HA NOI — ASEAN has become an important and indispensable factor in maintaining peace, stability, development, dialogue, cooperation and connectivity within East Asian and Asia-Pacific regions.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung speaks at the celebration of the 44th anniversary of ASEAN. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made the above comment during a speech delivered on the occasion of the 44th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) today.
ASEAN Day carried significant importance to nearly 600 million people in enhancing their close-knit attachment and prosperous development, Dung said.
"We are pleased to witness the great achievements that ASEAN has made over the past 44 years on its way to creating an ASEAN Community by 2015 based on a political, economic and socio-cultural security," he said.
Dung called on the bloc to continue promoting its proactive role in enhancing the efficiency of regional co-operation mechanisms such as the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the UN Charter and the ASEAN Charter.
ASEAN co-operation had long been a key element of the Vietnamese Party and State's foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification, multilateral relationship building and proactive regional and international integration, he stated.
The Government leader stressed that the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of Viet Nam had affirmed Viet Nam's commitment to strengthening friendly and co-operative relations with its neighbouring countries while actively join in efforts to build a powerful ASEAN Community.
On the occasion, Dung extended his congratulations to the Governments and people of fellow member states as well as to bloc partners, expressing his hopes that ASEAN would become more united, powerful and prosperous.
On this 44th founding anniversary of ASEAN, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh stressed ASEAN's determination to building a Community by January 1, 2015, in the face of little time and various current challenges.
From now until 2015, Viet Nam will focus on the following major priorities:
Firstly, proactively promote and propose sound orientations and decisions in order to consolidate solidarity and enhance regional cooperation and connectivity to further expand and deepen the relationship between ASEAN and its partners to maintain its central role in shaping the region.
Secondly, actively raise ASEAN's important role in promoting dialogue and cooperation, building confidence based on peace, security to prevent conflict and peacefully settle disputes.
Thirdly, pay due attention to fully implementing agreements and commitments regarding the Roadmap for building an ASEAN Community, ensuring the effective and timely fulfilment of set targets.
Finally, it is necessary for relevant ministries, branches, agencies and cadres to understand the importance of ASEAN in terms of cooperation and connectivity. — VNS