ASEAN promoting solidarity in the new context

10/08/2014
                                                 The Association of Sotheast Asian Nations


August 8th, the member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) celebrated the 47th anniversary of the founding associations (8/8 / 1967-8 / 82014).
For 47 years, ASEAN has continuously expanded cooperation and links. ASEAN has undergone a special journey before becoming an organization consisting of 10 members as today. The development of ASEAN is a result of the solidarity and relentless efforts of the ASEAN in the process of building community that based on three pillars of political-security, economic and socio-cultural.
On the political-security pillar, the Bangkok Declaration that marked the birth of ASEAN in 1967 had clearly specified the goal of making joint efforts and sacrifices to ensure for their peoples and for posterity the blessings of peace, freedom and prosperity.
Since then, ASEAN has adopted many important documents such as the Declaration of ASEAN Concord (1976), the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC-1976), the South East Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SANWFZ-1995), the Declaration on Conduct of Parties on the East Sea (DOC-2002) and the ASEAN Charter (2008). These documents have become standards for the relations among ASEAN member countries as well as between ASEAN and its outside partners.
For these reasons, ASEAN has attracted many major partners, with such big political-economic powers as the US, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, India and the EU continuing to enhance their ties with the grouping through mechanisms initiated and led by ASEAN.
In the East Sea issue, ASEAN has also demonstrated its role and responsibility in ensuring peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the region. When China illegally installed its rig in violation of Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, threatening security and navigation safety in the East Sea, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meeting on May 10, 2014 issued a statement on the East Sea, strongly reiterating the principles on respecting international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The issuance of a statement dedicated to the East Sea issue for the first time in 20 years demonstrates ASEAN’s common concern over the tense developments in the East Sea. The statement confirms the bloc’s responsibility for peace and stability in the region as well as its solidarity in the face of difficulties and challenges.
In the economic pillar, ASEAN works as an important driving force for regional economic-trade linkages. Less than a decade after the establishment of the ASEAN Free Trade Zone (AFTA) in 1992, regional economic connectivity expanded to cover most major economic sectors from trading in goods to trading in services and investment.
When the financial crisis enveloped Asia in 1997-1998, not a few opinions hastened to forecast that ASEAN would draw back into trade protectionism. On the contrary, it was ASEAN that breathed new life into economic-trade linkages in East Asia with the formation of a network of Free Trade Zones with important partners in the region (FTA+1) such as China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, ASEAN actively pushed forward a range of economic-trade cooperative programmes with powers such as the US, Canada, the EU and Russia. Amid the gloomy global economic picture, ASEAN emerged as a bright spot with an average growth of 5-6 percent even during the most difficult time of 2011-2012.
Together with political-security and economic cooperation, socio-cultural ties is a pillar of the ASEAN Community which aims for a harmonious, united, sharing and caring community of ASEAN nations. At the same time, “unity in diversity” is also a unique feature of the bloc, a regional characteristic treasured and respected by ASEAN countries.
Two years before the threshold of entering the Community, ASEAN in general and Vietnam in particular are having not only chances and new opportunities, but also significant challenges to overcome. The context of region and internation changes rapidly with many complicated and unpredictable things, East Asia and the Asia - Pacific region are becoming the important centers of politics and economics of the world and the place of convergence and interference of all major countries’ strategic interests.
To maintain and develop the achievement, Vietnam, together with other ASEAN member countries, have to carry out things following:
First of all, the bloc will devote utmost resolve and endeavours to the successful building of the ASEAN Community.
Secondly, ASEAN’s central role should be strengthened and upheld in different aspects and scales. According to Minh, ASEAN should continue to uphold its standards and codes of conduct such as its Charter, the TAC, SEANFWZ and DOC and using them as the foundation to build a common code of conduct for the region as a whole, while promoting the building of a multi-level regional structure in which ASEAN plays the core role. At the same time, the bloc should shore up its internal economic strength to serve as a basis for enhancing internal and external economic links.
Thirdly, mechanisms for both internal cooperation and collaboration with partners should be strengthened in order to respond timely and effectively to traditional and non-traditional security challenges, particularly those related to territorial and sea and island disputes, natural calamity, diseases and the environment.
Fourthly, a vision beyond 2015 for the ASEAN Community should be build based on the accomplishments ASEAN has made over the past nearly five decades. Minh said the year 2015 is just a milestone marking ASEAN’s transition to a new period of regional cooperation at a higher level towards more sustainable peace, deeper economic linkage and integration and more practical benefits for the people.
As an integral part and a responsible member of ASEAN, Vietnam’s future will continue to bind with ASEAN on the road towards regional connectivity and integration for peace, security, stability and prosperity for 600 million people of the bloc.
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All comments [ 10 ]


Phạm Hiếu 10/8/14 21:12

ASEAN will be successful, a new prosperous center of the world. When that time come, people all around the world will come to our region like we are coming to the West at the moment.

Hùng Quân 10/8/14 21:14

To Vietnam, joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a decision of great historical significance at both national and regional levels.

Lê Tín 10/8/14 21:15

I agree with Mr. Hung Quan, at the national level, the decision paved the way for Vietnam to become more integrated into the region, allowing the country to join hands in building a regional environment of peace, stability and cooperation.

Quốc Kiên 10/8/14 21:18

ASEAN should continue speeding up the building of a common market and stepping up trade facilitation process, making it easier to undertake dialogue with partners.

Huy Lâm 10/8/14 22:08

The bloc should also focus on strengthening economic connectivity among members by enhancing infrastructure, and pay more attention on sustainable development.

Quốc Cường 10/8/14 22:10

ASEAN aims to improve well-being and reduce poverty in its broadest sense in line with the goals and targets of the Millennium Development Goals

Vân Nhàn 10/8/14 22:16

Vietnam will play an important role in ASEAN Community and Vietnamese people have to work hard to adapt and compete with other labour forces, workers, engineers from other country in the region and the world.

Hoàng Lân 10/8/14 22:18

ASEAN should also take the initiative in proposing and building regional codes of conduct

Huy Quốc 10/8/14 22:20

At the same time, the association should improve its capacity in dealing with non-traditional challenges such as maritime security and safety, natural disasters and epidemics, which have become frequent and seriously affect residents in the region,

Quân Hoàng 10/8/14 22:27

I deeply concern about recent development on the East Sea, If ASEAN cannot prevented, it would cause big problem to the peace, stability and development of the region. Therefore, we have to ensure the full and effective implementation of the DOC while working toward an early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), as well as the strict observance of international law and the UNCLOS.

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