VIENTIANE – The three-day 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits kick off Tuesday at the National Convention Centre here, with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak leading the Malaysian delegation to the meetings.
Najib is also scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his counterparts from the other ASEAN countries as well as dialogue partners on the sidelines of the summits.
This is first ASEAN Summit after the establishment of the ASEAN Community on Dec 31, 2015, and after the adoption of the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together (ASEAN Vision 2025), both of which took place during Malaysia’s chairmanship last year.
Given that 2016 marks the inaugural year of the ASEAN community, the theme of Laos’ chairmanship – ‘Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community’ – is timely and appropriate as ASEAN strives to turn its aspiration and vision into reality.
In addition to the ASEAN summits, Najib and the other ASEAN leaders will also attend the ASEAN Plus Three, East Asia Summit and other ASEAN+1 summits with the dialogue partners, among them the United States, China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea and the United Nations.
Laos broke with tradition to hold two ASEAN summits, the 28th and 29th, back to back this year unlike in previous years, and in Malaysia last year, where one summit was held in April and the other in November.
In conjunction with the ASEAN summits, Najib and the other leaders will attend a dinner Tuesday night to be hosted by Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.