The ASEAN 2025 will be instrumental in bettering the region politically, economically and socially. (Source: nst.com.my)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - A people-centred ASEAN is instrumental in community building efforts, according to an article run by News Straits Times on the occasion of the 51st founding anniversary of the 10-member bloc (August 8).

A “People-centred ASEAN” means ASEAN will be an even more powerful vehicle for the realisation of the peoples’ aspirations — good governance, transparency, higher standards of living, sustainable development, empowerment of women and better opportunities for all, it said.

The article, titled “Preparing ASEAN for the next phase”, stated the ASEAN Declaration was signed on Aug 8, 1967 by the five founding countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Accordingly, the group was established with the main purpose of ensuring peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region.

ASEAN has certainly come a long way since its inception. The establishment of the ASEAN Community during Malaysia’s Chairmanship in 2015 marks the beginning of a new era for the bloc.

“It is envisaged that the ASEAN Community will bring about meaningful and positive change to the livelihood and wellbeing of its over 635 million people,” the article said, adding it is premised on political stability, equitable economic development and social responsibilities.

Economically, ASEAN has progressed by leaps and bounds. It has a market of 2.6 trillion USD (10.6 trillion USD) with over 635 million people.

ASEAN is also projected to be the fourth largest economy in the world by 2050. And, that’s not all. It has also been recognised as a driving force for developing a cooperative regional architecture.

In terms of politics, over the last five decades, ASEAN has brought together external partners to negotiate, dialogue and engage with its member states through the various ASEAN-led processes, including the ASEAN Plus Three, East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum, Southeast Asian Nuclear - Weapon-Free Zone and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

ASEAN also provides a platform for countries like the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to sit together with other participants including major powers to discuss pertinent political and security issues of common interest and concern.

According to the article, in 2015, ASEAN adopted the ASEAN Vision 2025, articulating the grouping’s goals and charting the path for the ASEAN Community building over the next 10 years.

ASEAN Vision 2025 will be instrumental in bettering the region politically, economically and socially. It is a long-term investment for the future that we must not forego, for the benefit of our next generation.

One of the key features of ASEAN 2025 is its emphasis on a “People-Centred ASEAN”.

The article concluded that with the support and commitment of all member states and dialogue partners, ASEAN will rise above all challenges that may come before us in this ever-evolving multi-polar world and achieve what the founding fathers had aspired for this region — peace, security, stability and prosperity for all.-VNA