Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced at the 37th ASEAN Summit on November 12.

Vietnam pledges contributions to regional COVID-19 fight hinh anh 1

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs the plenary session of the 37th ASEAN Summit on November 12. (Photo: VNA)


While chairing the event, the PM suggested an overall and concerted approach to contain the COVID-19 pandemic with the participation of the “entire Community” and promote comprehensive recovery.

ASEAN should work harder to maintain the cooperation momentum and regional connectivity, fully implement targets set in the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 in line with the roadmap, and step up development orientations for the grouping in the new period, the leader said.

At the same time, it needs to create new impetus in order to improve its competitiveness in the post-pandemic world, optimise intra-bloc cooperation opportunities, apply cutting-edge technologies and sciences, improve digital transformation capacity, and develop high-quality human resources so as to establish its new position in the global and supply chain.

To cope with the severe challenges caused by the pandemic and natural disasters, and maintain equal and sustainable development goals, PM Phuc called on ASEAN to double efforts in order to narrow the development gap and enhance connectivity, including development links with sub-regions like the Mekong, so that no regions and areas are left behind.

Stressing the significance of protecting regional identities, image and values of the ASEAN Community, the PM supported the use and the ASEAN flag and anthem, and said the ASEAN flag will be flown at the headquarters of Vietnamese government offices from the beginning of 2021.

He proposed the grouping carry forward its centrality in dialogue and cooperation, build up trust in the region, make greater efforts to shape an open, transparent, rules-based regional architecture, push ahead with the formation and sharing of codes of conduct, and respect law.

The leader highlighted the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), and the statement issued by ASEAN Foreign Ministers on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the grouping, describing them as the foundation for the bloc to promote a Southeast Asian region of peace, security, neutrality and stability, and increase values towards regional peace in line with international law.

Regarding the East Sea, PM Phuc reiterated Vietnam’s stance, in accordance with ASEAN’s common perception on efforts and resolve to turn it into a water of peace, stability, security, safety and development.

All countries need to respect law, consider the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS) a framework for all activities at sea, and the freedom of navigation and aviation, step up trust building, exercise self-restraint, take no actions that would complicate the situation, not to militarise, and address disputes and differences in line with international law, he stressed.

In that spirit, the serious and full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in an effective and efficient wat and in accordance with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS are of special significance, the PM said.

At the summit, ASEAN leaders lauded Vietnam’s role as the ASEAN Chair 2020 in coordinating and leading ASEAN to maintain cooperation momentum and building in all of its three pillars, and boosting cooperation in containing and dealing with consequences of COVID-19.

In an effort to cope with the pandemic, the leaders approved the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its implementation plan, the ASEAN declaration on the travel corridor, and the Strategic Framework for Public Health Emergencies.

They officially announced the establishment of the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, and agreed to promote the operation of the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund and establish the ASEAN Regional Centre on Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.

At the end of the summit, the ASEAN leaders approved a number of important documents, proposed by Vietnam as the ASEAN Chair 2020 and supported by other ASEAN member countries and partners, such as the Hanoi declaration on the ASEAN Community Vision Post 2025, and the Hanoi declaration on promoting social work towards a cohesive and responsive ASEAN Community./.VNA