Asean issues declaration on forming community at year end

Kuala Lumpur, Nov 22 (IANS) The ten members here on Sunday signed a document on the “formal establishment of the Asean Community” on December 31, 2015, a milestone in the process of regional integration.

In the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the Asean Community, leaders of the member countries expressed confidence that the realisation of the Asean Community will “ensure lasting peace, security and resilience in an outward-looking region,” Xinhua reported.

It will form a region with economies “that are vibrant, competitive and highly integrated and an inclusive community that is embedded with a strong sense of togetherness and common identity,” said the document.

The leaders also underlined their aspiration for establishing “a truly rules based, people-oriented, people-centred Asean Community where our peoples continue to participate in and benefit fully from the on-going process of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations integration and community building.”

The idea of building the community was proposed in 2003 on the three pillars of the Asean Political and Security Community, the Asean Economic Community and the Asean Socio-Cultural Community.

The regional bloc, established in 1967, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The leaders of the ten member-countries are here attending the 27th Asean Summit which is to close later Sunday.

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