KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 31, 2015:

The Asean Community has been formally established today, with the 2015 Asean chair Malaysia welcoming the significant milestone in the history of the 10-member grouping of Southeast Asian nations.

In a statement, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman reiterated Kuala Lumpur’s unwavering support to further deepen the community building and regional integration process.

He expressed a similar sentiment in terms of the implementation of commitments made under the “Asean 2025: Forging Ahead Together”.

“Malaysia recognises that the coming into being of the Asean Community does not mean that it has arrived at the end of the community building process.

“In fact, this is just the beginning. Greater awareness of the Asean Community and involvement in the community building process by its people are vital in making the Asean Community a success.”

The Asean Community was launched by the grouping’s leaders during the 27th Asean Summit and Related Summits on Nov 22 in Kuala Lumpur.

Anifah said as chairman of Asean, Malaysia with the strong support and cooperation from the other member states, had successfully fulfilled its two main deliverables.

One was ensuring the completion of the remaining action lines of the Roadmap for an Asean Community (2009-2015) while the other was developing the Asean Community’s Post-2015 Vision-Asean 2025: Forging Ahead Together.

The latter charts the way forward for Asean in the political-security, economic and socio-cultural areas over the next 10 years.

“It has, therefore, been an honour for Malaysia to be the chairman of Asean, at a time when it embarks on a new era,” he said.

Asean groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The 2016 Asean chair is Laos.

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