Updated on : Chủ Nhật, 14/01/2007 - 8:31 SA
Narrowing development gaps between members to form a desired ASEAN community
VNGOVNet - PM Nguyễn Tấn Dũng stressed so at the 12th ASEAN Summit that was opened under the theme “One Caring and Sharing Community” on January 13 in Cebu, Philippines.


ASEAN leaders pose for a commemorative photo - Photo: VNGOVNet

Mentioning the Summit’s theme, the ASEAN leaders discussed solutions to strengthen intra-ASEAN cooperation to improve life and bring practical benefit to every citizen. They signed many important documents, including the “Cebu Declaration towards One Caring and Sharing Community”, “Cebu Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers”, “ASEAN Declaration on HIV/AIDS” and “ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism”.

Facing rapid regional and international changes, for ASEAN to deal with challenges and make use of new opportunities more effectively, the process of regional cohesion should be furthered. In this spirit, the leaders signed the “Cebu Declaration on the Acceleration of Establishment of an ASEAN Community by 2015”.

Apart from intra-ASEAN cooperation, the ASEAN leaders also discussed orientations and measures to enhance and deepen multi-faceted cooperation between ASEAN and its dialogue partners for the sake of peace, stability, cooperation and development within the region. They expressed their gladness and welcomed Timor-Leste and France to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, considering this event an important landmark for the developed relationships between ASEAN and the two partners.

To strengthen and bring its role into play in its external links and within the existing fora and regimes for regional cooperation, ASEAN should make greater efforts in raising its internal strength and values. In building up comprehensive  and strategic relations with partners, it is necessary to pay more attention to economic and trade cooperation. Accordingly, ASEAN will strive best to realize the current agreements on economic cooperation and actively finalize cooperation frameworks during the negotiation, for the common benefit of all sides concerned. 

At the Summit, the ASEAN leaders considered and assessed the Report and recommendations made by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) about the ASEAN Charter. The leaders agreed on the significance and historic meaning of the Charter, a document to lay legal framework and institutional foundation for ASEAN to become more powerful, dynamic, effective, unified, internationally important, and adaptable to new requirements and situations.

The Charter should maintain and consolidate ASEAN’s fundamental values, norms and principles, such as respecting independence and sovereignty, not intervening in internal affairs of each other, and making decisions on agreement, negotiation and consensus. The leaders directed that, in designing the Charter, it is necessary to take a flexible approach, especially in economic cooperation, drastically improve ways of operation, cooperate more effectively, identify a proper and long-term development avenue for ASEAN, taking into account specific political and socio-economic conditions of each member. The leaders assigned the High-level task force (HLTF) to draft the Charter on the basis of the leaders’ directions at the 11th and 12th ASEAN Summits, the related documents of ASEAN and the EPG’s proposals, completing the Charter for submission to the 13th ASEAN Summit held in Singapore in late 2007.

About global trade issues, the leaders showed the common determination of ASEAN to actively contribute to making negotiations within the WTO fruitful, helping to promote development and prosperity of all economies. In this spirit, the ASEAN leaders ratified the ASEAN Declaration on WTO, calling for the early resumption of the Doha Round. They congratulated Vietnam as the 150th WTO member and pledged to help Laos join this organization.

Addressing the Summit, Vietnamese PM Nguyễn Tấn Dũng lauded ASEAN for boosting the regional alliance to timely adapt to rapid changes in the region and throughout the world. He highlighted the significance of the Charter to ASEAN’s development in the future, and stressed that the Charter should harmoniously combine national and regional benefits in order to identify a dynamic, effective and flexible development model in line with ASEAN’s specific conditions.

According to PM Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, to form an ASEAN Community as desired soon, the primary factor is to narrow the development gaps between the members, and give high priority to the implementation of ASEAN Integration Initiative (IAI) on narrowing development gaps. He informed that Vietnam is making active preparations for the 2nd IAI Development and Cooperation Forum (IDCF) for an overall strategy to put the IAI into reality .

The 12th ASEAN Summit wrapped up successfully in the ambiance of openness, friendship and cooperation.

By Xuân Hồng

Editor-in-chief: Vi Quang Dao
License No. 137/GP-BTTTT dated on April 21, 2014
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