The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held an ASEAN flag raising ceremony in Hanoi on December 31 to celebrate the official formation of the ASEAN Community.
The event took place in the presence of Moroccan Ambassador and head of the diplomatic corps El Houcine Fardani, representatives of the ASEAN nations’ embassies and partner and dialogue countries in Vietnam, and officials of Hanoi and Vietnamese ministries and sectors.
In his speech, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said December 31, 2015 is a historic day of all the 10 ASEAN member countries as after 48 years since the bloc’s foundation, the dream about a harmonious community of the Southeast Asian nations has come true.
Efforts towards peace, friendship, cooperation and development for all nations are the determinant of the bloc’s current success.
The ASEAN Community’s formation will lead the region’s cooperation and connectivity progress to a new phase that will benefit all the member nations and reflect the grouping’s centrality and proactiveness in response to the growing regional and global trend of cooperation and connectivity.
“As from today, under the roof of ASEAN, more than 600 million people in Southeast Asia will join hands in building a politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible community”, he stressed.
He took this occasion to express acknowledgement and hope for the continued support and assistance from international friends, especially ASEAN’s partners, to the bloc in general and Vietnam in particular.
Vietnam is proud of having actively participated and contributed to the cooperation and building of the ASEAN Community since 1995. It has made all-out efforts to accelerate the national reform and regional and international integration during that two-decade ASEAN membership, Minh noted.
The Deputy PM added ASEAN has continually been and will remain a pillar in his country’s foreign policy, and Vietnam is committed to continuing to actively, proactively and responsibly engage in the grouping’s cooperation, helping with the successful development of the ASEAN Community.
The formation is just the initial step in the building of the ASEAN Community, which is a continuous and long-term process, he said, emphasising that an array of challenges are awaiting and much remains to be done.
The official voiced the belief that ASEAN will fulfill its goals and successfully build up a peaceful, stable, inclusive and intensively integrated community which is also a constructive player in the global community.