HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, his spouse and a high-ranking delegation left Hà Nội arrived yesterday night for Thailand to attend the upcoming 35th ASEAN Summit and related meetings, scheduled for November 2-4 in Bangkok.
The trip is made at the invitation of Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-Cha.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s participation at the 35th ASEAN Summit and related events in Bangkok, Thailand, demonstrates Việt Nam’s efforts to work with other members to enhance the bloc’s solidarity and relations with partners.
The trip aims to help intensify ASEAN’s solidarity, promote its central role, deepen relations with the bloc’s partners, and create a favourable environment for the sustainable development of each country and the region. The visit is also expected to promote Việt Nam’s image as a country of reforms with active and responsible engagement in regional co-operation.
Advancing partnership for sustainability
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on August 8, 1967. Meanwhile, the ASEAN Community officially came into being on December 31, 2015 with a view to becoming a community that is “politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible, oriented towards the people and centres on the people” on the basis of the ASEAN Charter and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
The bloc also aims to bring into play its central role in an open, transparent and rules-based order to maintain peace, security, stability and development in the region.
In 2019, under the chair of Thailand, ASEAN has continued to strengthen co-operation and connectivity under the theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”, which is meant to consolidate the sustainability in its three pillars (the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community, and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community), and associate the group’s development targets with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Việt Nam contributes to ASEAN development
Since it became a member of ASEAN on July 28, 1995, Việt Nam has made important contributions to the development of the bloc.
The country has co-ordinated with other member nations to build important orientations and policies for the bloc, including the ASEAN Vision 2020 and the ASEAN Vision 2025, the Hà Nội Plan of Action, the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II on the formation of the ASEAN Community, the ASEAN Charter, and the 2009-2015 Roadmap for an ASEAN Community.
Việt Nam has also successfully served in important rotational roles of the association such as host of the 6th ASEAN Summit in 1998, Chair of the ASEAN Standing Committee in 2000-01, and Chair of ASEAN in 2010. It has been an active co-ordinator of ASEAN’s relations with major partners like the US, Russia, the European Union, India and Japan, while greatly helping with the formation, expansion and consolidation of ASEAN-led institutions.
It has always laid emphasis on the bloc’s solidarity and unanimity while helping to build and bring into play tools and mechanisms to ensure regional security, promote the building of trust and share common standards of conduct in the region, while solidify the group’s centrality through ASEAN-led mechanisms and forums. The country has also actively contributed to common efforts by ASEAN to respond to issues affecting regional peace and security, including those relevant to the East Sea.
Besides, Việt Nam has taken the lead in regional economic integration and is one of the two countries to have fulfilled the highest percentage of commitments in the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint (95.5 per cent, following Singapore). The country has worked hard to help boost the building and implementation of economic co-operation agreements within ASEAN, as well as between the group and its partners. It has contributed co-operation initiatives in such fields as supporting micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises; facilitating trade; developing e-commerce; enhancing connectivity; and narrowing the development gap in ASEAN.
Many practical co-operation ideas oriented towards the people have also been proposed by Việt Nam, including those on social welfare, support for vulnerable groups, education, healthcare, epidemic prevention, environmental protection and climate change adaptation.
Việt Nam will serve as ASEAN Chair in 2020, which will be an important year for the realisation of the ASEAN Vision 2025 and also mark the country’s 25th anniversary as a member of the association.
Building the ASEAN Community
The 35th ASEAN Summit is expected to be attended by leaders of the 10 member countries, the bloc’s partners (China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Russia), and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The events are set to discuss measures to boost the building of the ASEAN Community and the implementation of the blueprints of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. They will also look into initial implementation and ways to continue carrying out the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on Partnership for Sustainability, which was adopted at the 34th ASEAN Summit earlier this year; the priorities for 2019 under the theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”; and orientations for the group in the coming years.
At the summit, participants are going to discuss measures to bolster extensive win-win relations with partners, review the implementation of action plans between ASEAN and its partners, and mobilise partners’ support for community building. They will also talk about the enhancement of ASEAN’s centrality in an evolving regional architecture, including promoting the possibility of co-operation in responding to global economic vagaries, adapting to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and dealing with global challenges like climate change, terrorism, trans-national crimes and cybersecurity.
The ASEAN chairmanship will be handed over to Việt Nam after the summit’s closing ceremony.
At the hand-over ceremony, PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc will deliver a speech introducing the theme and major orientations for the ASEAN Year 2020. The country will also unveil a logo for the year and screen a video introducing its ASEAN chairmanship. — VNS