ASEAN General Secretary Le Luong Minh
(VOVworld) – ASEAN’s interests influence every single activity of the association, said ASEAN General Secretary Le Luong Minh in an interview with Radio the Voice of Vietnam. He noted that over the past 50 years ASEAN has been moving towards the establishment of an ASEAN Community by the end of this year. He added that, together with the EU, ASEAN is considered a successful model of growth and this has contributed to the members’ increasing mutual trust and socioeconomic development, as well as to ensuring peace in the region. Amid complicated developments around the world, Minh called on ASEAN countries to maintain solidarity and stay united while preserving their own unique cultural identities: "Amid power changes in the Asia Pacific region’s geopolitics, strategic competitions between major countries, and increasing risks posed by the region’s hot spots, including the East Sea issue, ASEAN countries must consolidate internal unity with the bloc’s interests put first by all members. ASEAN should give high priority to and allocate appropriate resources to the establishment of the ASEAN Community and take concrete steps to narrow development gaps between members and ensure all 10 members fulfil their targets for forming the community by the end of 2015." Minh said the decision to establish the ASEAN Community in 2015 has increased the responsibilities of the ASEAN Secretariat, which is in charge of standardizing ASEAN regulations and supervising the implementation of members’ commitments.