Consultation, consensus the way to achieve Asean common security: Abdullah

Former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the best way to pursue common security in Asean is to continue developing the relationships among member countries based on consultation and consensus.

He said through this process, the region had experienced significant growth and transformation, and each of Asean member country had grown stronger and, as a result, so is the region as a whole.

"Whatever challenges we may face in the future are best faced together," he said in his opening remark at the 3rd World Peace Forum here on Saturday.

Abdullah said collaborative platforms, such as Asean and Asean Plus Three, which were developed together by relevant countries in recent decades, had also brought great economic and social benefits to the people in the Asian region.

However, he said the most pressing task Asean was facing today was to strengthen those platforms and fully utilise them to deepen the dialogue, to gain greater understanding, to reach compromise and to share a common position among the member countries.

"Collaboration and cooperation are no longer luxuries, they are necessities. Hence, it is vital to promote peace, build mutual trust, and accept our responsibilities both as individuals and as nations," he added.

Themed "In Pursuit of Common Security: Peace, Mutual Trust and Responsibility," the two-day forum, is organised by Tsinghua University with cooperation from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

It is the first high-level and non-governmental international security forum hosted by China to provide a platform for world leaders to discuss security issues in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia, as well as nuclear nonproliferation.

Abdullah was accompanied by his wife Tun Jeanne Abdullah. Also present were Malaysian Ambassador to China Datuk Iskandar Sarudin and his wife Datin Rahmah Mohd Lajis

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