UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (sixth from left) and ASEAN diplomats at the 2019 ASEAN Day reception in New York on July 30 (Photo: www.un.org)

New York (VNA) – Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres described the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a global model of multilateralism while attending the 2019 ASEAN Day reception in New York on July 30.

Opening the event, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the UN Vitavas Srivihok, also head of the 2019 ASEAN Committee in New York, highlighted the significance of the establishment of the ASEAN 52 years ago, connecting the member countries with one another in friendship and cooperation and creating a foundation for peace and prosperity in the region.

Despite unpredictable changes and challenges, ASEAN is currently the most peaceful and stable region in the world with cohesion and sharing among its member states, he noted.

Vitavas also said that with the theme for 2019 “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”, the bloc has made efforts to ensure sustainable security, including promoting a complementary relationship between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, establishing an ASEAN centre for sustainable development studies and dialogue, and committing to enhancing cooperation with international partners.

In his speech, the UN Secretary-General said the ASEAN is not only an organisation representing 10 Southeast Asian nations but also a global model of multilateralism with traditions of dialogue, respect and trust among its members.

He noted ASEAN’s contributions in all areas of action of the UN, including preventing crises and dealing with conflicts. He also welcomed the bloc’s efforts to assist Myanmar and negotiate a Code of Conduct (COC) of parties in the East Sea.

Guterres expressed his hope for stronger relations between the ASEAN and the UN and for the ASEAN’s active engagement in upcoming multilateral events like the climate change summit, a high-level meeting on universal health coverage and a conference on financing for development.

Meanwhile, Tijjani Muhammad Bande, newly-elected President of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, spoke highly of the ASEAN’s success and leadership in many fields, voicing his hope that the grouping will continue contributing to the 74th session.

President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés recognised the ASEAN’s motto “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”, which she said was a prerequisite for the successful implementation of its Community Vision 2025.-VNA