The most outstanding outcome of the recently concluded ASEAN Summit in Brunei was the reiteration of ASEAN’s commitment to intensify efforts towards realizing the ASE AN Community in 2015,. Nyan Lynn, Deputy Secretary-General of ASE AN told the press on October 16.

Speaking on behalf of the ASE AN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh at a post-summit briefing conducted at the ASE AN Secretariat in Jakarta , Lynn reported that, over-all, ASEAN has made progress with regard to the implementation of the ASE AN Community blueprint.

According to Lynn, an average of 82.5 percent of all action lines towards the ASEAN Community 2015 have been completed or are being implemented, with 78 percent for the political security, 79.7 percent for the economic and 90 percent for the socio-cultural pillars.

With little more than two years before 2015, the ASEAN Leaders also adopted the “Bandar Seri Begawan Declaration on the ASEAN Community Post-2015 Vision” where they tasked relevant bodies to further articulate ASEAN’s vision of a community that is “not only politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible but also truly people-oriented, people centered, and rules-based.”

The ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General stressed that on the political side, ASEAN reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining peace and maritime security in the East Sea and to resolve all disputes in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law. The leaders of ASEAN called for restraint in the conduct of activities in the East Sea and said they will consult with China on the early conclusion of the Code of Conduct for all parties involved.

On the economic front, Lynn said that “the economic initiatives undertaken under the ASEAN Community Blueprint are already changing business landscape in the region through better economic opportunities.” He cited the steady growth of GDP in the region as well as the flow of foreign direct investment to ASEAN in the last few years.

With regard to the socio-cultural pillar, he noted that the Leaders welcomed a recommendation by environment ministers from ASEAN to establish the ASEAN Sub-Regional Haze Monitoring System to address trans-boundary haze pollution issues. The Summit also adopted declarations on non-communicable diseases and violence against women and children.

One of the highlights of the last ASEAN Summit in Brunei was the turn-over of Chairmanship to Myanmar who for the first time will assume leadership of this regional organisation beginning 1 January 2014 . Deputy Secretary-General Lynn said the President of Myanmar Thein Sein has committed to prioritise the narrowing of development gap, climate change, food and energy security, as well as human rights when Myanmar takes the leadership of ASEAN. Myanmar ’s theme for its chairmanship of ASEAN is “Moving Forward in Unity Towards a Peaceful and Prosperous Community.”-VNA