Forging ahead together: The 27th ASEAN Summit and the lead-up to the formal establishment of the AEC

THE 10 MEMBER COUNTRIES of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 18-22 November 2015, less than two months from the formal establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a single regional market and production base.

Chaired and hosted by Malaysia, the 27th ASEAN Summit and related meetings will feature the signings of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the ASEAN Community, the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the ASEAN Community Vision 2025: Forging Ahead Together, and the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

The ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on 18 November and associated events will precede the Heads of State/Government Summit. Activities will include:
  • Summits with China, Japan, South Korea, India, United States, New Zealand and United Nations
  • Joint Statement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Negotiations
  • 10th East Asia Summit
  • Launching of the Guide to ASEAN Practices and Protocol
  • Launching of the Report of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation workshop on strengthening the participation of women in peace process and conflict resolution
Sideline events will include:
This summit marks the conclusion of Malaysia’s current Chairmanship of ASEAN and the hand-over of the role for the following year to Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

During its term, Malaysia has focused on priority measures and initiatives for the realisation of the ASEAN Community as outlined in the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community 2009-2015 where all 10 member nations aim to achieve uniformity of rules and procedures and seamless physical, infrastructural and people-to-people connectivity.

Besides leading ASEAN to achieve these goals in 2015, Malaysia also sees, as equally important, efforts to develop the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision as a guide for the community to further prosper and grow.

Among the major meetings Malaysia hosted since assuming the chairmanship are the 26th ASEAN Summit in April 2015, the 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM) from 1-6 August, and the 47th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEM) from 20-25 August.

The 26th ASEAN Summit in Langkawi adopted three important documents, the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on People-Oriented, People-Centred ASEAN, Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates and the Declaration on Institutionalising the Resilience of ASEAN and its Communities and Peoples to Disasters and Climate Change.

The 48th AMM concluded on a high note with constructive discussions on regional and international issues of mutual concern, which is consistent with Malaysia's overarching theme of a People-Centred ASEAN.

At the 47th AEM, ASEAN members pledged to expedite efforts towards realising the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and endorsed in principle the AEC Blueprint 2025, setting the path for the region's progress beyond 2016.

The members also welcomed continued progress in the implementation of the AEC Blueprint, acknowledging the 91.5% or 463 out of the 506 prioritised measures that have been implemented.

ASEAN is currently the seventh largest economy in the world with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$2.5 trillion.

Formed on Aug 8, 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, the membership of ASEAN expanded to include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.