18th ASEAN Summit opens in Jakarta

16:15, May 07, 2011      

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ASEAN leaders join hands during a group photo session at the opening ceremony of the 18th ASEAN Summit in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, May 7, 2011. The 18th ASEAN Summit opened here Saturday with the theme of "ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations." (Xinhua/Li Qiuchan)

The 18th ASEAN Summit opened Saturday with the theme of "ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations."

When addressing the opening ceremony, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that "ASEAN can't be silent and do nothing," in the face of challenges of energy and food security, disaster management, people trafficking and other problems that confront the world.

"We must enhance a multi-dimensional cooperation both internally among ASEAN members and our cooperation with our dialogue partners as well as with countries from other regions," he said.

As the rotating chair of ASEAN, the president said extra efforts should be made to ensure concrete progress in realizing the ASEAN Community and successful discussion on the urgent need for a "post 2015 ASEAN" vision, or the role of ASEAN Community in a global community of nations.

He also called on all the member states to step up efforts to ensure the masterplan of ASEAN Connectivity can be implemented as soon as possible.

According to the schedule, nine bilateral meetings will be held Saturday. Meanwhile, the ASEAN Leaders' Dialogue with the ASEAN Interparliamentary Assembly, representatives of Civil Society Organizations and youth representatives will also be held in an effort to "make ASEAN an organization that is people-oriented and people-centered."

State leaders and heads of government from the 10 member countries of the organization will discuss ASEAN integration, economic recovery, ASEAN's role in international affairs, climate change and others issues during the two-day summit.

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

Source: Xinhua

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