Myanmar hands over ASEAN chair to Malaysia
After a year as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Myanmar has handed over the position to Malaysia for 2015.
President U Thein Sein ceremonially handed over the chairmanship of the 10-member regional grouping to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the end of the 25th ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw on November 13.
Malaysia officially takes up the chairmanship in January.
“The ASEAN Community to be established in the coming year will be a milestone for ASEAN. At that time, the ASEAN people will enjoy the privileges of the ASEAN Community and have to prepare to face new challenges,” President U Thein Sein said at the closing ceremony of the summit.
For its year as ASEAN chair, Myanmar adopted the motto: “Marching Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community”. Malaysia has chosen: “Our People, Our Community, Our Vision”.
In another ceremony, the president of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, U Win Aung, handed over his role as head of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council to Malaysia’s Dr Mohd Munir bin Abdul Majid.
Myanmar was admitted to ASEAN in 1997 and held the chairmanship for the first time this year.
Myanmar was due to hold the chair in 2006 but was passed over because of concern that Western nations would boycott the regional summits it would have hosted as part of the role. [Win Ko Ko Latt, Theingi Tun]