KUALA LUMPUR – ASEAN is now ready to be reborn as one community, taking its place on the world’s stage as a new force in the Asia Pacific and beyond, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today.
As the grouping embarks on a journey to become a community, he declared that it was ASEAN’S historic duty to ensure that when the challenge arose, the people and governments of Southeast Asia were equal to the task.
“This is ASEAN’s time, this is our time. ASEAN can and should play a major role in shaping this Asian century, and work with our partners across the continents to shape a world of prosperity, peace and openness,” he said in his opening address at the 27th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits here today.
Najib also called on the grouping to act more as ASEAN internationally, making the pact far stronger than as individual nations, that others would recognise, respect its rise and what has been achieved.
Within the region, he said, the grouping needs to cooperate to find solutions to environmental problems such as the haze, natural disasters including floods and earthquakes and crises of migration. – BERNAMA