Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed to push ahead to achieve a regional community that is politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible at the recent 23rd ASEAN Summit.

Following the summit which wrapped up in Bandar Sri Begawan, Brunei on October 10, a statement of the ASEAN Chair said, "In advancing the frontiers of our cooperation to become more responsive to the needs of our people, we tasked the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC), in consultation with the three ASE AN Community Councils, to develop ASE AN's vision beyond 2015”.

The ASEAN leaders adopted the Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision, which carried the slogan “Our People, Our Future Together."

According to the declaration, the ASEAN Community councils will work together to map out ASEAN’s post 2015 plan on the foundation of the achievements of the roadmap for building the ASEAN Economic Community ( AEC ). Meanwhile, the ACC is assigned to pinpoint the key elements for the plan, which will be submitted to the ASE AN Summit in 2014.

The adoption of the declaration is a reflection of ASEAN leaders' commitment to bringing forward stronger long-term regional integration, analysts said.

When realised, the AEC will consist of three pillars: the Political-Security Community, the Economic Community and the Socio-Cultural Community. The framework will bind the member nations of the bloc more closely together in these areas for their mutual benefit.

Despite acknowledging that the biggest challenges to the integration goals remain ahead, the ASEAN Secretariat is optimistic that all the 2015 targets will be met in a timely manner.

According to the ASEAN Chair's statement, 279 categories of the AEC Blueprint have been implemented - equivalent to 79.7 percent - but more work and political will is still required.

The Chair of ASEAN Summit this year, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, stated at the summit’s opening that ASEAN must demonstrate greater political will in all tasks towards realising the goal of establishing the AEC in 2015.

He also called on ASEAN to strengthen its relations with dialogue partners and the global community while also increasing institutional support of the ASEAN Secretariat.-VNA