Delegates at the celebration (Photo: Vietnamplus)
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) celebrated its 48 th founding anniversary (August 8) at the headquarters of its Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia on August 10.

Prominent among the attendees were ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi along with ambassadors, chiefs of permanent representative missions to ASEAN and representatives of diplomatic corps in Indonesia.

In his opening remarks, ASEAN Secretary General Minh reviewed the highlights of the evolution and development of the ten-member group over the past 48 years.

He said the dream of an ASEAN Community where people are bound together in friendship, cooperation, peace, freedom and prosperity will be realised at the end of this year.

The establishment of the ASEAN Community will bring many opportunities and interests to its member countries, he noted, adding that once more barriers are lifted, international and regional integration will be more intensive and extensive.

In his speech, Vice President Kalla said as an organisation, ASEAN is beginning to mature and has achieved a tremendous amount in its nearly half-century of existence.

The group has contributed to the dynamic economic development of its member countries, he said, stressing the strategic role played by ASEAN in the regional structure.

ASEAN has been recognised internationally with more and more countries and organisations showing interest in becoming dialogue partners, the Vice President said.

On the occasion, the ASEAN Secretariat launched a common stamp and postmark within the group.

The celebration also served as a joint festival of ASEAN member countries with a string of art performances, exhibitions and culinary events.-VNA