Jumat , 11 August 2017, 18:20 WIB

ASEAN celebrates golden jubilee as people's community

Red: Reiny Dwinanda
dok Republika
ASEAN logo.
ASEAN logo.

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat celebrated its golden jubilee at the bloc's headquarters in Jakarta, Friday, under the theme "Celebrating the People's Community."

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo graced the event along with ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi as well as Foreign Minister Anifah Ahman of Malaysia.

In his welcome remarks, Secretary General Minh highlighted the 50-year journey of ASEAN, its challenges, and the way forward.

"After five decades, the region is now in a much better shape than what it was when we first started. Over the years, the ASEAN has been able to foster a deeper understanding and build trust and partnership to pursue common interests in the context of diversity and in full recognition of its varied but shared interests and aspirations," he stated.

The morning program aims to pay tribute to the founding fathers of the ASEAN who laid the foundation for the bloc to pursue peace, stability, and cultural cooperation in the region.

Former secretary generals of the ASEAN Ajit Singh and Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, who attended the morning ceremony at the invitation of Secretary General Minh, were recognized during the program.

Former Indonesian foreign ministers Marty Natalegawa and Hassan Wirajuda were also present during the event.

The celebration then continued with the afternoon program that highlighted the artistry of the ASEAN Community through cultural performances featuring artists from Indonesia and the ASEAN region. There were also various exhibitions tracing ASEAN's history and evolution as a community.

Throughout the day, about 400 guests representing the ASEAN member states, dialog partners, diplomatic corps, civil society, international organizations, and entities associated with the ASEAN had the opportunity to enjoy all regional and international culinary traditions at the food festival.

The ASEAN was founded in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 8, 1967, when the five founding fathers signed the Bangkok Declaration. The five original members are Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

Since then, the ASEAN has expanded its membership with the inclusion of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

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