Over the past 53 years, a united bloc and joint efforts to build a regional community have helped Asean overcome challenges, towards sustainable development. This has also been a foundation for it to promote its central role in the region.
ASEAN connectivity is a continuous process, with the formation of the Asean Community 2015 being a milestone and laying the foundation for a period of new and greater development, Vietnam news agency reported.
In 2014-2015, the bloc defined a new strategic framework towards 2025 as a continuance of the Roadmap for Asean Community 2015, which comprised orientations, goals, and measures to continue reinforcing and deepening the Asean Community.
In November 2015, Asean leaders signed the "Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Asean 2025: Forging Ahead Together”, which was associated with the Asean Vision 2025 and three blueprints for the implementation of each pillar of the community, as well as the Master Asean Connectivity 2025 and the Work Plan on narrowing development gaps within the bloc.
The Asean Community Vision 2025 aims to turn the grouping into an open regional cooperation organisation with intensive links and a more important role in the region, and a rule-based community with the engagement of all people, for the benefit of all.
At an online meeting of senior Asean officials on the building of the Asean Community Post-2025 Vision, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of SOM Asean Vietnam, said the bloc is entering a period of realising the Asean Community Vision 2025.
"During five years of community formation and development, we have faced many challenges and opportunities amid changing situation in the region and the world,” he said.
Asean has proved its dynamism, progressiveness, and vision in defining its growth orientations over the last five decades, Nguyen added.
The Asean Vision 2025 and master plans for the implementation of each pillar of the community are the result of consensus and manifest the common vision and interests of member countries.
The building of the Asean Community has seen positive outcomes over the last four years, as evidenced by the progress made in the implementation of commitments in the Asean Community Vision 2025 and blueprints.
Some 94 per cent of action lines in the Political-Security Community have been completed, while 76 out of 170 economic priorities were completed as of September 30, 2019. Economic connectivity among the Asean Economic Community has become stronger, creating an important buffer zone helping the bloc deal with major external economic shocks.
As of September 30, 2019, 954 actions had been implemented to realise 109 strategic measures of the Socio-Cultural Community, or 25 actions more than in 2018.
Thirteen percent of action lines have been completed, 51 percent are underway, and 36 percent will be implemented in the future. Activities to raise awareness about Asean, promote people-to-people exchanges, and deal with social welfare issues have also been conducted.
Supervision and evaluation mechanisms have been built in all pillars, in line with the work plan in different fields, contributing to ensuring efficiency and progress in the implementation of commitments.
According to Dr Luan Thuy Duong from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, Asean has begun a new journey under the name of Community.
An Asean with a vision of intensive connectivity, active adaptation, and strong and sustainable development after 2025 will continue to bring greater and more practical benefits to member countries, including Vietnam, Duong said.
As a responsible member for the last 25 years, he went on, Vietnam will continue to make contributions and play a more important role in the association in the future, adding that with an active, proactive, and responsible spirit and capacity for adaptation, Vietnam will continue to work for an Asean Community of solidarity and stability.
As Asean Chair in 2020, it will continue the efforts of previous chairs and work closely with members to identify orientations for the growth of the Asean Community to 2025 and beyond. - Bernama