ASEAN Day Reception

– As delivered –

Statement by H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, at ASEAN Day Reception



Ambassador Gafoor, Excellencies, Mr. Secretary-General, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for your warm welcome and this opportunity to make a few remarks this evening.

Congratulations on ASEAN Day. And let me commend Singapore on its leadership.

Your theme “Resilient and Innovative ASEAN” speaks to a dynamism that ASEAN is known for. And it reminds us of the important role of the ASEAN countries as part of our multilateral community.

As you celebrate I want to share with you two quick points.

The first is on ASEAN as a global partner.

ASEAN countries have been strong defenders of multilateralism and the United Nations. We face uncertain dynamics in many areas. It is good to know that ASEAN is a steady partner on common challenges.

The close cooperation between ASEAN and the United Nations is testament to the shared values and ideals of both organisations.

For example: we see this in the ASEAN-UN Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership 2016-2020. And there are also many connections between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Then there is the ‘ASEAN Way’ –  compromise, consensus, and consultation. It continues to be a fine model for us in the United Nations. No doubt this is part of the recipe for intra-ASEAN harmony. And it is part of what makes you successful.

And my second point is about ASEAN’s success in the future.

Your success appears set to continue.

The future is looking bright:

The middle class is expanding.

Young people are optimistic about their futures.

Economies are growing and poverty is falling.

People’s living standards are improving.

So, you do have much to celebrate. But also to work to preserve these gains. And at the same time to manage challenges.

Let me close by thanking ASEAN countries for their active participation during this session. I also appreciate the full support you have given to me and to my Office.

I wish ASEAN, its Members and people all the best.

Thank you very much.