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PM pushes for further success on back of Asean Summits

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith has called on the government and businesses to convert the success of the Asean Summits hosted by Laos last year into productive outcomes, to maximise the benefits brought to the nation.

Mr Thongloun made the comment at a ceremony held yesterday in Vientiane to award organisations, companies and individuals for their contributions to the success of Laos' chairmanship of Asean last year, including hosting the 28th and 29th Asean Summits and other related summits and meetings.

The Prime Minister said he highly valued the success of Laos' Asean chairmanship, which he said had raised the profile of the country on the regional and global stages.

Laos hosted and chaired 80 Asean meetings at various levels last year, ranging from heads of state and government to ministerial, senior official, and technical expert levels. The government hosted and chaired 11 summits in Vientiane, and co-chaired two summits with Asean dialogue partners in the United States and Russia.

The circumstances surrounding Laos' chairmanship of Asean were highlighted to the audience at yesterday's ceremony.

The year 2016 was the first year of the newly-formed Asean Community, and the first year of implementing the Asean Community Vision 2025. Based on its importance, Laos chose “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic Asean Community” as the theme of its chairmanship.

Last year was also a time when the situation in the region and globally became more complex with the development of numerous issues of international concern. These included terrorism, large-scale migration from the Middle East and Africa to Europe and other countries, extremism in Syria, Iraq and other countries, Brexit, change of governments in great powers, and the tension surrounding the Korean peninsula and the South China Sea.

Amid these concerns, some countries wondered whether Laos' chairmanship would be up to the challenge of leading Asean in the process of regional community building and maintaining the centrality, unity and solidarity of Asean, and how Laos would act as a mediator on sensitive issues.

But Laos rose to the challenge and competently mediated various sensitive issues. This was reflected in the adoption of the Asean Foreign Ministers Joint Communique, Chairman's Statement of the Asean plus Summit, Chairman's Statement of the East Asia Summit, and other documents, which were readily accepted by Asean member states and dialogue partners.

“This is the result of active diplomacy as well as of consultation by the Lao government with every country in seeking common solutions,” Mr Thongloun said.

At the same time, Laos successfully handled Secretariat work, protocol and hospitality matters, national defence and public security, cultural campaigning and information, venue and transportation details, information technology, personnel, budget, and healthcare arrangements during its year of chairmanship.

At yesterday's ceremony, Prime Minister Thongloun, representing the Party and government, thanked and expressed appreciation to government employees, soldiers, police officers, business operators, traders and vendors, and all multiethnic people for their active contribution in line with their obligations, as well as for their enthusiastic participation in hosting the Asean meetings.

He also thanked Asean member countries, Asean dialogue partners, and other friendly countries for their assistance, support and cooperation, which he said had contributed to the success of Laos' chairmanship of Asean.

More than 13,000 individuals and 85 organisations and cooperatives were awarded by the government for their participation and contributions to the hosting of the Asean meetings.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update April 6, 2017)

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