1. I chaired the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat on 17-18 January 2019 in Chiang Mai. The Retreat is the first gathering of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers under Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019 with the theme, “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”, which the Foreign Ministers welcomed.

2. We had fruitful discussions on ASEAN’s priorities for the year ahead, as well as exchange of views on regional and international developments. We discussed the way forward for ASEAN Community-building, the strengthening of ASEAN partnerships with external partners and the international community, and the reinforcing of the ASEAN-centred regional architecture. We underscored the importance of implementing effectively the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and its various Blueprints, as well as ASEAN agreements in force in order to maintain strong momentum in building a people-centred ASEAN Community that leaves no one behind, and looks to the future. As the Asia-Pacific continues to witness continued change and uncertainty, we believed that ASEAN needs to not only maintain its unity and centrality but also enhance ASEAN’s strategic value added, in order to remain a driving force for key developments in our region.

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