Backgrounder: ASEAN Community's building process
|Leaders of ASEAN members pose for a group photo during the opening ceremony of the 19th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Bali, Indonesia, Nov. 17, 2011. The summit kicked off here on Thursday, gathering heads of state or government from 10 ASEAN member states. (Xinhua/Jiang Fan)
BALI, Indonesia, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- The 19th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit kicked off here on Thursday, gathering heads of state or government from 10 ASEAN member states.
The summit, themed "ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations", is chaired by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
In the inaugural address, Yudhoyono showed sympathy towards the victims of natural disasters in the Southeast Asian region this year and expressed solidarity with the governments of affected countries.
"The summit is convened to solicit cooperation in the Southeast Asian region to reach the ASEAN Community by 2015," Yodhoyono said.
"The world is faced with great changes...(and) new threat of economic crisis. Continuous uncertainties are haunting the global economy besides financial fluctuation like food security, water security, the issue of energy, climate change... Amidst such great changes, there are also great hopes placed on our region," he said.
"History has proven and tested that the ASEAN association is mature, able to keep stability and strengthen economic growth," he added.
In his speech, Yodhoyono also raised five points to address in the coming days, including taking concrete steps to strengthen the three pillars of the ASEAN Community and implement the relevant action plans; promoting economic growth to make ASEAN region more resilient in face of global volatility; maintaining the leadership and centrality of ASEAN in regional cooperation architecture; ensuring the stability and security of the Southeast Asian and East Asian region; and strengthening the role of ASEAN in the global community in tackling global challenges.
"ASEAN must be part of the solution to global challenges, to facilitate and engage in the resolution," he stressed.
The meeting is set to address a broad range of issues impacting the region such as global economy, G20 Summit, disaster management, climate change, food and energy security, regional integration, among others, and is expected to adopt several outcome documents, including the Bali Declaration on ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations.
The ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.