Foreign delegates commend outcome of 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits hinh anh 1

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hands over the chairmanship hammer to the Ambassador of Brunei - ASEAN Chair 2021. (Photo: VNA)


In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on the sidelines of the summits, the official lauded Vietnam’s success in chairing ASEAN this year at a difficult time.

The record number of signed documents has demonstrated the efforts of Vietnam, he said, hailing ASEAN’s efforts in trade promotion, pandemic combat, digital economic development and women’s empowerment.

David De Leon J., Chargé d'affaires of the Panama Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Vietnam has made “a very good opportunity and good outcome” this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

He highlighted the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement by 10 ASEAN member countries and five partners of the bloc, and the accession of Colombia, Cuba and South Africa to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

“In Latin America, for example Panama, we are looking forward to the region of ASEAN,” he said, explaining that with the RCEP Agreement, ASEAN will become one of the largest free trade bloc.

Chékou Oussouman, regional representative of the Asia and Pacific office of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), said Vietnam has proven that “we can go beyond the pandemic.”

He commended Vietnam’s endeavours to complete the big schedule in its capacity as ASEAN Chair 2020.

The outcome of the summits is not only for Southeast Asia but also for the world because of the position of the region and expectations for new-generation people, he said.

“The outcome is inclusive, not exclusive,” he said, adding that some key results are benefiting the word and the OIF is keeping attention to the management and ASEAN Chairmanship by Vietnam.

UNDP Resident Representative for Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen also said Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 is very extraordinary at the time of great uncertainties and challenges, especially the COVID-19 pandemic.

The theme selected for the ASEAN Year is appropriate and reflective, she said, emphasising the importance of being cohesive and responsive at this tough time.

“Vietnam has much to be proud of. The UN force is very pleased to see the centrality that is given to the multilateralism and the reinforcement of that which is so needed at the time of uncertainties and challenges,” she said.

According to Caitlin, the summits being organised are excellent examples of the initiatives that have been taken to move forward, and ASEAN activities are very creative and innovative, demonstrating the solidarity and cultural richness of the grouping.

Ambassador of the Netherlands Elsbeth Akkerman congratulated Vietnam for not only its organisation of the summits but also its fulfillment of the ASEAN Chairmanship, saying Vietnam has chaired ASEAN in a very complex circumstance.

The diplomat said the shift from in-person to online meetings amidst COVID-19 has reflected the preparation, resilience and flexibility of ASEAN countries and partners.

It is a great achievement that deserves a big complement from the whole international community, she said, adding: “ASEAN and Vietnam as the Chair did a great job. ASEAN and Vietnam really place the people of ASEAN at the heart of their efforts.”

The ambassador said there is a smooth transition from Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship to Vietnam, and Vietnam has completed that role, which deserves a good complement./.VNA