Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in Laos for ASEAN conference
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, along with other foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), attended the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM), which was opened yesterday in the Laotian capital, Vientiane.
The foreign ministers were welcomed by Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, who called for “frank and constructive discussions” between member states and partners, “contributing to the maintenance and promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world.”
In his remarks, Mr Thongloun also identified a range of traditional and non-traditional security challenges including extremism and terrorism, natural disasters and climate change, refugee issues and human trafficking as well as economic developments including the recent “Brexit” as requiring close attention of the ministers.
The opening ceremony of the annual meeting of foreign ministers of ASEAN was also attended by the Secretary-General of ASEAN, senior officials and delegates. The foreign ministers of Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and Norway also attended as invited guests of the Lao PDR, Chair of ASEAN 2016.
Chaired by Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, the AMM comes following talks between the region’s senior officials and diplomats in Vientiane since Thursday as representatives seek progress on regional and international issues of common concern and interest.
The meeting discussed progress of implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2015, in particular the implementation of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025.
The one-day meeting also agreed to the requests for the accession by Chile, Egypt, Iran and Morocco to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).
The ASEAN foreign ministers also discussed the promotion of ASEAN’s external relations and ASEAN’s centrality within ASEAN-led mechanisms. In addition, the ministers had a candid and constructive exchange of views on regional and international issues such as terrorism, human trafficking, illicit drug, natural disasters, irregular migration as well as developments in the Middle East, Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea.
During the meeting, the foreign ministers also adopted the TAC and released the statement on the Occasion of the Anniversary of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) was also released.
The statement recalled the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) on 24 February 1976 in Bali, Indonesia and the subsequent Protocols amending the TAC.
It recognized the positive contributions of the TAC to promoting peace and stability in the region over the past 40 years, and which continue to be an important foundation for the development of an inclusive, rules-based, people-oriented, ASEAN Community and to the promotion of ASEAN centrality
The statement also recalled the ASEAN Charter, which urges State Parties to resolve disputes peacefully and in accordance with the rule of law.
The foreign ministers recalled the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II) which states that the TAC is the key code of conduct governing relations between States and a diplomatic instrument for the promotion of peace and stability in the region, emphasizing that the aspirations of, and commitment to, the TAC serve as a foundation upon which is built an ASEAN vision of an integrated, peaceful and stable community with shared prosperity as envisaged in the ASEAN Community Vision 2025;
They recognized the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region by resolving differences and disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with the ASEAN Charter and principles of international law.
Following the annual meeting, Union Minister for Foreign Affairs Daw Aung San Suu Kyi participated in the 7th Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Meeting which focused promoting cooperation in Mekong-Ganga travel sector, education, transport and cultural sectors.
Union Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also attended the 6th Mekong-Korea Foreign Minister’s meeting and discussed progress of the cooperation of Mekong-Korea and future programs.—MNA