ASEAN member countries should demonstrate higher political determination and commitment, and give appropriate priority to successfully implementing the roadmap of building the ASEAN Community in 2015.

Ambassador Vu Dang Dung, Head of Vietnam’s Permanent Representative Mission to ASEAN, made the remark in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 45 th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (August 8, 1967-2012).

Dung said that after 45 years of formation and development, from the first five members, ASEAN now has brought together all the 10 countries in the region. The group is entering a new period of cooperation and connectivity with strong qualitative changes, advancing towards an ASEAN community in 2015.

To realise this goal, ASEAN and each member country need to focus resources on accelerating the implementation of major targets in all three pillars of political-security, economics and socio-culture, especially strengthening intra-bloc economic linkage, improving connectivity within ASEAN and between ASEAN and the East Asian region, narrowing the development gap, and ensuring a sustainable and equal development, he stressed.

ASEAN should also develop result-oriented external relations in order to take advantage of external resources and create sustainable linkages on the basis of mutual benefit, he added.

The ambassador stressed that in the new situation, ASEAN needs to pay more attention to continue consolidating and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment for mutual development.

The group should attach importance to strengthening internal solidarity and unity as a foundation to promote its common voice and central role in regional and international issues of common interest, including complicated and sensitive cases such as the East Sea, thus enhancing the role and position of ASEAN as well as making effective contributions to ensuring regional peace, stability and development.

According to the ambassador, since the Vietnamese Permanent Representative Mission to ASEAN was set up in 2009 under the ASEAN Charter, it has made practical contributions to activities of the Committee of Permanent Representatives in ASEAN (CPR), gradually promoting the CPR’s function of coordinating ASEAN cooperation in all aspects. The mission has also played its role in effectively implementing Vietnam’s policies in ASEAN, especially in the year 2010 when Vietnam was ASEAN Chair.

In the coming time, the Vietnamese mission will focus on serving the implementation of Vietnam ’s tasks and priorities in ASEAN while continuing to make continue making active and proactive contributions to the CPR’s activities, with a view to speeding up the implementation of the ASEAN Community building roadmap and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, he said.

Another important task of the mission is to continue playing a its role as coordinator and a prolonged arm of Vietnam in implementing ASEAN cooperation.

In addition, with Vietnam’s nomination of a representative to undertake the position of ASEAN Secretary-General from January 2013, the mission will be responsible for actively supporting and coordinating with the ASEAN Secretariat in implementing its functions and tasks, Dung added.-VNA