Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has joined leaders of other member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to discuss the development of the bloc at its 24th Summit, which opened in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on May 11.

In his opening remarks, Myanmar President U Thein Sein, who is chairing the summit, underscored that solidarity and unity are the strengths needed to ensure the successful building of an ASEAN Community of peace and prosperity by 2015.

He said the association should work out a roadmap with clear orientations for ASEAN Community before 2015 to adapt to global changes.

The plan should focus on changes in the political situation as well as the socio-cultural development of the region and the world, he said, adding that the association should make further contributions to global peace and prosperity through joint activities in response to issues of common interests and concerns.

President Sein proposed areas that ASEAN should prioritise, including boosting uniform economic development, narrowing the development gap, increasing the competitiveness and adaptability of ASEAN economies, and effectively responding to emerging challenges.

The ASEAN leaders also focused on the post-2015 development of the association, the expansion of external relations and the promotion of the bloc’s central role in the regional structure.

They also raised deep concern over the ongoing tensions in the East Sea which have affected peace, stability and maritime safety, security and freedom of navigation in the East Sea .

The leaders stressed the need to strictly abide by international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, settling all disputes by peaceful measures without using or threatening to use force.

They emphasised the importance of fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) as well as the swift formation of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea .

Established in 1967, ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA