Based on Article 31 of the ASEAN Charter stated the responsibilities of the Member State holding the Chairmanship of ASEAN. The Chairmanship rotates annually based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States. The Member State assuming the Chairmanship is responsible for chairing various ASEAN meetings and bodies, including the ASEAN Summit, related summits, the ASEAN Coordinating Council, the three ASEAN Community Councils, relevant ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies and senior officials, and the Committee of Permanent Representatives.

Article 32 further elaborates on the role of the Chairmanship, emphasizing the active promotion and enhancement of ASEAN’s interests and well-being. This includes efforts to build an ASEAN Community through policy initiatives, coordination, consensus, and cooperation. The Chairmanship is also tasked with ensuring the centrality of ASEAN and facilitating an effective and timely response to urgent issues or crisis situations affecting the region. Additionally, the Chairmanship represents ASEAN in strengthening and promoting closer relations with external partners and carries out any other tasks and functions mandated by ASEAN.

Lao PDR was selected to be the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2024. Despite the progress, the ASEAN countries continue to struggle with economic and financial challenges despite progress towards recovery. Persistent issues such as climate change, natural disasters, and security threats remain prevalent. In this context, prioritizing connectivity and resilience is essential for ASEAN’s collective efforts in bolstering the ASEAN Community.

ASEAN must intensify to effectively address both existing and emerging challenges. This involves promoting infrastructure connectivity, bridging development disparities, fostering deeper economic integration, and encouraging people-to-people exchanges. Moreover, it’s crucial to strengthen ASEAN’s partnerships with external stakeholders while upholding ASEAN’s centrality and relevance in the evolving regional landscape. 

To achieve these objectives, Laos PDR’s has chosen “Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience” as the theme for its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2024, signaling a commitment to advancing regional cooperation and addressing pressing issues.

During the conclusion of the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta on September 7, 2023, Indonesian President Joko Widodo passed the ASEAN Chairmanship to Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone. The symbolic handover occurred at 5 p.m. local time, signifying Laos’s assumption of the Chairmanship for 2024.

President Widodo thanked ASEAN leaders and partner countries for attending the summit and expressed optimism for a peaceful and prosperous ASEAN. Prime Minister of Laos, Sonexay Siphandone pledged to continue Indonesia’s efforts in enhancing ASEAN’s connectivity and resilience.

Under the theme “Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience,” Laos aims to strengthen ASEAN’s unity and external relations while addressing geopolitical and economic challenges. Prime Minister of Laos, Sonexay Siphandone highlighted plans to focus on connectivity, development, carbon neutrality, and digital transformation.

Lao PDR is prepared to collaborate with ASEAN members and partners to ensure a successful Chairmanship. “We look forward to welcoming everyone to Laos,” Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone. concluded. 

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