ASEAN cooperation funds introduced to domestic agencies

Tuesday, 2016-10-04 18:07:26
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There are over 70 cooperation funds and programmes within the framework of ASEAN and between ASEAN and its partners.
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NDO—The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a seminar on October 4 to introduce ASEAN Cooperation Funds and funds and programmes between ASEAN and its partners to Vietnamese agencies.

The event aims to provide better domestic authorities with a better understanding of the scope and provisions of such funds and programmes with a view to the effective use of resources from the cooperation funds.

In his opening speech, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung stressed that the ASEAN Community, which was officially formed on December 31, 2015, had entered the stage of consolidation and deepening ties through the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the master plan on each of the three ASEAN Community Pillars and other fields.

The implementation of the commitment to build the ASEAN Community was mainly due to efforts and resources from outside, especially the ASEAN Cooperation Funds and the funds and programmes of cooperation between ASEAN, and its partners played an important role, contributing to improving regional integration, Dung affirmed.

The Deputy Minister also said that there were currently more than 70 funds and cooperation programmes within ASEAN and between ASEAN and its partners. In the past, the funds and partnership programmes have made an important contribution to promoting cooperation within ASEAN and with ASEAN’s partners, especially in the field of enhanced connectivity, narrowing the development gap and coping with common challenges.

Saying that Vietnamese ministries, branches and localities had been more active in collaborating with ASEAN cooperation funds and programmes in proposing and implementing initiatives and projects within the framework of ASEAN cooperation and the expanded ASEAN framework, Dung added that the beneficiary level of the Vietnamese side in such funds and programmes was not high.

He urged domestic authorities to actively exploit these to acquire additional resources for local development, as well as to demonstrate Vietnam’s active participation in ASEAN and the importance of Vietnam in ASEAN cooperation.

ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh stated that ASEAN cooperation projects adhered to the principles of the ASEAN Charter and the need to resolve issues at the regional level, including problems existing outside the national scope and resolving such issues at the regional level would bring about better results.

Introducing the ASEAN Cooperation Funds and the cooperation funds and programmes between ASEAN and its partners, representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat said that the projects had undergone three phases, including being reviewed by the ASEAN Secretariat, being approved by specialised ASEAN agencies and being given final approval by the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN.

The ASEAN Secretariat stressed that the projects’ progress reports aimed to provide the ASEAN Secretariat and umbrella organisations with information on the projects’ progress, as well as problems or challenges encountered during their implementation, changes or adjustments to their activities and expected results and the impact of changes or adjustments to their budgets.

The project completion reports should include content on the projects’ achievements and their contributions to the objectives set by ASEAN, in addition to lessons learned from ASEAN cooperation projects for the development of similar projects in the future and the sustainability of the projects’ results.

On this occasion, the ASEAN Secretariat gave instructions on procedures for the registration and implementation of projects within the funds for the Vietnamese side.