Leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Sunday last week adopted a declaration on the bloc’s growth to 2025, mapping out a plan for further regional integration and community building efforts.
The declaration, titled “Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Asean 2025: Forging Ahead Together,” is one of the key documents issued at the end of a two-day summit, which has drawn leaders from Asean’s 10 member-states and their dialogue partners — China, South Korea, Japan, India, New Zealand, Australia, the US and Russia.
Asean leaders welcomed the formal establishment of the Asean Community, agreeing that this declaration as well as the community vision 2025 – the Asean Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025, the Asean Economic Community Blueprint 2025 and the Asean Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025 – constitute the Asean 2025: Forging Ahead Together, said the declaration.
The leaders decided that Asean member-states, its organs and bodies shall implement the Asean 2025: Forging Ahead Together in a timely and effective manner, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Asean Charter.
Asean ministers, secretary-general and other organs and bodies are tasked with mobilising resources needed to implement Asean 2025: Forging Ahead Together, said the declaration.
The Asean secretary-general is directed to monitor and report the progress of implementation to the Asean summit annually, it added.
Established in 1967, Asean groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The imminent establishment of Asean Community on December 31 this year has been hailed as a milestone in the bloc’s decades-long efforts to integrate and cohere.