Asean leaders, through their collective effort, agreed that Asean member countries will be able to realise the Asean Community Building by the end of this year as the leaders met at a summit in Malaysia. Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong led a Lao delegation attending the 26th Asean Summit held on April 27 in Indonesia, according to a press release from the Lao Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Four main topics were tabled at the summit. The topics were the establishment of the Asean community by 2015, the formulation of post-2015 vision, cooperation direction between Asean and its external dialogue partners, and Asean centralisation.
At the talks, the leaders reviewed progress made towards building the regional community based on the three pillars - Asean Political-Security Community, Asean Economic Community, and Asean Socio-Cultural Community.
The leaders congratulated the progress made in drafting the post-2015 vision and action plan to implement the vision aiming at continuing to build Asean as a strong and prosperous community.
Asean is set to complete drafting the post-2015 vision and submit the draft for approval to the 27th Summit scheduled to be held at the end of this year, according to the press release.
Regarding cooperation between Asean and its external dialogue partners, the Asean leaders were pleased to note the cooperation between Asean and the external dialogue partners has been growing. They agreed that the growing cooperation has contributed to the Asean community building process and the protection and promotion of peace, stability and cooperation for development in the region and world as large. The leaders agreed to intensify such cooperation.
The Asean leaders realised the importance of the Asean centralisation and they agreed to enhance the centralised role of Asean in the regional structure through mechanisms initiated by Asean such as the Asean plus one [one country], Asean plus three [China, Japan and the Republic of Korea], Asean Regional Forum, Asean defence ministers plus meeting, and East Asia Summit.
The summit also discussed ways to overcome challenges Asean is facing such as the impact of financial and economic crises, global climate change, and disaster relief efforts. The leaders also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
The summit endorsed three declarations namely: the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on a People-Oriented, People-Centred Asean, Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates, and The Asean ‘Declaration On Institutionalising the Resilience of Asean and Its Communities' and People to Disasters and Climate Change.
The Asean leaders also met with representatives from the Asean Inter Parliamentary Assembly, Asean Business Advisory Council, Asean youth, and Asean Civil Society Organisations.