PM: Vietnam pledges to build united, self-reliant ASEAN hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivers a speech on the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam is committed, along with other member countries, to build a united and self-reliant ASEAN Community, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the 50th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) today.

Delivering a speech on August 7, which also marks the 22nd year of Vietnam’s entry into the group, the PM said that "Vietnam and member countries would accelerate internal trade and investment, develop infrastructure, and narrow development gaps; effectively co-operate to serve the people, improve people’s living standards, ensure social welfare, and promote the pride of the Community; build an ASEAN Community based on law, especially fundamental principles of international relationships; and improve the efficiency of partnerships, maintain a central role in the region, and uphold common viewpoints on regional and international issues."

PM Phuc said the 21st century had posed opportunities and challenges for ASEAN in realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 which calls for “a law-based ASEAN Community, serving the people and considering the people as central”.

“ASEAN is implementing renewals and adjusting the bloc in a more flexible and efficient manner, and more importantly the association continues to maintain the solidarity built up over the past half century,” he said.

Becoming an official member of ASEAN in 1995, Vietnam is proud to have contributed to ASEAN. In that time, Vietnam’s achievements have grown along the growth of the group, he said.

The ten-member ASEAN has become more and more strong politically, and has enjoyed steady economic development, with institutions increasingly complete and relations closely linked, PM Phuc said.

[Photos: Milestones mark Vietnam's 22 years of ASEAN membership]

“Through historical upheavals, ASEAN has turned Southeast Asia from confrontation to dialogue, from suspicion to cooperation, from division to solidarity with the highlight the establishment of the ASEAN Community,” the PM said.

“A peaceful, secured, stable and developed Southeast Asia is a highlight on a world map with instability. The ASEAN Community is ranked the sixth in the world with GDP reaching nearly 3,000 billion USD annually.”

“Also, ASEAN is a combination of diverse cultures, rich in identity and has solidarity among peoples living in peace, with secured social welfare and improved living standards.”

“In its external affairs, including with world powers, ASEAN is proactive in dialogue and cooperation, and is a force leading other regional mechanisms and forums.”

ASEAN always takes the lead and works with other partners in all issues from climate change, terrorism fighting to peace and stability in the East Sea, among others, which helps raise the international status of the whole association and each member country,” the PM said.

Today, ASEAN people will celebrate the anniversary of the first five members founding the association fifty years ago.

On the occasion of the ASEAN golden anniversary, the PM wished all member countries and ASEAN citizens would build a united community, developing for peace and prosperity.-VNA