On 4 August 2020, H.E. Saleumxay KOMMASITH, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR, presided over the Flag Hoisting Ceremony in commemorating of the 53rd anniversary of the founding of ASEAN (8 August 1967 - 8 August 2020) and the 23rd anniversary of the Lao PDR’s accession to ASEAN (23 July 1997-23 July 2020) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Lao PDR. This important ceremony was attended by Ministers of the three ASEAN community pillars, Deputy Ministers, Ambassadors of ASEAN Member States as well as relevant government officials.
At the ceremony, Minister Saleumxay KOMMASITH highlighted the achievements of ASEAN over the past 53 years, which have significantly contributed towards peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world at large. One of the key achievements is that ASEAN as an inter-governmental regional organisation has continued to strengthen cooperation amongst ASEAN Member States as well as between ASEAN and its Dialogue partners based on the principles stipulated in the ASEAN Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) through the ASEAN led-mechanisms (the principles of peaceful co-existence; respect for independence, sovereignty, non-interference; peaceful settlement of disputes, and the principles of consensus and mutual benefits while taking into account the region’s diversity or the so-called “ASEAN way”).
The Minister also outlined the successful outcomes of the 36th ASEAN Summit and related Meetings via a videoconference under the chairmanship of Viet Nam. Despite the fact that the region and the world are being confronted by natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic posing major threats and impacts to public health, socio-economic development, stability and security, ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners have demonstrated their solidarity and ability, over the past year, to ensure continued implementation of initiatives, measures and activities under the three community pillars resulting in gradual achievements, namely the establishment of the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies and the drafting of an ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Plan in the post-COVID-19 world.
Furthermore, Minister Saleumxay also reiterated that over the last 23 years since its accession to ASEAN, the Lao PDR has actively participated in courses of ASEAN, thereby elevating the role of the Lao PDR to a new height in the regional and international arena. Particularly on the economic front, ASEAN Free Trade Areas and ASEAN Free Trade Areas with Dialogue Partners have significantly contributed towards increasing trade and investment in the Lao PDR.
Lastly, the Minister reaffirmed the commitment of the Lao PDR to continue its active participation in the courses of ASEAN towards realising the ASEAN Community building in 2025 and expressed appreciation for the assistance, support and cooperation from all ASEAN Member States and Dialogue Partners as well as external partners which have enabled the Lao PDR to fully and effectively fulfil its commitment as a member of ASEAN throughout the past 23 years and bring about tangibles benefits to our country.