Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is going to lead a Vietnamese delegation to the 35th ASEAN Summit and related summits in Bangkok, Thailand, from November 2 to 4


The trip aims to help intensify ASEAN’ssolidarity, promote its central role, deepen relations with the bloc’spartners, and create a favourable environment for the sustainable developmentof each country and the whole region. The visit is also expected to furtherpopularise Vietnam’s image as a country of reforms and active and responsibleengagement in regional cooperation. 

Advancingpartnership for sustainability 

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on August 8, 1967. Meanwhile, the ASEAN Communityofficially came into being on December 31, 2015 with a view to becoming acommunity that is “politically cohesive, economically integrated and sociallyresponsible, oriented towards the people and centres on the people” on thebasis of the ASEAN Charter and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

The bloc also aims to bring into play itscentral role in an open, transparent and rules-based regional order to maintainpeace, security, stability and development in the region.

In 2019, under the chair of Thailand, ASEAN hascontinued to strengthen cooperation and connectivity under the theme “AdvancingPartnership for Sustainability”, which is meant to consolidate thesustainability in all the three pillars (the ASEAN Political-SecurityCommunity, the ASEAN Economic Community, and the ASEAN Socio-CulturalCommunity), and associate the grouping’s development targets with the UnitedNations’ Sustainable Development Goals. 

Vietnamgreatly contributes to ASEAN’s development 

Since it became a member of ASEAN on July 28,1995, Vietnam has made important contributions to the development of the bloc.

The country has coordinated with other membernations to build important orientations and policies for the bloc, includingthe ASEAN Vision 2020 and the ASEAN Vision 2025, the Hanoi Plan of Action, theDeclaration of ASEAN Concord II on the formation of the ASEAN Community, theASEAN Charter, and the 2009-2015 Roadmap for an ASEAN Community.

Vietnam has also successfully served inimportant rotational roles of the association such as host of the 6th ASEANSummit in 1998, Chair of the ASEAN Standing Committee in 2000-2001, and Chairof ASEAN in 2010. It has been active as coordinators of ASEAN’s relations withmajor partners like the US, Russia, the European Union, India and Japan, whilegreatly helping with the formation, expansion and consolidation of ASEAN-ledinstitutions.

It has always laid emphasis on the bloc’ssolidarity and unanimity while helping to build and bring into play tools and mechanismsfor ensuring regional security, promote the building of trust and the sharingof common standards of conduct in the region, and solidify the grouping’scentrality through ASEAN-led mechanisms and forums. The country has alsoactively contributed to common efforts by ASEAN to respond to issues affectingregional peace and security, including those relevant to the East Sea.

Besides, Vietnam has taken the lead in regional economicintegration and is one of the two countries with the highest percentage ofcommitments in the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint fulfilled (95.5 percent,following Singapore). The country has worked hard to help boost the buildingand implementation of economic cooperation agreements within ASEAN, as well asbetween the grouping and partners. It has contributed cooperation initiativesin such fields as supporting micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises;facilitating trade; developing e-commerce; enhancing connectivity; andnarrowing development gap in ASEAN.

Many practical cooperation ideas orientedtowards the people have also been proposed by Vietnam, including those onsocial welfare, support for vulnerable groups, education, health care, epidemicprevention, environmental protection, and climate change adaptation.

Vietnam will serve as ASEAN Chair in 2020, whichwill be an important year for the realisation of the ASEAN Vision 2025 and alsomark the country’s 25-year membership of the association. 

Promoting ASEAN Community building 

The 35th ASEAN Summit and related summits isexpected to be attended by leaders of the 10 member countries, the bloc’spartners (China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand,the US and Russia), along with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

The events are set to discuss measures to boostthe building of the ASEAN Community and the implementation of the blueprints ofthe ASEAN Community Vision 2025. They will also look into initialimplementation outcomes and ways to continue carrying out the ASEAN Leaders’Vision Statement on Partnership for Sustainability, which was adopted at the34th ASEAN Summit earlier this year; the priorities for 2019 under the theme“Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”; and orientations for the groupingin the coming years.

At the summits, participants are going todiscuss measures to bolster extensive and win-win relations with partners,review the implementation of action plans between ASEAN and partners, andmobilise partners’ support for the community building. They will also talk theenhancement of ASEAN’s centrality in an evolving regional architecture,including promoting the possibility of cooperation in responding to globaleconomic vagaries, adapting to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and dealingwith global challenges like climate change, terrorism, trans-national crimes,and cyber security.

The ASEAN chairmanship will be handed over toVietnam after the summit’s closing ceremony.

At the hand-over ceremony, PM Nguyen Xuan Phucwill deliver a speech introducing the theme and major orientations of Vietnamfor the ASEAN Year 2020. The country will also debut the logo for the year andscreen a video introducing its ASEAN chairmanship./.VNA