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Asean Membership
June 21, 2007

10 years of ASEAN membership reviewed
A get-together was held here yesterday by the ASEAN Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to discuss and review the 10-year activities of Laos in ASEAN. More than 50 senior officials from different ministries were present at the function.

The function was also to outline activities in celebration of the two important days of ASEAN in 2007, namely the 10th anniversary of Laos’ membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the 40th founding anniversary of ASEAN.

Speaking at the function, Mr. Sayakane Sisouvong, Director General of the ASEAN Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who is also chairman of the National Secretariat for ASEAN affairs, said that the main objective of the function was to provide a chance for senior officials who worked with ASEAN affairs to share their experience about the activities of Laos in the ASEAN framework. It also has to open the stage for senior official to share the view on how Laos can integrate into ASEAN.

ASEAN was established on August 8, 1967 in Bangkok by the five original member countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined on January 8, 1984, Vietnam on July 28, 1995, the Lao PDR and Myanmar on July 23, 1997, and Cambodia on April 30, 1999.

The ASEAN region has a population of about 500 million, a total area of 4.5 million square kilometers, a combined gross domestic product of almost US$ 700 billion, and a total trade of about US$ 850 billion.

The ASEAN Declaration states that the aims and purposes of the Association are: (1) to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and (2) to promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries in the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.

The ASEAN Vision 2020, adopted by the ASEAN Leaders on its 30th Anniversary, agreed on a shared vision of ASEAN as a concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies.

In 2003, the ASEAN leaders resolved that an ASEAN Community shall be established comprising three pillars, namely, ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. KPL

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