Secretary-General of ASEAN visits Myanmar: “Myanmar’s success is ASEAN’s pride”

NAY PYI TAW, 16 January 2014 – The Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Le Luong Minh, paid a two-day official visit to Nay Pyi Taw from 12 to 14 January to discuss the deliverables and priorities of Myanmar’s ASEAN Chairmanship, a historic moment in both Myanmar’s and ASEAN’s history.

Welcoming SG Minh and his delegation to Myanmar, President Thein Sein reaffirmed that as a responsible member of ASEAN, Myanmar would carry out its duty as entrusted in the ASEAN Charter to the fullest of its ability. SG Minh highlighted that the theme of Myanmar’s ASEAN Chairmanship this year – “Moving forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community” – reflects the earnest desire of the peoples of Myanmar and ASEAN. This theme is all the more timely and apt as ASEAN is in the process of building the ASEAN Community based on three pillars where peace and prosperity are intertwined and where unity is essential to achieve these goals.

President Thein Sein stressed that in line with the theme, Myanmar has given priorities to narrowing the development gap within and among ASEAN Member States, promoting sustainable development, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), resilience in crisis and disasters, addressing poverty, climate change, migrant workers, human rights and other non-traditional security issues. On external relations, Myanmar, as the Chair, would take a balanced approach in strengthening relations with ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners.

Emphasising that 2014 is the most important turning year in deciding the success of ASEAN Community building process, SG Minh attached great importance to the role of the ASEAN Chair in the delivery of key targets and priorities in 2014, and in the development of the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision. The Secretary-General reaffirmed the full support and assistance by the ASEAN Secretariat to the Government of Myanmar in order to deliver a successful chairmanship in 2014, by saying that Myanmar’s success is ASEAN’s pride.

The Secretary-General also met with the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Union Minister of Culture and the Union Minister for National Planning and Economic Development to discuss the key priorities and expected outcomes in each of the three ASEAN Community pillars.

As part of his official visit, the Secretary-General visited the Assembly of the Union and the newly inaugurated Myanmar International Convention Center. At the invitation of President Thein Sein, the Secretary-General also attended the Opening Ceremony of the 7th ASEAN Para Games on 14 January in Nay Pyi Taw.