Vietnam hosted the ASEAN flag-hoisting ceremony in Hanoi to mark the bloc’s 56th founding anniversary.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son highlighted that ASEAN has constantly grown and become a central force in all regional processes. It demonstrates the vision of a community living in peace, stability, and prosperous development. Son said the image of Southeast Asia of solidarity, harmony and flexibility has been spreading in the region and around the world.
He believes the image of ASEAN can be found in the success of Vietnam during its innovation and integration and vice versa. Son pointed out the advantages of geo-strategic location, young and abundant human resources, and the desire to integrate more deeply and comprehensively, ASEAN still has a great potential for development.
According to the ASEAN portal, the foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand sat down together on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok and signed a document, giving birth to ASEAN. The document declared the establishment of an Association for Regional Cooperation among the countries of Southeast Asia to be known as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
The bloc was based on the principles of cooperation in the economic, social, cultural, technical, educational and other fields and in the promotion of regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law and adherence to the principles of the UN Charter. It proclaimed ASEAN as representing the collective will of the nations of Southeast Asia to bind themselves together in friendship and cooperation and through joint efforts and sacrifices, secure for their peoples and for prosperity, the blessings of peace and freedom.
Over the decades, ASEAN’s relations with the rest of the world have become opener, richer and more durable. It has changed in quality and helped the bloc maintain high growth – reaching 5.5 percent in 2020, becoming the fifth largest economy in the world.