On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, we join the 600 million people of the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam - in marking the 46th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN on August 8.
ASEAN plays a critical and growing role in Asia through promoting regional integration and maintaining regional security. As the central regional organization in Asia, ASEAN is the keystone for Asia's multilateral architecture, including the ASEAN Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit.
The United States is deeply committed to supporting and partnering with ASEAN. The United States was the first dialogue partner nation to establish a dedicated mission to ASEAN. Our engagement with ASEAN has led to collaboration on everything from maritime security to investing in sustainable energy resources to development in the Lower Mekong sub-region.
I was privileged to participate in my first ASEAN-U.S. Ministerial meeting just last month in Brunei to advance our cooperation on this wide range of shared interests, and I look forward to deepening and broadening our cooperation in the coming years. And I know that President Obama looks forward to participating in the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN-U.S. Summit in Brunei in October.
As we celebrate the anniversary of the founding of ASEAN, know that the United States stands with you as a steadfast partner.