World / China-ASEAN meetings

ASEAN moves toward further integration with establishment of landmark community

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-11-22 21:32

KUALA LUMPUR - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forges ahead toward further integration and closer cooperation as the ASEAN Community is slated for materialization by end-2015 deadline.

The formal establishment of the long-aspired ASEAN Community on Dec 31, 2015, will mark the culmination of ASEAN's decade-long efforts to integrate and cohere in a region still plagued by economic downturns, currency devaluation and threats of terrorism and human trafficking.

"We resolved to consolidate our community, building upon and deepening the integration process to realize a rule-based people-oriented ASEAN Community," said the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 adopted at the end of the summit, the 27th of its kind since ASEAN's inception.

The declaration underlined the urgency to "enhance ASEAN institutional capacity and increase ASEAN institutional presence at the national, regional and international levels."

Under the theme "Our People, Our Community, Our Vision," the two-day summit also touched on serious issues such as climate change, maritime cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and terrorism in the wake of Paris attacks.

As the outcomes of the series of meetings, the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the ASEAN Community and the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together were endorsed, spelling out the strategic action lines in the next 10 years.

The building process of ASEAN Community started in 2003 amid global challenges as well as the need for ASEAN to reassert its centrality and ensure its driving force in shaping the constantly evolving regional architecture.

At the heart of the regional integration course is the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the most advanced of all the pillars of regional community.

By far, the implementation rate of AEC measures have reached 92.7 percent with 469 measures carried out, 37 still pending and some to be addressed on a priority basis early next year, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said at the summit.

With collective economic growth and resources, ASEAN is seen as the next engine of growth in Asia especially after it becomes successful in achieving the ASEAN Community by the year-end.

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