ASEAN brings Southeast Asian nations together for one common vision and goal

August 16th, 2016
Anastasija Baranovska, CD News
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The celebration of the 49th anniversary of ASEAN on August 8th, 2016 enabled to recognize the growing diplomatic, economic, and strategic significance of Southeast Asia. This region is one of the most dynamic parts in the world.

Since its founding in 1967, ASEAN has advanced a rules-based order for the Asia-Pacific that protects the rights of all nations, large and small. ASEAN’s contributions to peace and stability are critical for economic growth, mutual security and environmental sustainability.

ASEAN Day is celebrated on this date to remember the five founding fathers of ASEAN - Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand - who signed the Bangkok Declaration for peace and stability in the region and for the people to prosper and progress.

The key of ASEAN has always been to ensure the safety of the people of Southeastern region, and so it will be in the years ahead. Economically, significant progress has been made by ASEAN Member States, making ASEAN cheaper and easier to do business and invest in. In the socio-cultural front tangible results of cooperation have already been achieved through education, labour movement, cultural exchanges, poverty alleviation and gender equality.

The celebration of the ASEAN Day this year was for the first time as a single Community; for on December 31st, 2015, under the chairmanship of Malaysia, the ten ASEAN Member States inaugurated the ASEAN Community. This was a significant milestone for the region, building on the resilience and dynamism that have been the hallmark of ASEAN through its journey of nearly half a century.

ASEAN community-building is a continuous and evolving process, and the momentum must be maintained in order to ensure political cohesion, economic integration as well as social and regional inclusion. One of the tasks of the Community is to be able to respond effectively to the emerging threats and challenges presented by the rapidly changing regional and global landscape.

The subject selected by Lao PDR as Chairman of ASEAN in 2016, “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community”, is timely and appropriate.  It reflects the collective will of Southeast Asian Nations to continue to integrate our region and solidify our Community.

The Prime Minister of Thailand, Gen. Prayut Chan-o-cha, one of the politicians who attended the ASEAN Day 2016 Celebration, applauded the national Ministry of Foreign Affairs for developing a memorandum of “Understanding on Enhancing Knowledge and Understanding of Cultural Diversity in ASEAN”, which will help to promote the nation’s human resource development, as well as people-to-people relations, through regional and local cooperative network for mobilization of foreign policies within the country between the Government and various sectors.

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Cultural Diplomacy News