Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyễn Quốc Dũng, head of the SOM ASEAN Vietnam, chairs the online ASEAN SOM on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — An online ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (ASEAN SOM) was held on Thursday to review the construction process of the ASEAN Community and implementation of initiatives on COVID-19 prevention and control.
The event was chaired by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyễn Quốc Dũng, head of the SOM ASEAN Vietnam.
Participants, including ASEAN senior officials and the ASEAN Deputy General Secretary, said building the ASEAN Community was the top priority of ASEAN at present despite difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
They committed to work with Việt Nam, the ASEAN Chair, to implement priorities and initiatives of 2020, including the mid-term review of the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and preparations for the construction of the ASEAN Community Vision after 2025.
Discussing co-operation in COVID-19 prevention and control, member countries applauded the operation of the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund and discussed steps for comprehensive recovery of ASEAN after COVID-19.
Participants appreciated Việt Nam’s initiative to organise the ASEAN Forum on Sub-regional Development in Hà Nội on July 14. They said the information shared at the forum would help countries better understand the development process as well as challenges facing sub-regions as well as ASEAN’s more effective role in supporting sub-regions to integrate into the region and the world.
Regarding ASEAN’s external relations, participants suggested continuing to uphold the central role of ASEAN while promoting practical co-operation with partners to soon overcome difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the East Asia Summit, member countries also discussed measures to increase the role and value of the East Asia Summit as well as improve its ability to cope with emerging challenges.
This SOM ASEAN is part of a series of meetings held in preparations for the upcoming 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings. The Meeting of Senior Officials within the ASEAN+3 framework, the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum will be held online on July 20-21. — VNS