Although the vision for the region is laid down by officials, its accomplishment would very much depend on the efforts of the people – and that would only be possible if the message is communicated efficiently to its citizens. That was the urgent call from the Secretary-General of ASEAN in Ha Noi today at the Awards Ceremony for the Voice of Viet Nam’s “ASEAN Community of Solidarity and Prosperity” radio contest.

“The dreams of an integrated ASEAN will not be a reality until the people get involved,” said Dr Surin Pitsuwan. “Hence, the significance of this radio contest, which aimed to propagate the idea and vision of ASEAN to the people of the region,” he continued.

As part of a series of activities to promote ASEAN awareness during Viet Nam’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2010, the Voice of Viet Nam (VOV), in coordination with the National Committee for ASEAN, had launched a radio contest from 8 January to 15 June with weekly quiz questions and essays. The contest, according to the Organising Committee of the contest, had drawn entries from different parts of the country, neighbouring Lao PDR and even as far as Yunnan in China. The participants came from the whole spectrum of society, including students, soldiers, pensioners and veterans.


Some of the winners said that through the contest, they had learnt a lot about Viet Nam’s ASEAN neighbours and also the vision of establishing an ASEAN Community by 2015. The VOV, with its coverage of more than 99 % of the country’s population, has said that they would be organising more such activities to contribute towards the improvement of ASEAN awareness among the Vietnamese people.

The awards ceremony was attended by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam, dignitaries from the VOV, representatives from embassies of ASEAN Member States and members of the Vietnamese media.

Ha Noi is currently hosting the 43rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the Post-Ministerial Conferences and the 17th ASEAN Regional Forum until 23 July.