The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on December 17 hosted an international seminar to look back on the ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 of Vietnam under the chair of Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung.
Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung (third, left) The high-level roundtable on "A cohesive and responsive ASEAN Community: 2020 Reflection for bolder joint actions" (Photo: VNA)
In his opening remarks, Dung, who also head of Vietnam’s ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) and General Secretary of the National ASEAN 2020 Committee, said despite of geostrategic fluctuations in the region and the world, the ASEAN Community has not been affected by “violent winds”, and continued to consolidate its central role, and maintain intra-bloc cooperation and that between the group and its outside partners for global peace, security and sustainable development.
Delegates agreed that 2020 is an important milestone in the ASEAN development process with the prominent role as ASEAN Chair 2020 played by Vietnam.
While praising the positive success made by Vietnam during the year, they said Vietnam has shown flexibility, creativity and proactiveness, and promoted its "core" role in ASEAN, step by step leading the group to overcome difficulties, successfully implement the "dual" goals of maintaining ASEAN building momentum and strengthening intra-regional solidarity, and improving the bloc’s responsiveness.
Participants particularly hailed the role of Vietnam as ASEAN Chair in mobilising efforts of the whole Community to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and promote comprehensive recovery in the region.
Initiatives such as the ASEAN COVID-19 Respond Fund, the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, the ASEAN Strategic Framework for Public Health Emergencies and the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework have been supported and actively joined by ASEAN member countries.
As the Chair of ASEAN 2020, Vietnam has led ASEAN in the right direction by taking the cooperation against the epidemic and recovery as a "flag" gathering intra-bloc solidarity and consensus of the bloc’s partners, and using digital platforms to maintain cooperation activities amid difficulties posed by the pandemic.
The priorities and initiatives of Vietnam put forth during the year have received the support and appreciation of the all ASEAN member countries and partners.
Despite a year of difficulties and challenges, under the leadership of Vietnam, all priorities of ASEAN in 2020 have been fully completed, especially the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), outlining orientations for building the ASEAN Community Vision after 2025, the approval of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, linking sub-regional cooperation with the ASEAN Community building process, narrowing development gaps, strengthening connectivity, and promoting gender equality.
The active results have partly demonstrated vitality, dynamism, resilience, balance and adaptation capacity of ASEAN, participants said.
They stressed that in addition to efforts to fight COVID-19 and promote recovery, it is also necessary to fully and effectively implement the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
The group should take concrete measures, make full use of digital technology and bring into play the results of mid-term assessment of ASEAN Community building blueprints to 2025 in order to improve the effectiveness of the implementation of the remaining phase of the blueprints.
ASEAN should continue to uphold and ensure intra-regional solidarity and integration, promote its values, identity and geostrategic, geopolitical and economic advantages, and follow up and complete the set Community building goals, delegates said.
They also expressed their expectation that ASEAN will promote its role, contributing to global efforts in maintaining peace, security, stability and sustainable development, effectively responding to challenges./.VNA