ASEAN stays united to overcome challenges

The most of the important ASEAN ministerial meetings of 2021 have just concluded. More than 20 video conferences within the framework of ASEAN and between ASEAN and its partners provided an opportunity for countries to discuss the process of building the ASEAN Community, orient foreign relations and exchange views on prominent issues on both a regional and international scale.

ASEAN Foreign Ministers attend AMM-54 (Photo: VNA)
ASEAN Foreign Ministers attend AMM-54 (Photo: VNA)

The 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-54) and related meetings took place in the context of ASEAN currently facing many challenges. The new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is still prevalent, in addition to the issue of the lack of vaccines.

Southeast Asia’s economy has shown signs of recovery, but the growth has been uneven with many potential risks. Strategic competition among the great powers has had a strong impact on the region.

In the face of the great challenges facing the region, ASEAN has made every effort to show its core role, connect member countries and uphold the spirit of the community.

Supporting the proposals of the ASEAN Chair in 2021 on cooperation in disaster response, promoting multilateralism and enhancing the identity of the ASEAN Community, AMM-54 affirmed the intra-regional consensus on coordination to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

ASEAN partners also shared and pledged to increase support to help ASEAN expand its access to vaccine supply as well as strengthen preventive medicine capacity in the region.

The AMM-54 continued to reinforce the important value of ASEAN-led and initiated mechanisms, affirming the bloc’s central role in promoting dialogue and cooperation as well as the constructive contributions made by partners, for peace, security and development of the region.

In a step towards consolidating the Association’s position and expanding its external relations, ASEAN has officially established a Dialogue Partnership with the UK, welcomed and approved proposals to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

Welcoming ASEAN’s wish to maintain and strengthen the consensus to overcome challenges together, ASEAN’s partners reaffirmed the strategic importance of their relationship with the Association and pledged to continue supporting the bloc’scentral role in cooperation mechanisms and processes in the region.

After its success as ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam has continued to contribute to the Association's common work in the spirit of proactivity, positivity and responsibility, together with member countries strengthening and promoting consensus, joining hands to repel the epidemic and recover in a sustainable manner, while continuing to build a united and prosperous ASEAN Community.