ASEAN leaders join the signing of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the establishment of the ASEAN Community (Source: VNA)
Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman announced the official formation of the ASEAN Community on December 31.

“Today, December 31, 2015, marks another significant milestone in ASEAN’s history as it is the day the ASEAN Community is formally established,” he said.

The Minister said Malaysia welcomes the formation of the ASEAN Community and reiterated the country’s support to further strengthen the community building and regional integration as well as implement commitments under the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision and ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together.

As Chair of ASEAN in 2015, Malaysia, with the strong support and cooperation from other ASEAN member states, had successfully fulfilled its two main deliverables, namely to ensure the completion of remaining action lines of the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community between 2009 and 2015, and to develop the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision - ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together that charts the way forward for ASEAN in the political-security, economic and socio-cultural community pillars over the next 10 years, according to the Minister.

It has been “an honour for Malaysia to be the Chairman of ASEAN at a time when ASEAN embarks on a new area,’ he affirmed.

Minister Anifah Aman said Malaysia recognises that the birth of the ASEAN Community does not mean that it has arrived towards the end of the community building process. “In fact, this is just the beginning,” he added.

Enhancing awareness of the ASEAN Community and public involvement in the community building is of utmost importance to make the ASEAN Community a success, he stressed.

The establishment of the ASEAN Community was launched at the 27th ASEAN Summit and relevant events in Kuala Lumpur, in November 2015.

Earlier, at the 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) held in Kuala Lumpur in August, ministers reiterated the bloc’s commitments to doubling efforts to build the ASEAN Community to realise connectivity targets across politics, economics, and social responsibility at the end of this year.

The post-2015 ASEAN Vision, which is built on the past achievements of the bloc, will direct the community’s activities in the next decade along with promoting wide and inclusive integration and close cooperation across the fields.

Following the theme “Our People, Our Community, Our Vision”, the ASEAN Community means to intensify relations with partners while increasing the central role, prestige and influence of the association in the global arena.-VNA