Myanmar FM stresses accomplishment of remaining work of ASEAN Community building

BAGAN, Myanmar, Jan. 17 (PNA/Xinhua) — Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin stressed on Friday accomplishment of the remaining work of ASEAN Community building by 2015 and setting a new vision beyond 2015.

U Wunna Maung Lwin made the remarks in his opening speech as the chair at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) Retreat, hosted by Myanmar for the first time, in Bagan, an ancient city in Mandalay region.

He called on ASEAN member states to take initiatives on some of the action lines.

For setting a new vision beyond 2015, he called for starting the process as soon as possible after finalizing the terms of reference.

In this regard, Myanmar will work closely with all ASEAN members and particularly with Malaysia, the next chair, and take an initiative to formulate Nay Pyi Taw Declaration during Myanmar’ s chairmanship.

Emphasizing that the review of ASEAN Institutions is also an equally important task, he urged prompt start of work of high-level task force, saying that Myanmar is ready to host the first HLTF meeting.

During Myanmar’s chairmanship, the country is setting priorities to formulate ASEAN Community Post-2015 Vision collectively, to promote SMEs as prime movers of ASEAN’s economic development in the 21st century, to address narrowing the development gap within and among member states, to promote sustainable development, to address the growing trend of aging population, to promote resilience in addressing crisis and disaster and to take a balanced approach in expansion of relations with dialogue partners.

He called for redoubled efforts for the success of ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan , taking into account of ASEAN’s geographic position of being a land bridge between ASEAN land mass and its strategic partners of China and India.

He also called for increased efforts to promote tolerance in building a peaceful and prosperous community, harmonious environment within the societies, while encouraging the silent majority to promote tolerance.

He urged promoting the work of Global Movement of moderates initiated by Malaysia and also inter-faiths movement initiated by the Philippine and Indonesia in order to further enhance peace and harmony in the societies.

Myanmar set theme for its chairmanship as “Moving Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community”.

The AMM Retreat, attended by ASEAN foreign ministers and the bloc’s representatives, is a follow-up of Thursday’s Senior Officials Meeting (SOM).

The AMM Retreat represents the first regional meeting hosted by Myanmar since assuming the chairmanship of the bloc on Jan. 1 which was taken over from Brunei.

ASEAN comprises ten member countries — Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (PNA/Xinhua)