The event drew Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung,head of SOM Vietnam; Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh; DeputyMinister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Le Tuan Dung; Vice Chairman ofthe Hanoi People’s Committee Ngo Van Quy; Venezuelan Ambassador Jorge RondonUzcategui; as well as diplomats from ASEAN countries in Hanoi.

Addressing the ceremony, Deputy FM Dung noted that since its inception, ASEAN has overcomemultiple challenges and emerged into a strong and resilient community with all the10 Southeast Asian countries as members.

“Our Communityhas grown in all dimensions with sustainability. The cohesive and strong tiesamong member states have allowed us to be effectively responsive to the challengesof the new era,” he said.

He stated that the ASEAN has undeniably become a key factor for theregion’s peace, stability, cooperation and development, and is enjoying extensiverelations with various partners, especially major powers. This has brought aboutsignificant and tangible benefits to each and every member state.

According to Dung, during the ASEAN’s past journey, multiple milestones have been recorded such as theTreaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) in 1976, which providedthe fundamental principles for peaceful and friendly relations among memberstates.

Another exampleis the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) established in 1992, the first buildingblock for the regional economic integration and connectivity. The ASEAN RegionalForum (ARF) was established in 1994 for exchange and cooperation in addressing regionalsecurity issues. Notably, the signing of the ASEAN Charter in 2007 has createdthe legal basis for establishment of the ASEAN Community resting on threePillars in 2015, he stated.

The officialunderlined that these historic milestones are vivid testaments to ASEAN’sconsistent aspirations and determination to maintain peace and promotesustainable development through dialogue and rules-based cooperation, and by strengtheningintra- and extra-ASEAN connectivity, and enhancing ASEAN's adaptability in thenew era, towards “an inclusive, rules-based, people-oriented andpeople-centered community”. In 2019, under the theme “Advancing Partnership forSustainability”, ASEAN continues its efforts to promote sustainability acrossall the three pillars of the Community.

Next year, Vietnam will assume the ASEAN Chairmanship, aweighty responsibility, said Dung, stressing that Vietnam pledges to join handswith other ASEAN member states to build upon the past achievements, furtherpromote dialogues and cooperation, and strive to foster a stable and peacefulenvironment conducive to development.

“We also remain committed to expanding business andinvestment opportunities, improving the quality of life and community health,promoting social security and welfare, fostering ASEAN's common identity,connecting the peoples of ASEAN and promoting ASEAN’s values beyond the region

“ASEAN cooperation remains one of thetop priorities in Vietnam's foreign policy. Throughout the last 24 years sinceour admission to ASEAN in 1995, our country, as an active and responsiblemember state, is proud to have proactively made significant contributions to theASEAN Community building,” said the official.

He expressed his hope that in the nearfuture, especially in 2020 as Vietnam assumes the ASEAN Chairmanship, thecountry wishes to receive continued support and cooperation of all ASEANfriends and other regional and international partners and friends so as to makeeven greater contributions to building a peaceful, stable, prosperous,people-centered and people-oriented ASEAN Community.

ASEAN flag hoisting is an annual eventconducted by all the 10 member countries of the association that groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos,Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA