The historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro was one of the developments in the Asean region that was acknowledged by Burmese President U Thein Sein during the 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Myanmar.
President Thein Sein, chairperson of Asean this year, hailed the peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) as a “great achievement.”
“We welcomed the successful outcome of Philippines Government’s Bangsamoro peace agreements,” he told fellow Asean leaders and other delegates to the summit.
The government and the MILF signed the peace agreement in March this year after 17 years of on-off negotiations.
“Our unity and centrality have further expounded our voice in regional and global issues of common interests and projected Asean as a united and credible regional organization in the international community,” President Thein Sein said.
“It is very encouraging that the Asean’s norms and principles we have set for interstate relations are contributing toward peace, security and stability in the region. This is why countries are showing interests in our regions to promote engagement with Asean,” he added.
President Thein Sein noted Asean’s efforts in combating terrorism, condemning the downing of Malaysia Airline Flight MH 317 and violent acts of extremists.
He also emphasized the importance of promoting resilience against emerging challenges faced by Asean member states, such as natural disasters, global economic uncertainty, infectious diseases and the spread of violence and extremism.
This is the first time for Myanmar to host the Asean Summit since it joined the bloc in 1997. The Summit is the association’s highest policy-making body and its chairmanship is rotated alphabetically among member states every year.
Established in 1967, the Asean member states include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines.