Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade » Asean heads endorse pacts pushing 2015 regional integration

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations who are meeting at the 21st Asean Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, discussed plans and forged agreements that aim to facilitate the realization of a regional economic community by 2015.

During the meeting on November 18, the state heads deliberated on the actual target date in 2015 for the unification of the Asean Community, according to an official news release.

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen urged the Asean member-states to stay vigilant against tariff and nontariff trade barriers, especially against a backdrop of global economic uncertainties and the approaching regional unification.

Warning that Asean’s credibility was at stake if the grouping fell short of its community target, the Prime Minister said, “Realizing the Asean Community by 2015 should remain our top priority… we have slightly more than 3 years ahead to realize the Asean Community by 2015, while daunting tasks remain to be addressed.”

He called for the preservation of the peace and stability in the region to ensure economic prosperity. “Asean must promote the effective functioning of existing mechanisms to ensure regional security and peace, such as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, the Asean Regional Forum, the ADMM-Plus and the Asean Convention on Counter-Terrorism,” he said.

In view of this, the summit launched the Asean Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) and adopted the Asean Human Rights Declaration.

“The document is the result of a lot of hard work, determination, and dedication by all the members of AICHR (ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights),” said assistant director Leena Ghosh from the Asean Secretariat.

The leaders also adopted the Bali Concord III Plan of Action 2013-2017, a manifestation of Asean commitment “to take an increasing role in addressing global challenges by enhancing collaboration to adopt common positions on issues of mutual interest in regional and international fora.”

The meeting also confirmed and welcomed Vietnam’s Deputy Foreign Minister Le Luong Minh as the next Secretary-General of Asean, replacing Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, who completes his term by next month.


Photo: quartje

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