JAKARTA, 13 November 2018 – The 33rd ASEAN Summit has officially started today in Singapore. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore presided over the opening ceremony of the Summit, marking the final milestone of Singapore’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2018. He was joined by the Heads of States/Governments of the other ASEAN Member States.

​During the Summit, the ASEAN Leaders are expected to take stock of ASEAN’s achievements this year in strengthening ASEAN’s resilience and innovation, and adopt a number of key documents which aim to promote the inclusiveness and to improve the lives of the ASEAN peoples. Such documents include the Declaration on the Guidelines on Consular Assistance by ASEAN Member States’ Missions in Third Countries to Nationals of Other ASEAN Member States and ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Other documents to be adopted which focus on resilience and inclusion are the ASEAN Declaration on the Adoption of the ASEAN Youth in Climate Action and Disaster Resilience Day and ASEAN Declaration on Promoting Green Jobs for Equity and Inclusive Growth of ASEAN Community.

“As the region prepares to embrace the fourth industrial revolution and strive for long term competitiveness, ASEAN shall continue to put its peoples and their well-being at its core to ensure sustainability and inclusivity,” said ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi.

One of the highlights of this year’s Summit was the awarding ceremony of the inaugural ASEAN Prize. Launched this year, the ASEAN Prize aims to recognise inspiring achievements and contributions of an individual or organisation that fosters the ASEAN identity, promotes the ASEAN spirit, and champions the ASEAN way. The recipient will be announced during the opening ceremony, and will be presented with the ASEAN Prize Trophy as well as a prize money of USD20,000.

During the Related Summits, ASEAN Leaders will review the progress of ASEAN’s relations with the dialogue partners and the deepening cooperation with them on a number of priority areas. Together with their counterparts from other Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Participating Countries, they will also discuss the progress of the RCEP negotiations at the 2nd RCEP Summit.

​Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will hand over the ASEAN Chairmanship to the Prime Minister of Thailand General Prayut Chan-o-cha at the closing ceremony on 15 November.