NAY PYI TAW, May 9 -- The 24th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit is kicking off here Saturday under the theme "Moving Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community," bringing the bloc one step closer to creating an ASEAN Community.
The community building process started in 2003 when the heads of ASEAN member states agreed at the 9th ASEAN Summit that an ASEAN Community shall be established.
At the 12th ASEAN Summit held in January 2007 in Cebu of the Philippines, the leaders affirmed their strong commitment to facilitating the establishment of an ASEAN Community by the end of 2015 and signed the Cebu Declaration on the Acceleration of the Establishment of an ASEAN Community by 2015.
The ASEAN Community comprises three pillars, namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. Each pillar has its own blueprint, and, together with the Initia