(KPL) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized a flag hoisting ceremony to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the 22nd anniversary of the Lao PDR’s accession to the bloc.

The event was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vientiane Capital on August 6, led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Industry and Commerce Khemmany Pholsena and ambassadors of ASEAN member states and ASEAN dialogue partners.

“Each year, the ASEAN Day marks a significant milestone and provides us with an opportunity to reflect our achievements and chart future direction,” said Minister Saleumxay.

 52 years after its inception, ASEAN is developing from a loose grouping into an inter-governmental rules-based organization, bound by its Charter.

ASEAN has evolved and adjusted itself to the changing regional and international landscapes, taking into account the region’s diversity and levels of socio-economic development and gradually growing and becoming ASEAN Community with a firm and strong foundation to move forward.

“Last week, we attended the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and its related Meetings held in Bangkok, Thailand, under the theme of Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”, during which, ASEAN reaffirmed its commitments to maintain a sustainable, people-oriented resilient and forward-looking community in order to embrace with new challenges, seize opportunities, and secure a better future for its people. Furthermore, ASEAN centrality and unity remain key elements that will enable ASEAN to be credible, agile and effective in the international arena,” said the minister.

The minister expressed thanks to ASEAN Member States and external partners for their kind and invaluable assistance, support and cooperation extended to the Lao PDR enabling the country to actively and fully participate in and contribute to all areas of cooperation under the ASEAN frameworks and ASEAN-led mechanisms over the past 22 years.

As we raise our flag, which symbolizes a stable, peaceful, united and dynamic ASEAN, we are not only celebrating the past but also reminding us once again of our goals and aspirations for integration and stronger cohesiveness towards an ASEAN Community that is “politically cohesive, economically integrated, and socially responsible, added the minister.