Asean leaders recognised the urgency of the successful establishment of the Asean Community by 2015, at their meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
The Nay Pyi Taw Declaration stated that all nations reaffirmed the commitment to the aims and purposes of Asean as set forth in the Bangkok Declaration of August 8, 1967, in particular to promote regional cooperation in Southeast Asia in the spirit of equality and partnership and thereby contribute towards peace, progress and prosperity in the region.
"The success of the Asean Community can be ensured only by sustained efforts to further deepen and broaden the integration process and to narrow the development gap within and among Asean Member States and by enhancing Asean’s capability in addressing current and emerging issues of common interest and concern in a timely manner," it said.
At the May 11 summit, the leaders also welcomed the progress made in implementing the Roadmap for an Asean Community (2009-2015) as well as other measures and commitments set out in various Asean declarations and plans of action.
They reiterated the commitment to further strengthen efforts to enhance Asean integration and narrow the development gap by building on existing initiatives such as the Initiative for Asean Integration (IAI), the Ha Noi Declaration for Narrowing the Development Gap for Closer Asean Integration (2001), the Vientiane Declaration on Enhancing Economic Cooperation and Integration among Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam (2004) and the Master Plan on Asean Connectivity (2010).
There were growing concerns that the community would not take shape in 2015 as planned, due to discrepancy in harmonisation of each member state.
Asean consists of 10 nations - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.