Republic of the Union of Myanmar Message from Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Chairman of the State Administration Council Prime Minister on the occasion of the 55th Anniversary of ASEAN 8 August 2022

Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). On this auspicious occasion, I take great pleasure in extending my warmest greetings and best wishes to our fellow citizens and to the peoples of the ASEAN Member States.
The commemoration of ASEAN Day gives us a timely opportunity to reflect on the achievements of ASEAN over the past 55 years in building a politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible and truly people-oriented, people-centred community.
When ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 with its original five Member States, the Cold War loomed over all countries and the region was rife with tensions and conflicts. There was scepticism about the continued existence of the Association and lingering doubts about meeting its aspirations and commitments. However, over five decades, ASEAN was able to prevent the escalation of conflicts in the region through peaceful means and diplomacy.
In this regard, ASEAN has grown from strength to strength with its remarkable expansion to ten Member States in 1999 while strengthening its external relations with eleven Dialogue Partners, four Sectoral Dialogue Partners and four Development Partners. In 2021, ASEAN established the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) with the People’s Republic of China and the Commonwealth of Australia further deepening meaningful, substantive and mutually beneficial relations with respective countries.
It is encouraging to note that ASEAN has formally established fifty-five ASEAN Committees in Third Countries and International Organizations (ACTCs) in the national capitals and other key cities across the world in order to promote ASEAN’s interest and identity as well as to facilitate further strengthening ASEAN’s external relations.
Moreover, the growing number of interested parties pursuing to engage with ASEAN and to accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) demonstrates that ASEAN’s norms and values are increasingly embraced by the international community. Nowadays, ASEAN has become a successful model of regionalism in maintaining peace, security and stability and has evolved into an important regional organization in global affairs.
Over the years, we have built together a Community which has experienced economic development, and social progress raising the living standards and well-being of our peoples. Today, ASEAN has made significant progress to become the third largest economy in Asia and the sixth largest in the world.
Despite attaining significant achievements in many areas, ASEAN is facing persisting and emerging regional and global challenges ranging from traditional to non-traditional issues such as trans-national crimes, illicit drug trafficking, trafficking-in-persons, terrorism, cyber security, climate change, emerging infectious diseases, food and energy security.
In this regard, it is most befitting and relevant that Cambodia as the Chair of ASEAN in 2022 has selected “ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together” as a theme for this year. The ASEAN spirit of “Togetherness” guides us to make further progress towards a more harmonious, peaceful, prosperous and resilient Community as a united family of ten members.
Out of the key challenges facing our region, ASEAN has been tested for its preparedness, responsiveness and resilience amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adversely affecting regional development and causing immense hardships to people’s life since early 2020.
However, due to our collective efforts and resilience, ASEAN has been able to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and associated socio-economic impacts through concrete measures such as implementing the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework and the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases for an expeditious, comprehensive and sustainable recovery in our region.
ASEAN must be resilient, united and strong against the pressure and influence stemming from rising geo-political confrontations and economic competition among major powers to further promote an open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based regional architecture that is based upon ASEAN-led mechanisms.
During such challenging times, it is crucial that ASEAN Centrality, unity and solidarity are upheld based on the fundamental principles and norms of ASEAN as stipulated in the ASEAN Charter, the TAC and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP). Promoting those ASEAN principles would also help strengthen ASEAN-led mechanisms and ASEAN-centred regional architecture promoting peace, stability, security and prosperity for the peoples in Southeast Asia and the wider Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions or the Indo-Pacific.
There is no doubt that key enablers such as the mutual respect for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, equality and non-interference, along with the consensus-based approach not only bind all ASEAN Member States as a strong family of “Unity in Diversity” but also bring about many fruitful benefits to our peoples in the region.
In realizing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and our regional integration commitments, it is essential for all ASEAN Member States to enhance ASEAN identity and raise ASEAN awareness while strengthening more inclusive human resource development, empowering women and youth as well as promoting people-to-people bonds across the region.
Since her admittance to the Association’s membership on 23 July 1997, Myanmar has proven to be a responsible, proactive and constructive member of ASEAN and a strong supporter of the ASEAN Community-Building efforts.
Myanmar is committed to advancing the ASEAN Community building process and its key initiatives under the three ASEAN Community Blueprints 2025, including the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan IV (2021-2025) and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025.
While working closely with Cambodia as ASEAN Chair in 2022 and with all ASEAN Member States, Myanmar will continue to stand on the fundamental principles and norms enshrined in the ASEAN Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) by promoting constructive cooperation with all ASEAN Member States and external partners including with our Dialogue Partners aiming to achieve our common goals for the benefit of all our peoples in the region.
On this auspicious 55th anniversary of ASEAN, I would like to encourage all our citizens to actively join us in realizing ASEAN’s aspirations and in contributing to the advancement of our community-building efforts that will promote peace, stability and prosperity in our region and beyond.

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