PHNOM PENH, April 2 (Bernama) – Asean leaders are expected to further strengthen the grouping’s preparation in achieving their sole destiny of creating a single community in less than three years as they meet here during the regional summit for two days starting tomorrow.
The leaders of the association, comprising 10 member countries, will follow up on the progress of their roadmap in establishing the Asean Community by 2015 as the 20th Asean Summit will be held at the Peace Palace, here.
The theme of the summit is “Asean: One Community, One Destiny” aimed at enhancing the continuation of the three priorities of Asean as Cambodia took over the chairmanship including to ensure significant progress in achieving the Asean Community.
The others are to ensure that the regional architecture and regional environment remain conducive to development and to enhance Asean’s role in the global community.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will lead the Malaysian delegation to the summit.
He will join other Asean leaders in the plenary session after the opening ceremony tomorrow morning and then proceed with the Asean Leaders’ Meeting with Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly representatives, civil society organisations representatives and youth representatives.
The main outcome of this summit will be the Phnom Penh Declaration on “Asean: One Community, One Destiny”, Asean Position Paper for the G-20 Summit, Mexico 2012, Asean Leaders’ Declaration on Drug-Free Asean 2015 and Concept Paper on Global Movement of Moderators.
Apart from that, Asean Foreign Ministers will sign the Instrument of the Rules for Reference on Non-Compliance to the Asean Summit to the Protocol to the Asean Charter on Dispute Settlement Mechanisms.
Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Asean must settle their disputes within Asean first and within the Asean spirit.
“Asean members understand each other better in resolving their disputes rather than referring them directly to others first who may not understand the region very well,” he said.
“They must work closely together and solve the problem together first unless they could not find light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Anifah said if the dispute involved many individual member countries and non-member countries, Asean should discuss it as a group with the non-member countries.
In resolving the overlapping claims on South China Sea between Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, China and Taiwan, the discussion, for example, should be between Asean and China and not Malaysia and China or Philippines and China only.
“We need to take into account other members’ interest as well,” he said. He said the Asean leaders were expected to touch on the situation in Myanmar as well as the North Korea nuclear issue during their deliberation at the summit.
On Wednesday, the summit retreat and concluding session will be held. Meanwhile, Najib is scheduled to attend the 6th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) as well as the 8th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).
Source : Bernama