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Source: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

This is a series of high-level summits during Vietnam’s ASEAN Chair Year 2020, offering important opportunities for Vietnam and ASEAN members to make important decisions on intra-regional cooperation and relations with their partners as well as reactions towards issues affecting the region in the future and improving ASEAN’s initiative in the face of regional and international challenges.

We are pleased to see that as the Chair of ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam has demonstrated its firm stuff as well as made great efforts to enhance the solidarity, maintain the momentum of cooperation and build the developed ASEAN Community while responding effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic and further consolidating its central role in the spirit of “Cohesion and proactive adaptation”.

Up to now, ASEAN has basically achieved the set goals. Accordingly, Vietnam’s priorities and initiatives are on track, including the mid-term review of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, preparations to build the ASEAN Community Vision post-2025, the review of the implementation of ASEAN Charter and sub-regional linkage with the common development of the ASEAN Community. The image of an active, proactive and responsible ASEAN Chair with the spirit of “community thinking and action” has been spread widely.

Facing the complicated development of the COVID-19, Vietnam has also demonstrated its flexibility and initiative in effectively leading ASEAN to respond to the epidemic. Many online high-level summits were held this year such as the 36th ASEAN Summits, the ASEAN Special Summit and the ASEAN+3 Special Summit on COVID-19 Response, ministerial meetings and those between ASEAN and its partners. Many specific and substantive initiatives on the response to the COVID-19 epidemic have received positive comments, including the establishment of the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies and the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework. Over the past 25 years of membership in ASEAN, with the motto of being “active, proactive and responsible”, Vietnam has made important contributions to the development and success of the association. Vietnam’s successful assumption of ASEAN Chairmanship in 2010 and 2020 and its host of many major summits and meetings have helped ensure a peaceful, stable and favourable environment for the security and development of the country as well as effectively supported the implementation of the Party’s and State’s foreign policy of independence, autonomy, diversification, multilateralisation and regional and international integration.

The year 2020 is gradually closing with numerous complicated challenges. The new infectious wave of the COVID-19 is exacerbating the difficulties caused by the pandemic. The strategic competition among major countries has been fiercer and the situation of the East Sea (South China Sea) has continued to be a hot issue in the field and the agendas of the summits. The COVID-19 outbreak has greatly affected the activities of Vietnam’s ASEAN Chair Year 2020 as almost summits and meetings have been held virtually. In that context, the 37th ASEAN Summit and related high-level meetings have very important significance as they will be an opportunity for the member countries to enhance their intra-regional cooperation and relations with their partners; unify their views and voices on international and regional issues; and promoting ASEAN’s central role and improving the region’s operational efficiency in the response to the challenges, including COVID-19 pandemic.

There are many summits during this series of important summits including: the 37th ASEAN Summit; seven ASEAN+1 summits with China, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan, India, the US, Australia and the United Nations; the 23rd ASEAN+3 Summit; the 15th East Asia Summit; the ASEAN-New Zealand Summit celebrating their 45th anniversary; the high-level meeting of the countries participating in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); the Mekong – Japan Summit; the Mekong – ROK Summit; the 10th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit (CLMV); and the 11th Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam Development Triangle Summit (CLV). In addition, the first ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit, the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) and the East Asia Business Council (EABC) Summit will also be held on the occasion.

May the 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings be a great success, contributing to building a united ASEAN Community and strengthening mutual assistance. The meetings are also expected to enhance the cooperation of ASENA with its partners in limiting the impact of the pandemic and recovering the economy as well as boosting regional connectivity. They are also specially significant activities, closing the term of a dynamic, active, flexible and creative ASEAN Chairmanship that marked Vietnam’s imprint on successfully fulling its “dual goal” of promoting cooperation to build the Community and effectively responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News