Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, Head of Vietnam’s ASEAN SOM, revealed the information while chairing the 9th Meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group Meeting (ACCWG) on Timor Leste’s ASEAN membership application in the central city of Da Nang on March 5.

Participants reserved a half-day working session in discussing assistance activities for Timor Leste improving its capability and pre-operational works for joining ASEAN as a new member.

An overview of the meeting

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries also agreed on survey reports of the ASEAN Politics and Security Community (APSC) from last September.

Following the consensus among participants, ASEAN survey teams of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) will evaluate the capability and readiness of Timor Leste in the context of economics and culture before joining ASEAN.

Reports by the survey teams will be submitted to the ASEAN Coordinating Council for approval by the end of this year.

Participants also agreed to give positive support to Timor Leste in strengthening and improving institutions, economics, income, living standards and knowledge of people.

Dung strongly emphasised that major task of the ACCWG will focus on the ASEAN membership application of Timor Leste.

He also asked the ACCWG for assessment of the impact from Timor Leste’s membership, before sending reports and recommendations to ASEAN foreign ministers and high-ranking officials’ meetings.

Dung requested the ACCWG’s survey teams focusing on assessments of three pillars – Politics and Security, Economics, and Socio-Culture – during working sessions in Timor Leste.

Timor Leste submitted an application for ASEAN membership in 2011, and the ACCWG was formed in 2012 to evaluate the capability and three pillars of Timor Leste.

Reports and recommendations of the ACCWG will be reported to the ASEAN Coordinating Council for approval soon.

ASEAN now comprises 10 member states, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Source: VNA