Ceremonies were held in Bangkok on November 4 evening to wrap up the 35th ASEAN Summit and related summits and hand over the ASEAN chairmanship for 2020 to Vietnam.
Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (L) hands the chairmanship hammer to his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the ceremony in Bangkok on November 4 evening
Following the closing ceremony, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand, the host country of ASEAN in 2019, handed the chairmanship hammer to his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
In his speech, PM Phuc noted Vietnam has chosen “Cohesive and Responsive” as the theme for the ASEAN Year 2020.
He said 2020 will mark five years since the formation of the ASEAN Community. While efforts to boost regional connectivity and build the Community are being enhanced, and in the face of swift and complex developments in the region and the world, the capability of sustainable cohesiveness is all the more important to ASEAN.
In 2020, Vietnam wishes to focus on fostering the bloc’s sustainable cohesiveness through consolidating solidarity and unity, increasing economic connectivity, further intensifying the values and identities of the ASEAN Community, improving the efficiency of ASEAN’s apparatus, and stepping up relations with the bloc’s partners in the global community, the PM affirmed.
Through such sustainable cohesiveness, the ASEAN Community can promote its active and effective responsiveness to opportunities and challenges, including the strong development of science-technology, changes in global and regional economies, and transnational challenges that are affecting the stable and sustainable development of countries and people’s lives, according to him.
PM Phuc said cohesiveness and responsiveness are greatly complementary to each other, adding that a cohesive and developed community needs to increase its responsiveness to external factors and, in return, responsiveness can only be attained if ASEAN is a strongly cohesive bloc.
Vietnam looks forwards to the active support and assistance from other ASEAN members and partners to realise the spirit of the theme of the ASEAN Year 2020, he stressed.
Following his speech, the logo for the ASEAN Year 2020 was debuted, and a short video introducing the chairmanship of Vietnam screened at the ceremony./.
PM attends seventh ASEAN – US Summit
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the seventh ASEAN – US Summit in Bangkok on November 4, within the framework of the ongoing 35th ASEAN Summit and related meetings.
Speaking at the event, the PM hailed the US as one of the longest-standing partners of ASEAN and its commitments to the bloc.
He wished that the US will manifest its responsibility and support ASEAN’s central role in shaping regional rules-based architecture.
The PM also welcomed and encouraged US investors to join infrastructure and energy development projects in ASEAN.
Highlighting the importance of the East Sea and countries’ responsibility for the world’s lifeline, through which 3.4 trillion USD worth of goods pass annually, he reiterated ASEAN’s principled stance on the East Sea which was reaffirmed by their ministers of foreign affairs in July, saying that countries and parties concerned are responsible for protecting peace, strengthening stability, promoting dialogues, enhancing collaboration to together build the East Sea into an area of peace, cooperation and prosperity.
The leader expressed commitment of Vietnam, the next ASEAN Chair, to continuing to push up the ASEAN – US ties for the sake of peace, stability and cooperation in the region.
US national security advisor Robert C.O’Brien, for his part, affirmed the US’s commitments to the region and welcomed the launch of the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific.
In order to help nations join regional integration more deeply, he said the US has proposed the Blue Dot Network initiative that will set standards for big infrastructure projects.
The US also promises to work closely with ASEAN in mechanisms formed and led by the bloc, the official added.
On regional and global issues, he reaffirmed US stance, opposing acts that hinder legal economic operations in the sea, not respect sovereignty and sovereign right of countries and international law in the East Sea. The US side wished that ASEAN member states will stay united while parties concerned will exercise restraint to peacefully settle disputes, respect the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and soon reach an effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the official highlighted.
ASEAN countries reaffirmed their stance on supporting trade liberalization, respect to law and responsible behaviours. They called on powers to exercise restraint and not let differences, especially in trade, cause adverse impact on regional environment./. VNA
Vietnam will receive the ASEAN chairmanship for 2020 from Thailand in early November. With this new responsibility, the country is aiming to further its contributions to regional peace and sustainability with a people-centred approach.