Myanmar President U Thein Sein stressed on Wednesday the continuation of ASEAN on platform of peace, stability and prosperity for the region, saying that it has proven to be effective in bringing development to the region.

U Thein Sein made the remarks at the 47th ASEAN Day celebrations held in Nay Pyi Taw’s Myanmar International Convention Center, two days ahead of its first hosting of the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) as rotating chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year.

Recalling the regional group’s past 47 years, U Thein Sein said unity and cooperation have been the main strength of ASEAN’s significant progress in bringing peace, stability and prosperity in the region, underlining the uniqueness of ASEAN in building unity through its vast diversities.

Viewing the Asia Pacific region as a strategic region of importance, he said the unity of ASEAN has become more prominent over the decades since ASEAN community building is based on the achievement of unity.

Speaking of Myanmar’s theme of “Moving Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community”, he added that ASEAN stands at a critical juncture of Community Building.

“ASEAN is now transforming itself to become a comprehensively integrated regional organization, sharing same values and norms with the common goal of establishing a community comprising the Political and Security Community, Economic Community and Socio- Cultural Community,” he said.

Witnessing changes throughout the region and the increasing awareness of people on democracy and good governance, he said countries in the region is becoming more interdependent.

He expressed confidence that ASEAN community building process is capable of enhancing such improvements to make them sustainable.

He emphasized the importance of young people and students in building the ASEAN Community.

On the occasion, Myanmar Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin said Myanmar undertakes the chairmanship with heavier responsibility at the time when the regional bloc is heading toward the timeline of establishing the ASEAN Community by the end of 2015, adding that the ASEAN Community establishment are aimed at bringing sustainable well-being of the people in the region.

ASEAN officials have started their meetings in preparation for the 47th AMM and its related meetings due to start on Friday.

The AMM will be followed by meetings between foreign ministers from ASEAN and China; ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea, as well as foreign ministers’ meetings of the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum.