|Flags of 10 ASEAN members and ASEAN flag (Photo: VNA)
On August 8th, 1967, ASEAN was established with 5 founding members. ASEAN is now a bloc of 10 Southeast Asian nations with more mature politics, stronger economics, better institution, and closer connectivity.
Opportunities and challenges
ASEAN is entering a new period of both opportunities and challenges. In the face of rising trade protectionism, anti-globalization, traditional and non-traditoinal security challenges, and climate change, ASEAN has made greater effort to strengthen regional integrity and unity.
ASEAN countries have had a shared view that unity is an important factor for the bloc’s success. Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said: “After more than 50 years, ASEAN has drawn a lesson that unity and concensus will lead to success. ASEAN has formulated and led mechanisms which have been recognized by the rest of the world. ASEAN’s stature is respected and affirmed in Asia-Pacific and Indo-Pacific.”
The recent ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings in Bangkok, Thailand, confirmed ASEAN’s unity and its wish for peace and stability. The ministers’ joint statement opposed violations of international laws, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Vietnam to take ASEAN Chair 2020
Joining ASEAN in 1995, Vietnam is proud of its contributions to the bloc. Vietnam has had certain influence on ASEAN’s unity structure, regional peace and stability, the building of an ASEAN Community, and its future vision.
Vietnam will assume the ASEAN Chair next year. Besides the tasks of promoting a common market and production, expanding relations with partners, and building a community towards the people and for the people, Vietnam will actively propose initiatives and protect ASEAN principle of consensus. Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh, said: “In the current complicated situation, big countries’ intervention and strategic competition have heatened up the situation in many areas, including the Asia-Pacific. Vietnam will work to make countries resolve disputes through dialogues and peaceful measures based on international law.”
Vietnam, who will take the helm of ASEAN next year, pledges to contribute substantially to ASEAN Community’s development.