"Today we are celebrating 46 years of ASEAN. Each year, ASEAN Day provides us with an opportunity for reflection and greater actions.
46 years after its inception, from a loose grouping, ASEAN is developing into a rules-based organization with its own Charter and legal personality. Through our perseverance and commitment, we are strengthening our affinity and becoming a real family of nations in an ASEAN Community.
As any family would, ASEAN has had its share of internal and external challenges. In spite of these, ASEAN has been able to demonstrate the strength and resilience that lie at our core. Our unshakeable faith and belief in ASEAN made us more united in the face of these challenges.
It is appropriate that the theme for ASEAN this year highlights “Our People, Our Future Together”. At its essence, ASEAN is really about the ASEAN peoples building a Community and a future together. ASEAN Day reminds us of the dream that we are now turning into reality.
As we raise the ASEAN flag in all ten Member States and in all the countries where we nurture relations and making our presence felt -- not only are we celebrating the past, not only are we reveling on the gains and achievements of the present -- we are also asserting ASEAN to the rest of the world, staking a claim of a bright and prosperous future for our peoples."