Enhancing ASEAN’s cooperation and initiative

Friday, 2020-06-26 09:50:56
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For the first time ever, an ASEAN Summit will be held online, under the chair of Vietnam. (Photo: baoquocte.vn)
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NDO – Today, June 26, 2020, the 36th ASEAN Summit is taking place online for the first time ever, discussing the implementation of priorities for this year as well as the grouping’s external affairs in the time ahead.

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As the ASEAN Chairman for 2020, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is chairing the opening session, the plenary session, and a special session on women's empowerment in the digital age, as well as dialogues between leaders of the ASEAN countries with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), representatives of ASEAN youths, and delegates from the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, who is also the Chairperson of AIPA-41, will deliver her speech on behalf of Vietnam at the special session on women’s empowerment in the digital age. She will also join her deputy, NA Vice Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong, who is the head of the Vietnamese delegation at AIPA, to attend a dialogue between leaders of ASEAN countries and AIPA. Previously, there were preparatory meetings of ministerial-level officials and senior officials of ASEAN's Political-Security, Economic and Social-Cultural Communities.

The 36th ASEAN Summit is an important occasion for Vietnam and ASEAN member countries to continue exchanging initiatives and discussing measures towards building the ASEAN Community, while consolidating solidarity and unity and strengthening mutual assistance, as well as enhancing effectiveness of cooperation, focusing on the implementation of priorities and initiatives in 2020, and enhancing the activeness of ASEAN in the face of current regional and international challenges, including the COVID-19 epidemic.

Promoting the "Cohesive and Responsive" spirit, as assuming the ASEAN Chairmanship 2020, Vietnam has led the bloc to effectively respond to the COVID-19 epidemic, presiding over multiple online conferences, including the ASEAN Special Summit and the ASEAN+3 Special Summit on COVID-19 Response, as well as the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meetings and meetings between ASEAN and its partners (the European Union, USA, Russia, etc...) with positive effects, thus contributing to maintaining ASEAN's momentum on cooperation. These activities create a positive media effect in domestic and international community, demonstrating the active role of the country holding the ASEAN Chair.

As ASEAN Chair in 2020, right from the beginning of its term, Vietnam has been proactively and actively creating consensus and coordinating ASEAN's joint efforts to consolidate solidarity and unity and strengthen cohesion and mutual support, while enhancing ASEAN's cooperation and initiative in the face of the current regional and international challenges, including COVID-19, thus promoting a "Cohesive and Responsive" spirit.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic having spread around the globe as well as through all ASEAN countries, Vietnam has ensured the implementation of its priorities and initiatives for ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2020 while actively realising the agreements reached at the recent online conferences on responding to COVID-19, especially the ASEAN Special Summit and the ASEAN+3 Special Summit on COVID-19 Response, in addition to the ASEAN Chairman’s Statement on ASEAN Collective Response to the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease, preventing the pandemic from spreading as well as limiting its negative impacts.

In addition to the opening and plenary sessions, special meetings and dialogues will also take place during the 36th ASEAN Summit. In particular, it will feature the special session of the ASEAN leaders on women’s empowerment in the digital age, initiated by Vietnam to affirm the ASEAN leaders’ commitment in promoting gender equality and the role of women in the process of building the ASEAN Community. It also aims to mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action on promoting the rights of women.

At the dialogue between leaders of the ASEAN countries and the AIPA, the ASEAN leaders and AIPA representatives will seek ways to enhance coordination between the two organisations in building the ASEAN Community towards the people and for the people.

At the dialogue between leaders of ASEAN countries and ASEAN youths, the ASEAN leaders will discuss with representatives of ASEAN youths, nominated by ASEAN member countries, on promoting youth participation in the ASEAN Community building. The youth representatives will submit the ASEAN Youth Declaration to the leaders of ASEAN countries at the dialogue.

At the dialogue between leaders of the ASEAN countries and representatives of the ABAC, the latter will present recommendations of the business community to ASEAN leaders, in order to promote enterprises’ participation and facilitate trade - investment freedom in the region and the world.

May the 36th ASEAN Summit, chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, will be a great success. With joint efforts and high consensus, the ASEAN leaders are expected to adopt the ASEAN Chair Statement on the outcomes of the 36th ASEAN Summit, a vision statement on ASEAN’s cohesion and proactive adaptation, and an ASEAN declaration on human resource development for the changing world of work, as well as many other documents. The success of the 36th ASEAN Summit will be an important milestone, creating a strong momentum to contribute positively to a cohesive, flexible and responsive ASEAN.