ASEAN affirms its central role in the region

(VOVworld)- The 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings will open in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. This is one of ASEAN’s major annual events of the year. The meeting is of great importance because the ASEAN Community will be established in four months and ASEAN’s major issues in 2015 will be reviewed. ASEAN is strengthening its central role in the region which is facing numerous complications.
ASEAN affirms its central role in the region - ảnh 1

Since the Association of Southeast Asian Nations was founded 48 years ago, the founding countries have shared a goal of connecting all the countries in the region under a common roof of peace, stability and prosperity. The idea of building an ASEAN Community has been central to the 48-year development of ASEAN. ASEAN has proved its vitality and become an important factor in ensuring an environment of peace and stability and promoting cooperation and development in Asia-Pacific.

Important factor in ensuring regional security

Every year, in July and August, a number of ASEAN forums and meetings are held: the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN+1, the ASEAN +3 and the ASEAN +6. Founded 22 years ago, the ASEAN Regional Forum has become the region’s biggest forum on politics and security where ASEAN and 18 non-ASEAN countries cooperate to ensure security in the region. The forum has been successful because it has brought security benefits to each member and to the world as a whole and has promoted constructive dialogues on security. Indonesian Deputy Defense Minister Sjafrie Sjamsoeddin said: “The ASEAN Regional Forum is one of the most important forums in our region. It discusses issues to do with political and security developments. This is an example of ASEAN leadership where we are in our region discussing these issues. We really don’t know the reviewing developments in our part of the work, the various challenges that we face, but at the same time, the various opportunities that we face”.

ASEAN’s mechanisms and forums have proved that it has a key role in the regional security structure and have contributed to peace, stability and development in the region. ASEAN’s partner countries have shown their support for the organization, the formation of the ASEAN Community and ASEAN’s way of addressing security challenges in the East Sea. ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh said: “All partner countries support ASEAN’s stance in dealing with East Sea issues based on the organization’s 6-point principle. They supported ASEAN’s efforts to work with China to address the East Sea issue on a basis of ensuring regional security and stability as well as maritime safety and security. 74 countries outside ASEAN have sent their ambassadors to ASEAN reflecting their interest in enhancing cooperation with the organization”.

ASEAN’s relations with its partners

Since the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Myanmar last year, ASEAN has strengthened cooperation within the organization and with its dialogue partners. ASEAN’s cooperation with China has been expanded to new areas and deepened through a number of mechanisms. ASEAN and Japan have boosted the implementation of their cooperation programs and strengthened cooperation on the application of satellite technology in disaster management, diplomacy, global health care, green growth, climate change adaptation and urban management. ASEAN and India have promoted projects connecting India and ASEAN in road transportation, aviation, navigation and digital technology. ASEAN and the Republic of Korea are approaching the goal of raising their two-way trade to 150 billion USD by the end of this year. ASEAN and the US continue to lift their dialogue relationship to the strategic level. The US says it considers ASEAN the centre of the Asia-Pacific structure and of its own rebalancing strategy. US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said: “We focus on bilateral and multilateral relationships and joint exercises that we continue to strengthen and deepen. We intend to continue to be a specific power to cooperate with ASEAN partners in all nations in the Asia-Pacific. So we focus on different dimensions of that relationship”.

The 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings are the final activities before the ASEAN Community is established by the end of this year. The meetings are expected to achieve practical results contributing to strengthening solidarity within the organization and to promoting its central role in maintaining peace, stability, security, and cooperation in the region and the world.