ASEAN leaders convene
to discuss community realization, development beyond 2015
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 21 (PNA/Xinhua) -- Leaders from the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered here on Saturday to discuss the
establishment of the landmark ASEAN Community by Dec. 31 this year and map
out a plan for its further development to 2025.
"We are all here in Kuala Lumpur at a historic moment for the 10-nation
association. Tomorrow, we will formally declare the establishment of the
ASEAN Community on Dec. 31, 2015," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said
in his opening remarks.
This marks "the culmination of a decades-long effort to integrate, to cohere
and to forge ahead together," he said.
Under the theme "Our People, Our Community, Our Vision," the summit, the
27th of its kind, is expected to unveil the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on
the Establishment of the ASEAN Community, signalling the formal
establishment of the community by Dec. 31, 2015.
The envisaged ASEAN Community will cover some 600 million people with a
combined GDP of 2 trillion U.S. dollars.
The 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together will
also be endorsed at the end of the summit and related meetings.
ASEAN has maintained the high ambitions it set in the three community
blueprints -- economic, political-security and socio-cultural with
"impressive growth," Najib said.
The summit is convened at a time when ASEAN nations are facing economic
downturn, currency devaluation, threats of terrorism and human-trafficking.