The ambassador of the six ASEAN countries that are membesr of the ASEAN Committee in Rome (Photo: VNA)

Rome (VNA) – A ceremony was held in Rome, Italy, on October 20 to mark 50 years since the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 40 years of ASEAN-European Union (EU) diplomatic ties.

In his speech, Thai Ambassador to Italy Tana Wekosith, rotating Chairman of the ASEAN Committee in Rome (ACR), reviewed the 50-year development of ASEAN and emphasised the achievements that the ASEAN ande EU have attained as well as the prospect of bilateral relations.

The ASEAN and EU are now making up 18 percent of the world’s population and 26 percent of the global GDP, he said, adding that both play important roles in promoting peace and prosperity at the regional and global scale.

Representatives of Italy and the EU delegation shared the view that with its central role in shaping regional cooperation mechanisms, the ASEAN Community is becoming a successful regional integration model in all the three key fields of politics and regional security, economic integration and institutional building.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Italy Cao Chinh Thien told Vietnam News Agency reporters that all ambassadors of ASEAN countries to Rome who serve as ACR Chair on a rotational basis have made efforts to enhance the bloc’s role and position in Italy. They have also worked to boost the ACR’s relations with administrations of Italian localities and EU agencies.

As the ASEAN is celebrating its 50th founding anniversary in 2017, the ACR’s activities are critical to improving Italian people’s understanding about ASEAN, a community of countries with dynamic development that plays an increasingly important role in Asia-Pacific.

The ACR was set up in August 2011 with the aim of coordinating the ASEAN embassies’ viewpoints and activities and promoting the grouping’s images and prestige in Italy.

It groups the ambassadors of six ASEAN nations to Italy, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The ACT Chair is rotated among the ambassadors in every six months.-VNA