The high-level roundtable on "Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community" was held on Thursday in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday hosted a high-level roundtable to look back on the ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 of Việt Nam, chaired by Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyễn Quốc Dũng.
In his opening remarks, Dũng, also head of Việt Nam's ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) and General Secretary of the National ASEAN 2020 Committee, said despite geostrategic fluctuations in the region and the world, the ASEAN Community has not been affected by “violent winds”, and continued to consolidate its central role, and maintain intra-bloc co-operation and that between the group and its outside partners for global peace, security and sustainable development.
Delegates agreed that 2020 was an important milestone in the ASEAN development process with the prominent role as ASEAN Chair 2020 played by Việt Nam.
While praising the success made by Việt Nam during the year, they said Việt Nam had shown flexibility, creativity and proactiveness, and promoted its "core" role in ASEAN, leading the group to overcome difficulties, successfully implement the "dual" goals of maintaining ASEAN momentum and strengthening intra-regional solidarity and improving the bloc’s responsiveness.
Participants hailed the role of Việt Nam as ASEAN Chair in mobilising efforts of the whole community to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and promote recovery in the region.
Initiatives such as the ASEAN COVID-19 Respond Fund, the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, the ASEAN Strategic Framework for Public Health Emergencies and the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework have been supported by ASEAN member countries.
As the Chair of ASEAN 2020, Việt Nam has led ASEAN in the right direction by taking the cooperation against the epidemic and recovery as a "flag" gathering intra-bloc solidarity and consensus of the bloc’s partners, and using digital platforms to maintain co-operation activities amid difficulties posed by the pandemic.
The initiatives put forth by Việt Nam during the year have received the support and appreciation of ASEAN member countries and partners.
Despite a year of difficulties, under the leadership of Việt Nam, all priorities of ASEAN in 2020 have been completed, especially the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), outlining orientations for building the ASEAN Community Vision after 2025, the approval of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, linking sub-regional cooperation with the ASEAN Community building process, narrowing development gaps, strengthening connectivity, and promoting gender equality.
The results demonstrated vitality, dynamism, resilience, balance and adaptation capacity of ASEAN, participants said.
They stressed that in addition to efforts to fight COVID-19 and promote recovery, it is also necessary to fully and effectively implement the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
The group should take concrete measures, make full use of digital technology and bring into play the results of the mid-term assessment of ASEAN Community building blueprints to 2025 to improve the effectiveness of the implementation of the remaining phase of the blueprints.
ASEAN should uphold and ensure intra-regional solidarity and integration, promote its values, identity and geostrategic, geopolitical and economic advantages, and follow up and complete the community building goals, delegates said.
They also expressed their expectation that ASEAN will promote its role, contributing to global efforts to maintain peace, security, stability and sustainable development, effectively responding to challenges. — VNS