The 28th and the 29th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit concluded on 8 September 2016 at Vientiane, Laos. The theme for the 2016 summit was Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community.
H.E. Thongloun Sisoulith, Prime Minister of the Lao PDR, was the Chairperson of the summit that was held from 6 September 2016 to 8 September 2016.
The Summit was attended by the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. They are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Viet Nam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Highlights of the Summit
• ASEAN leaders discussed the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and enhancing cooperation with ASEAN’s external partners.
• The leaders adopted the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, which form an integral part of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
• They also signed the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN, One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region.
• They adopted several outcome documents aimed at realizing the 8 priorities for ASEAN Chairmanship 2016 and implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
• They agreed to intensify ASEAN’s cooperation with Dialogue Partners and External Parties through ASEAN-led mechanisms namely ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus, and East Asia Summit.
• Besides, the ASEAN Leaders had a candid exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual interest and concerns, including traditional and non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism and extremism, natural disasters, climate change, irregular migration, human trafficking, etc.
• A diplomatic row between the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and U.S. President Barack Obama hung over part of the ASEAN meetings. During the summit, Duterte used foul language in relation to a planned meeting between them.
• Prime Minister Narendra Modi represented India at the ASEAN summit. He addressed the 14th ASEAN-India summit.
• He expressed deep concern over the rising export of terror, in an apparent reference to Pakistan. He said that it is a common security threat to the region and there was need for a coordinated response from the ASEAN member nations to combat the menace.
About ASEAN Summits and Themes
• ASEAN was established in 1967 by the five founding members namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam, Viet Nam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia joined later.
• The Summit is ASEAN's highest policy-making body.
• The chair of the ASEAN Summit rotates annually in alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.
• By virtue of holding the chair of the ASEAN for a particular year, the concerned member state also chairs the ASEAN Summit and related summits. Further, ASEAN Summits are held bi-annually but with a common theme.
• The 26th ASEAN Summit was held at Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi, Malaysia between 26 and 28 April 2015 with the theme Our People, Our Community, Our Vision. The 27th ASEAN Summit was held in Kuala Lumpur between 18 and 22 November 2015 with the same theme.
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