Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has reiterated that ASEAN member states should continue to maintain and enhance ASEAN role in the evolving regional architecture,
particularly ASEAN’s centrality, ASEAN’s way and the principle of moving forward at a pace comfortable to all.
He made the statement at the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) in Vientiane yesterday, drawing ASEAN foreign ministers, Secretary-General of ASEAN, ASEAN senior officials and delegates as well as Foreign Ministers of Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and Norway.
He said that the 49th AMM and related meetings are taking place at a crucial juncture, when ASEAN focuses its efforts on implementing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and enhancing cooperation with external partners with ASEAN playing a central role.
“I do hope that the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and external partners will engage in frank and constructive discussions with a view to preparing for successful conclusions of the 28th and 29thASEAN Summits and related Summits to be held in September this year in Vientiane as well as to contributing to the maintenance and promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world,” said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Thonglounalso emphasised ASEAN’s remarkable achievements over the past 49 years, particularly the establishment of the ASEAN Community in December last year as well as the importance of enhancing cooperation within ASEAN and between ASEAN and external partners with the aim of strengthening and advancing the ASEAN Community.
He continued that it is the great honour for the Lao PDR to be entrusted to assume ASEAN Chairmanship for the second time in 2016, which is an important and meaningful year for ASEAN, as it is the first year that ASEAN opens up a new chapter as the ASEAN Community, and also implements the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the three community blueprints.
The theme “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community” and 8th priorities had been proposed by the LAO PDR as the theme of ASEAN Chairmanship 2016, which were subsequently endorsed at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in February 2016 in Laos.
In addition, the two important documents namely the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan III and Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity 2025 are expected to be adopted by the ASEAN leaders in September 2016 to form integral parts of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
At the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith extended his appreciation to ASEAN member states, ASEAN dialogue partners, friendly countries as well as regional and international organisations for the support and cooperation extended to the Lao PDR as Chair of ASEAN.
He stressed that the success of the 49th AMM and related meetings will lay strong foundation for the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits and related summits in September.
Mr. Saleumxay also highly valued the important role of ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in contributing to and promoting ASEAN cooperation in various areas as well as cooperation with ASEAN’s dialogue partners and other external parties within the ASEAN-initiated mechanisms.