Laos stresses narrowing development gap at Asean meeting
VIENTIANE — Laos has stressed the need to strengthen newer Asean members’ capacity through the implementation of the regional plan to narrow the development gap.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith emphasized this point when speaking at the 51st Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) held in Singapore last week.
Mr Saleumxay said mutual assistance by all member countries was important, especially in strengthening the development of newer member states to bring them in line with the status of older members.
He also emphasized support for new members so they could achieve the goals of the Asean Vision 2025.
The minister also called for progress in the evaluation of the narrowing of the development gap within Asean by the Asean Secretariat.
At the meeting, ministers discussed Asean’s continued efforts to build a resilient and innovative region and reviewed progress on strengthening the Asean Community through the implementation of cooperative activities.
This includes the implementation of priorities with Singapore as Asean chair, especially building a network of development cities, along with complementarities between the Asean Community Vision 2025 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The ministers discussed the future strengthening of Asean cooperation and progress in promoting human rights protection within the region under the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.
They exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest such as terrorism, illegal drugs, natural disasters, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea.
The meeting heard about progress in implementing a Code of Conduct by parties in the South China Sea.
Mr Saleumxay also attended the signing of a document to accept Argentina and Iran in joining the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.
In addition, Asean foreign ministers, representing the governments of member states, expressed sympathy to Laos over the severe flooding in Sanamxay district, Attapeu province.
Mr Saleumxay offered his sincere thanks to the countries in the Asean family, Asean dialogue partners, friendly countries, and regional and international organizations for the provision of assistance to the Lao government and flood victims in Attapeu province, as well as those affected by Tropical Storm Son Tinh.
He also thanked the Asean Secretary General as the main coordinator for regional emergency relief, his quick response, his trip to observe the situation in Sanamxay, and assistance activities of the Asean Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance.
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