Asean members spelled out commitments to realize an integrated Asean region

April 4, 2012 10:10 pm 

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, April 4 — The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) gathering for the 20th Asean Summit here in Phnom Penh made several commitments for the realization of a progressive and unified Asean community by 2015 and beyond.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, Asean summit chairman, said in a statement that Asean leaders vowed to maintain the momentum of the bloc’s progress, continue community building, deepen regional integration and pursue Asean connectivity.

The leaders also vowed to work with external partners in developing the region, ensuring greater cooperation to address peace-building through Asean defense ministers’ meeting, and fighting nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.

At the same time, Asean-member countries pledged to strengthen cooperation among themselves in times of natural disasters, ensuring food security, fighting terrorism, transnational crimes, and human and drug trafficking.

They also want greater promotion of democracy and good governance as well as strict adherence to the rule of law and the protection of human right and social justice.

The Asean is also looking forward for the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the pact when Asean leaders meet their Chinese counterpart in the Asean-China Summit in November, also here in Phnom Penh.

The Asean leaders also made a commitment to work closely with the Plus Three countries in undertaking productive activities to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Asean-Plus Three cooperation, and with the US and Canada marking the 35th anniversary of the Asean-Canada and Asean-US Dialogue Relations, respectively.

Aside from cooperating with other countries, the regional grouping looks forward to convening the Asean-China Commemorative Summit in India in December 2012. The meeting is in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Asean-India Dialogue Relations.

“As the chair of the Asean in 2012, Cambodia will work to ensure the successful achievement of the strategic thrusts provided for in the roadmap, especially to gear up its efforts to realize regional integration and thus contribute to the realization of the Asean Community by 2015, a community of prosperity and development with the theme: “Asean: One Community, One Destiny,” Prime Minister Hun Sen said in the statement.

President Benigno S. Aquino III joined fellow Asean leaders for a two-day gathering here for the 20th Asean Summit and the Asean’s 45th anniversary celebration.

The President is scheduled to go back to Manila Wednesday evening. (PNA) RMA/PCOO/rsm

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