Deputy spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Ngô Toàn Thắng . — Photo vietnamnet.vn
HÀ NỘI — The Foreign Ministry’s deputy spokesperson Ngô Toàn Thắng has said Việt Nam’s policy of ensuring the rights to freedom of speech and information access is prescribed in the Constitution and laws and fully enforced.
He made the statement at a regular press in Hà Nội on Thursday in reply to reporters’ queries about Việt Nam’s response to the Freedom House’s report released on November 5 which alleged Việt Nam is not free in relation to the internet.
Thắng completely refuted the report’s assessment about Việt Nam and stressed that the State of Việt Nam always advocates promoting the development of internet to serve national construction and development, as well as meet citizens’ demand for information exchange, study and work.
Việt Nam is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of internet use and subscription growth. Information technology and social media are being used widely in socio-economic and cultural life.
As of early 2019, Việt Nam recorded 60 million internet users, accounting for more than 60 per cent of total population, ranking 16th globally in terms of the number of internet users. The country also had 55 million social media users, according to statistics.
Việt Nam is ready with organisational apparatus, personnel and projects and overall action plans for ASEAN Year 2020, said deputy spokesperson Thắng.
Noting that Việt Nam officially assumed ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand on Monday, he told the press that during ASEAN Year 2020 themed 'Cohesive and Responsive', Việt Nam will hold more than 300 activities, including the 36th ASEAN Summit in April and the 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings in November.
The country will also hold cultural, arts and tourism events to introduce and popularise Việt Nam’s unique cultural values to ASEAN and dialogue countries, he said, adding that Việt Nam will hold a ceremony in mid-November to announce the official logo and launch the website of ASEAN Year 2020.
In the near future, Việt Nam will focus on preparations for the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat scheduled for January 2020 in the central province of Khánh Hoà, starting a series of events during the year, he said.
According to him, Việt Nam will continue developing its ideas and initiatives during the year, and strive to create consensus within the bloc to realise them. — VNS