15th ASEAN Summit opens
The 15th ASEAN Summit opened here Friday with the theme of "Enhancing connectivity, empowering peoples".
The Summit is expected to focus on issues relating to the vision of ASEAN as a Community of Connectivity, a Community of Peoples. Also to be raised during the Summit are challenges that the region has to face, including food and energy security, climate change, pandemics, natural disasters and the financial and economic crisis, Xinhua reported.
"We now formally have in place the ASEAN Charter that will make the organization truly rules-based and more effective in enforcing what has been agreed upon among Member States," said Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at the opening ceremony of the Summit.
On the vision for an ASEAN Community 2015, Abhisit stressed the importance of "connectivity" as a main contributor to sustainable growth and prosperity of a vibrant East Asia at large.
"This ASEAN Connectivity is only the first step. It needs to be linked with a larger East Asian connectivity where ASEAN will be connected to the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, bringing progress and prosperity to all," said the Prime Minister.