20th ASEAN Summit opens in celebration of 45th anniversary
The 20th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit kicked off in Peace Palace here on Tuesday, gathering heads of state or government from 10 ASEAN member states, Xinhua reported.
The summit themed "ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny" is presided by H.E. Hun Sen, the Cambodian prime minister, also chair of the ASEAN Summits in 2012.
In his opening remarks, Hun Sen said the leaders attending the summit will have substantive and frank discussions in a plenary and retreat session over the next two days under a new arrangement of ASEAN Summit programs and agenda under the Cambodian chairmanship.
He also said he, along with other ASEAN leaders, welcomed with appreciation the achievements of ASEAN over the past 45 years and believed that the regional integration process will be built upon the momentum of achievements toward an ASEAN Community by 2015.
A group of local artists in traditional attires gave wonderful singing and dancing performances after Hun's speech in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the ASEAN.
The summit is expected to discuss a wide range of issues including the implementation of the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community Building (2009-2015) and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan (2009-2015), reviewing and promoting regional connectivity and integration, the establishment of ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, realizing a drug-free ASEAN in 2015, efforts to create a drug-free zone by 2015, ASEAN common visa, climate management, among others.
The leaders are expected to sign three outcome documents at the close of the summit. These are the Chairman's Statement of the 20th ASEAN Summit; the Phnom Penh Declaration on ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny; and the ASEAN Leaders' Declaration on Drug- Free ASEAN 2015.
ASEAN, established in 1967, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.