The 27th ASEAN Summit and related meetings wrapped up in Kuala Lumpur on November 22 with the signing of a Declaration on the establishment of the ASEAN Community which featured a turning point in the 48-year-old bloc’s history.
The 2015 ASEAN Chairman, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, in his closing speech, said the establishment of the single community proved worldwide that ASEAN could become the most competitive region in Asia-Pacific and have influence on the world stage.
According to the PM, the inception of the ASEAN Community features the start of region-building and efforts need to be doubled to promote unity and full integration into the politics-security, economics and social-culture pillars.
The adoption of the 2025 ASEAN Vision will continue the community-building process from 2009-2015 and the ASEAN Community will begin its new journey from January 1, 2016.
Najib Razak handed over the Chairmanship of ASEAN for 2016 to Lao Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, expressing his hope that under Laos’ Chairmanship, the ASEAN Community will continue thriving.
At the follow-up press conference, the Malaysian PM stated that the 27th ASEAN Summit and related meetings succeeded and the bloc’s leaders showed their satisfactions with what had achieved in the implementation of the ASEAN Community blueprint from 2009-2015.
The ASEAN leaders renewed their commitments to stepping up unity and deepening connectivity in the next decade as envisioned in the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on 2025 ASEAN Vision.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the leaders reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability in the sea, intensifying mutual trust and understanding, and exercising restraint in deploying activities in the area in conformity with principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
They agreed to speed up the completion of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea and stringently implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.
At their meetings, the leaders discussed regional and international issues of shared interest, like, the combat against terrorism and extremism, illegal migration, peace movement, climate change and haze.