ASEAN commemorative coins issued by the National Bank of Cambodia (Photo:VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) – Laos officially took over the chairmanship of ASEAN’s Committee of Permanent Representative (CPR) in 2016 from Malaysia at a ceremony in Jakarta, Indonesia on January 8.

The event was attended by permanent representatives of the member nations to ASEAN and ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh .

In his speech, Minh said the bloc reaped remarkable achievements during 2015, when Malaysia hold the chair of ASEAN’s CPR, adding that the formation of the ASEAN Community on December 31 last year marked a milestone in the group’s development process.

Representatives from the member nations praised Malaysia for its contributions and high responsibility during the time it undertook the ASEAN chairmanship.

Under the chair of Malaysia, the CPR’s activities gained significant results in all fields, prominently improving ASEAN’s operation mechanism, bettering the ASEAN Secretariat’s ability and expanding foreign relations.

The ASEAN countries vowed continued closer coordination in 2016 to further contribute to the bloc’s development in the future.

After the handover ceremony, Laos presided over the first meeting of the CPR in 2016, during which participants discussed priorities and working plans of the committee this year.

They also agreed to continue implementing key tasks left from 2015 and new ones set for 2016, which will focus on improving ASEAN’s operation mechanism and the ASEAN Secretariat’s ability, enhancing links between the CPR and ASEAN member nation’s ambassadors to further promote foreign relations, and fulfilling action plans between ASEAN and a number of partners.

In the coming time, CPR will accelerate the drafting of the ASEAN-Russia Action Plan and the ASEAN-United Nations Action Plan in 2016-2020, while increasing meetings between the committee and ambassadors of ASEAN partners.

On the occasion, Laos informed participants of its preparations for the ASEAN Foreign Minister’s Retreat (AMM Retreat) scheduled for February 26-27 in Vientiane.

As planned, the CPR will convene its second meeting on January 26.-VNA