Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung has called on ASEAN member countries to deeply understand opportunities and challenges amid rapid changes in the region and the world in order to seek solutions for fulfilling the group’s major objectives.

The targets include building a strong community, bringing pragmatic interests to ASEAN citizens, fostering intra economic connectivity and enhancing citizen-to-citizen links by values, the Deputy FM said at an international seminar on geopolitical changes in Asia-Pacific and ASEAN’s 50-year path in Hanoi on June 9.

These efforts would help increase the vitality of ASEAN as well as its centrality in the region, he noted.

Reviewing ASEAN’s development over the past half a century, Dung said with five initial members, ASEAN has grown up into a comprehensive regional cooperation group with ten member nations, which operates on the basis of the ASEAN Charter.

He described the formation of the ASEAN Community on December 31, 2015 with three pillars of politics-security, economy, and culture-society as a breakthrough, helping the bloc firmly step into a new period.

Peter Girke, Director of Konrad Adenauer Foundation, said over the past 50 years, ASEAN has brought benefits to not only its member countries but also their citizens, highlighting common consensus as the great achievement recorded by the nations.

Associate Professor Dr. Nguyen Vu Tung, Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, underscored ASEAN’s role in connecting and promoting regional cooperation, as well as its successes and vitality in the context of complex developments in Asia-Pacific.

As part of activities within the national programme marking the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN, the seminar was jointly held by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, the ASEAN Department of the Foreign Ministry and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. -VNA