UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (centre) speaks at the 11th ASEAN-Summit held online on Sunday. VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI — The comprehensive partnership between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations (UN) has grown stronger than ever in recent years, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the 11th ASEAN-Summit that was held online on Sunday.
In his speech, Guterres congratulated Việt Nam on its role as ASEAN Chair 2020 and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-21 tenure, and expressed his condolences to the country over losses caused by recent floods and landslides.
“The United Nations stands with the Vietnamese people and Government,” the Secretary-General said.
Guterres pointed out an array of issues such as the global pandemic, climate emergency, rising geo-political tensions, the risk of nuclear proliferation, persistent poverty, growing inequality and intense conflicts, among others.
Meanwhile, the world is on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, he continued.
“I count on your leadership and your resolve for urgent actions to safeguard our shared world,” the UN chief said.
The UN Secretary-General welcomed ASEAN’s support for the nuclear non-proliferation regime and his call for a global ceasefire.
Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, he commended the group’s swift and effective response, saying he welcomed ASEAN’s commitments to regional solidarity and international co-operation.
The UN welcomed ASEAN’s comprehensive recovery framework and is ready to work with the bloc to build resilience, improve preparedness and safeguard the environment, Guterres said.
He reiterated his appeal at the 10th ASEAN-UN Summit for robust actions in Asia to reverse climate change.
Guterres also thanked ASEAN for its contribution of 5,000 peacekeepers to UN operations.
Regarding the South China Sea (called East Sea by Việt Nam), the Secretary-General appreciated ASEAN’s commitments and efforts to a peaceful resolution in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
In his remarks, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc hailed the UN’s role in co-ordinating the actions of countries over the past 75 years, as well as its contributions to ensuring peace and promoting sustainable development.
The principles of the UN Charter have helped adjust international relations, he said.
The PM said ASEAN has proven its central role in promoting dialogue and co-operation in common matters for peace, development and stability in the region.
The bloc has also contributed to international efforts led by the UN for peace, security and sustainable development in the world, he added.
Echoing Guterres’s view, PM Phúc said the relationship between ASEAN and the UN has become a model of co-operation between the UN and regional organisations.
The relationship is of significance in the context of the present complex situation, with unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vietnamese leader stressed. — VNS