Excellencies, Party and State Leaders,
Dear Officials, Soldiers, Policeman and all Lao People,
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967. ASEAN has designated the 8th of August as the ASEAN Day. Today, 8 August 2022, marks the 55th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN. The Lao PDR became a member of ASEAN on 23rd July 1997 and this year is the 25th anniversary of the Lao PDR’s accession to ASEAN. On behalf of the Government of the Lao PDR, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to all Lao people as well as all members of the ASEAN family on the occasion of the ASEAN Day and 25th anniversary of the Lao PDR’s accession to ASEAN.
ASEAN is a unique inter-governmental regional organisation, unlike any other regions in the world as Southeast Asia is a region with diverse cultures, customs, religions, histories, political systems, and varying level of development, among others. Over the past 55 years, ASEAN has been pursuing cooperation in “ASEAN Way”, which is based on the particularities of the region as well as the fundamental principles of ASEAN. This has enabled ASEAN to overcome a myriad of obstacles and withstood the test of time. ASEAN has attained gradual achievements in socio-economic development, and became an ASEAN community and the fifth largest economy in the world with the total population of over 600 million people. Furthermore, ASEAN has expanded its external relations based on the principle of openness, inclusiveness, and non-discrimination through the ASEAN-initiated mechanisms with ASEAN playing a central role. This has garnered wide support from its external partners.
In recent years as well as in 2022, ASEAN and other regions in the world continue to face challenges in the areas of geopolitics, security, economic and financial crisis, pandemic particularly COVID-19, climate change, energy and food shortage, amongst others. Against this backdrop, ASEAN has further deepened cooperation within ASEAN and between ASEAN and its external partners to boost its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to address those challenges, so as to continue to effectively implement the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 while developing an ASEAN Community Post-2025 Vision that corresponds to the particularities of ASEAN as well as the evolving situation in the present and future. In this regard, the Lao PDR is confident that Cambodia’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2022 under the theme: “ASEAN ACT: Addressing Challenges Together” will be a success, thus contributing to strengthening the resilience of ASEAN in response to the challenges facing the region.
Excellencies, all Lao people,
ASEAN is one of the priorities of the Lao PDR’s foreign policy of peace, independence, friendship and cooperation. Throughout the period of 25 years of being a member of ASEAN, all line agencies of the Lao PDR, from the central to the local level and the Lao people and ethnic groups have actively contributed to the course of ASEAN in accordance with their respective roles. This has contributed to the collective task of ASEAN Community building as well as maintaining and promoting peace, stability, and development in the region and the world. All these have not only created favourable conditions for and contributed to safeguarding and developing our nation, but also elevated the role of the Lao PDR to a new height in the regional and international arena. As such, the Lao PDR has continued to garner trust and support from ASEAN Member States as well as external partners.
Excellencies, all Lao people,
Since the Lao PDR became a member of ASEAN, our country has successfully assumed the ASEAN Chairmanship twice and we will have the honour of assuming our rotating ASEAN Chairmanship for the third time and to host ASEAN meetings at different levels in 2024. I would like to take this opportunity to invite officials, soldiers, police and all Lao people to begin preparations for our ASEAN Chairmanship in 2024. I am confident that under the close leadership and guidance of the Party and State leaders and the solidarity of all Lao people, we will be a successful Chair of ASEAN and a good host in 2024.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to extend my best wishes to the leaders of the Party and State, officials, soldiers, police, all Lao people both inside the country and abroad good health, happiness, and success in your noble tasks. Please enjoy a meaningful celebration of the 55th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN as well as the 25th anniversary ASEAN membership of the Lao PDR.