Excellencies, Leaders of the Party and the State,
Dear Fellow Compatriots, Soldiers, Police and all Lao People,
Today, the 8th of August 2020 marks 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). The Lao PDR, therefore, takes this auspicious occasion to jointly celebrate this important day with all ASEAN Member States.
ASEAN, which comprises 10 Member States located in Southeast Asian region, is the inter-governmental regional organisation established in 1967 with the objectives of maintaining and promoting peace, stability and cooperation for the prosperity of the Southeast Asian Nations. Over the past 53 years, ASEAN has become one of the most successful regional organisations with tangible accomplishments on many fronts, notably, the announcement of the establishment of people-centred and people-oriented ASEAN Community at the end of 2015. ASEAN is a region of long-lasting peace and stability with satisfactory achievements in economic cooperation, which has enabled ASEAN to integrate itself into regional and global economy, thereby contributing towards enhancing socio-economic development and improvement of the livelihood of the peoples of ASEAN. Furthermore, the achievements of ASEAN have gained widespread international recognition, particularly ASEAN’s Centrality, its leading role and ASEAN way of consensus, which serve as the basic principles for all the above-mentioned achievements and external relations.
This year - 2020, ASEAN as well as many regions facing numerous challenges, namely natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic which have posed major impacts to society, economic development, political stability and security in the region and the world at large. Against this backdrop, ASEAN has strengthened close cooperation in the spirit of the theme of Viet Nam’s 2020 Chairmanship: “Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN”, which has been reflected through the virtual fora amongst the leaders at different levels and sectors of ASEAN Member States as well as between ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners on measures to combat COVID-19 pandemic and address the socio-economic impact posed by COVID-19 in the region and the world.
Excellencies, Fellow Compatriots,
ASEAN successfully concluded the 36th ASEAN Summit and other related Meetings via a videoconference under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on 26 June 2020. The Summit highly valued cooperation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as in prevention of the new wave of COVID-19. During the Summit, the Leaders of ASEAN and Dialogue Partners also agreed to strengthen collaboration in the following areas:
Excellencies, all Lao people,
Over the past 23 years of the ASEAN Membership, the Lao PDR has brought forth many accomplishments and benefits through its full and active participation in the collective processes of ASEAN with a high sense of responsibility; thereby making significant contributions towards the socio-economic development of Lao PDR. Becoming a member of ASEAN has also elevated the role of the Lao PDR to a new height in the regional and international arena. The Lao PDR has also continued to garner trust and support from ASEAN Member States as well as ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners and External Parties through both bilateral and multilateral frameworks, and human resources have been gradually developed. I am of the view that these accomplishments are as a result of the consistent implementation of the foreign policy: of peace, independence, friendship and cooperation as well as the New Economic Mechanism of the Party and State.
In the midst of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lao PDR stands united under close leadership and guidance of the Party and Government, and the whole-of-society contributions, including support and assistance from friendly countries and international organisations, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in particular, in an effort to prevent, respond and combat the COVID-19 outbreak which has led to the initial success of the Lao PDR in the fight against COVID-19.
Excellencies, Fellow Compatriots, and all Lao people,
The above-mentioned achievements throughout the past years of the Lao PDR’s ASEAN Membership are as a result of close leadership and guidance of the Party and Government as well as the proactive and effective contributions from all cadres and officials at all levels from the central to the local authorities towards the ASEAN courses. Therefore, on this auspicious occasion, on behalf of the Government, I would like to express my sincere appreciation and heartfelt gratitude as well as congratulations to all sectors in the society for the cooperation, assistance, support and contributions.
On this note, I would like to encourage government officials, soldiers, police, students and entire Lao people of all ethnic groups to further strengthen a sense of ownership in an effort to effectively respond and prevent the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to implement our foreign policy of peace, independence, friendship and cooperation of the Party and Government as well as contribute to the courses of ASEAN with a view to bring about the tangible benefits to our country.
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my best wishes to the leaders of the Party and State, officials, soldiers, police and all Lao youths both inside and outside the country who have contributed towards national safeguarding and development in general, and particularly the courses of ASEAN over the past 23 years, good health, happiness and success in your noble tasks as well as a joyful and meaningful celebration and commemoration of the 53rd anniversary of the founding of ASEAN and the 23rd anniversary of the Lao PDR’s accession to ASEAN while reaffirming the important role of ASEAN as the successful inter-governmental organisation with regional and international recognition and ASEAN will continue to firmly advance with its Centrality further enhanced in the future.