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Jakarta (VNA) – Vietnam has made important contributions to ASEAN’s development during its 21-year membership, especially in implementing key policies for intra-bloc cooperation and links between the bloc and partners, a Vietnamese diplomat has said.

In an interview with Vietnam News Agency in Jakarta, Indonesia on the occasion of ASEAN’s founding anniversary (August 8), Head of the Vietnamese Permanent Delegation to ASEAN Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam stressed that as an active member of the group, Vietnam contributed to setting up the ASEAN Community (AC) and approving plans for the development of the bloc for the next ten years.

Vietnam has worked hard to maintain unity within the bloc, enhance regional resilience and uphold the central role played by ASEAN in the region.

The country’s role in maintaining peace and security in the region, including ensuring navigation security and safety in the East Sea, has also been recognised by ASEAN members, Nam said.

Vietnam has proposed many initiatives to realise the ASEAN Vision 2025 and plans to promote all three key pillars of the community: politics-security; economy, and culture-society.

During the interview, Ambassador Nam also highlighted the development of ASEAN since its establishment 49 years ago.

ASEAN has transformed from a loosely connected organisation consisting of only six members to an association with a closely-knitted 10-member nation group with its own institutions and Charter, Nam said

The bloc has developed good foreign relations with many other countries, including big powers in the world. The group also is playing an increasing important role in leading and building the regional cooperative structure as well as in maintaining peace, stability and cooperation in the region, he added.

The formation of the ASEAN Community at the end of 2015 was a historic milestone in the bloc’s development, Nam said.

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

ASEAN - a dynamic political and economic entity is an indispensable partner of many countries and forums in the world.

Its principal aims include accelerating economic growth , social progress , and socio-cultural evolution among its members, alongside the protection of regional stability and allowing member countries to resolve differences peacefully.

ASEAN member nations are building a Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) from now to 2025 and an Action Plan for the I nitiative for ASEAN Integration and Narrowing the Development Gap , which are expected to be approved at the ASEAN Summit in Laos in September.-VNA