ASEAN leaders have accepted Thailand’s initiative to reinforce ASEAN’s leading role, in the conduct of relations with external partners in the region, by adopting the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” concept, said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at a news conference held at the end of the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok this afternoon.
He thanked Indonesian President Joko Widodo for playing an important role in driving the concept which, he said, will complement existing frameworks of cooperation at the regional and sub-regional levels and generate tangible and concrete deliverables for the benefit of the people of the region.
The Summit, he added, reinforced the importance of strengthening the regional economy and support for the conclusion of the RCEP negotiations this year, which will help ASEAN manage change and uncertainty in the region, especially regarding trade tensions between the US and China, both important trading partners for ASEAN.
The Summit adopted the “Bangkok Declaration on Combatting Marine Debris in the ASEAN region”, said the prime minster, adding that the declaration demonstrates the bloc’s commitment to reducing marine debris in a serious and sustainable manner.
Also, the Summit agreed to the launch of the Satellite Warehouse, under the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN and the ASEAN Centre of Military Medicine, both centres are located in Thailand.
The Prime Minister added that the Summit supported ASEAN’s bid to host the World Cup in 2034 and called on all football associations in the region and the people of ASEAN to support this dream and to make it a reality.
ASEAN leaders also attached importance to ASEAN awareness-raising and the promotion of ASEAN identity among the people of the region, which is a priority for ASEAN.