The 24th ASEAN Summit held in the Myanmar capital of Nay Pyi Taw on May 10-11 was a success, climaxing with the release of a Joint Declaration on Realisation of the ASEAN Community by 2015.

The Secretariat of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held a press conference at its headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia on May 16 to review the summit’s outcomes.

At the event, Secretary-General Le Luong Minh announced the content agreed between ASEAN leaders at the summit, focusing on forming the ASEAN Community by 2015, consolidating ASEAN institutions and strategic orientations for the community beyond 2015.

The leaders also discussed regional and international issues of common concern and measures to further promote ASEAN’s external relations.

Minh said that the joint declaration emphasised commitments to ASEAN objectives as stated in the Bangkok Statement on August 8, 1967, especially the promotion of cooperation in Southeast Asia in the spirit of equality and partnership, contributing to regional peace, security, stability, progress and prosperity.

ASEAN leaders agreed to increase unity and solidarity within ASEAN and its central role in maintaining and fostering peace and prosperity in the region.

They also reached a consensus on measures to further boost ASEAN cooperation in developing democracy and effective governance, and protecting human rights and citizens’ fundamental rights to freedom while attaching importance to the rights and responsibilities of each member state so as to raise the role of the ASEAN Community.

Answering reporters and diplomatic corps on China’s placement of a drilling rig in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, Minh said that for the first time within 20 years, ASEAN foreign ministers issued a joint statement on the East Sea issue, affirming peace, stability, maritime security and freedom in the East Sea is a common issue of ASEAN.

ASEAN hopes for the settlement of all territorial disputes here through peaceful negotiations, without use of force or threat to use force and on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and ASEAN’s six-point principles on East Sea issue, said the statement.-VNA