This is the main message conveyed during the 45th Anniversary Celebration of ASEAN today on 8 August 2012.
The ASEAN Secretariat held a flag hoisting ceremony commemorating the organization's 45th Anniversary in Jakarta.As the ASEC choir sang "The ASEAN Way" anthem, the ASEAN flag was raised.
To add to the festivities of the event, 45 balloons in ASEAN colors of red, blue, and yellow, were released while all children in attendance waved various flags from 10 Member States.
Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marty M Natalegawa emphasized his confidence in ASEAN's role within the region and globally as well as his delight in seeing children attending the ASEAN Day celebrations.
Secretary-General of ASEAN Surin Pitsuwan emphasized the invaluable friendship with all ASEAN Dialogue Partners for the success of the region. "We truly appreciate the work, the contribution, and cooperation, of Dialogue Partners as you have done so much," said the Secretary-General. "You have responded effectively to the call to achieve the ASEAN goal and mission for the region."
Ambassador Kan Paridh also emphasized the importance of cooperation, stating “We are mindful and aware of our challenges and tasks ahead, but together we are confident to overcome the challenges and build the ASEAN Community by 2015.”
Representing all Dialogue Partner Countries, Ambassador Julian Wilson of EU echoed these sentiments by saying, “Regional integration is important. ASEAN succeeds because it is a good idea. Ten together achieves more than ten apart.”
Another new element to this year’s ASEAN Day celebration was the ASEAN Drawing Competition 2012. National best drawings from all ASEAN Member States competed to be the ASEAN-Wide Winner by winning public votes on Facebook. Kaung Wai Yan from Myanmar was awarded the ASEAN-Wide Winner for Category 1 (6-12 years) meanwhile Hoang Phuong Linh from Viet Nam was the ASEAN-Wide Winner for Category 2 (13-18 yrs).
Guests were subsequently entertained by children performances at the ASEAN Kids Corner. Numerous fun activities were prepared for children such as coloring, drawing, photo booth with ASEAN flags, and also piñata game. All were excited and happy to be part of the celebration of ASEAN.
By Huong Giang