Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh
chaired the Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (IAMM), the 21st ASEAN
Political-Security Community (APSC), and the 26th ASEAN Coordinating Council
which were held online in Hanoi on June 24.
Representatives of the countries discussed regional
and international developments and ASEAN external relations. They spoke
highly of Vietnam’s efforts to prepare for the 36th ASEAN Summit slated for
June 26 in the context of COVID-19, and agreed on the working agenda
proposed by the host.
They reiterated their “Cohesive and Responsive”
spirit, adding that the pandemic could not undermine their solidarity,
cooperation, activeness, and creativity.
Ministers agreed that ASEAN has become a central
force in curbing the disease and maintaining socio-political stability in
the region, and held that it is time for the bloc to take new steps by
strengthening prevention and control of the pandemic’s recurrence, and
developing recovery and post-pandemic development plans.
In this process, dialogues and cooperation are still
needed, they suggested.
Participants also expressed their support for and
willingness to cooperate in implementing initiatives proposed by Vietnam
such as completing the mid-term review of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025,
evaluating the implementation of the ASEAN Charter, and building ASEAN's
post-2025 development orientations.
Exchanging views on regional and international
issues, the ministers reaffirmed ASEAN's viewpoints on the East Sea, the
Rakhine State (Myanmar), and the Korean Peninsula.
Particularly, regarding the East Sea issue, ASEAN
countries emphasised that peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of
navigation and aviation in the region should be taken as the top priority,
especially as the international community is struggling against COVID-19.
They underlined the importance of the practice of
restraint without taking actions to complicate the situation, while
upholding international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982), fully implementing the Declaration of
the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and quickly resuming
negotiations for building an effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC)
in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
Six reports from the ASEAN Secretary General and
community pillars submitted to the upcoming 36th ASEAN Summit were adopted
at the 26th ASEAN Coordinating Council Meeting.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh
Minh highly valued ASEAN’s solidarity and cooperation spirit, describing
this as a key factor to ensure peace and stability in the region, and a
foundation for the bloc to overcome challenges posed by COVID-19.
For the situation in the world and the region, Minh
expressed concern on the recent development in the East Sea and reiterated
the consistent viewpoints of ASEAN and Vietnam in particular.
He called on ASEAN member states to promote
responsibility, dialogues and cooperation for peace, stability, security,
safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.
In this process, it is essential to uphold
international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, exercise self-restraint, avoid
militarisation and actions that complicate the situation, and fully
implement the DOC and build an effective COC in line with international law,
including the 1982 UNCLOS, he added.
Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) groups 10 member countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia,
Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and
ASEAN urged to enhance resilience amid regional and
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister Pham Binh Minh has urged ASEAN member states to further strengthen
intra-bloc solidarity and cohesion, and enhance resilience in the face of
challenges in the region and the world.
Minh made the statement while chairing the virtual
21st ASEAN Political-Security Community Council Meeting on June 24, which
was attended by foreign ministers from the ten ASEAN countries and the ASEAN
The meeting aimed to review the progress of the
ASEAN Political - Security Community Blueprint 2025 and discuss ways to beef
up political and security cooperation among member states in the time to
The ASEAN must always be consistent in awareness and
action, maintain a common voice, and promote the observance of law in the
region, he said.
Against a backdrop of rising strategic competition
between global powerhouses, the bloc needs to maintain its centrality and at
the same time improve existing cooperation mechanisms and processes to
continue securing the engagement of and contributions from partners, Minh
The Deputy PM went on to emphasise the importance of
adopting a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to effectively address
increasingly complex security challenges.
He called on ASEAN member states to improve the
quality of the implementation of the ASEAN Political - Security Community
Blueprint 2025 in order to make it contribute practically to regional peace
and security and benefit the people.
At the event, the ministers agreed that cooperation
among ASEAN nations have been accelerated in various areas, including
defence, counter-terrorism and fighting transnational crime, border
management, anti-drug trafficking, trust building and preventive diplomacy.
They shared a common view that ASEAN’s cooperation
mechanism has played a significant role in strengthening concerted relief
efforts to prevent the COVID-19 from spreading further.
The ministers also held that the ASEAN is facing a
range of complicated security challenges, including growing tensions in
hotspots such as the East Sea, the Korean Peninsula and the Middle East, as
well as emerging non-traditional security challenges such as health
security, water security and cyber security.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
groups 10 member states, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia,
Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam./.
Lao highly values Vietnam as ASEAN Chair
Lao Deputy Foreign Minister Thongphane Savanphet has
said Vietnam is performing well its role as the ASEAN Chair 2020, especially
in leading the bloc to overcome challenges and difficulties posed by
In an interview to VNA, the official, who is also
head of the SOM ASEAN of Laos, said Vietnam’s role in the context of the
pandemic is extremely important. He further added that Vietnam is playing
the key role in organising the implementation of agreements reached by ASEAN
On the adjustments of the agenda Vietnam has
implemented for the chairmanship year, the Lao official highlighted that
time has proven that measures taken by Vietnam are very good.
As for the expectation on Vietnam as the ASEAN Chair
in the rest of the year, he spoke highly of the theme “Cohesive and
Responsive” raised by Vietnam, affirming that it is very suitable to the
cooperation of ASEAN.
The rest of the year will see many things to be done
and Vietnam, as the ASEAN Chair, will have a very important role to play in
pushing and organising the implementation of the initiatives as well as
priorities, he said.
The official also expressed his belief that under
the leading of Vietnam, ASEAN will together advance to successes, and
affirmed that Laos will always support and help Vietnam to complete its
Thai Prime Minister to attend 36th ASEAN Summit
Thai Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prayut
Chan-o-cha is scheduled to attend the 36th ASEAN Summit and relevant
meetings chaired by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on June 26.
According to a report from the Thai government, with
the theme “Cohesive and Responsive”, the event will be the first summit held
in the form of a video conference.
The summit will focus on enhancing cooperation among
ASEAN member nations in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, and discussing
a post-pandemic comprehensive recovery plan for the region.
PM Prayut will propose three post-pandemic
approaches, including promoting ASEAN's true connection through accelerating
the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC
2025); fostering ASEAN's strengths from the inside through economic
integration and digital infrastructure investment; and promoting ASEAN's
long-term immunity with building a post-COVID-19 recovery plan whereby
sustainable public health, food and human security will be centered.
In addition to the summit, the Thai leader will also
attend the ASEAN Leaders’ Special Session on Women’s Empowerment in the
Digital Age and interface sessions with representatives from the ASEAN
Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), ASEAN Youth, and ASEAN Business
Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC)./.
Indonesian scholar has high expectations for 36th
The upcoming 36th ASEAN Summit, chaired by Vietnam
on June 26, will be important and significant for the bloc, especially amid
the COVID-19 pandemic and regional security issues, an Indonesian scholar
In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency,
Director of the ASEAN Studies Programme at Indonesia’s Habibie Centre Ahmad
Ibrahim Almutaqqi said the summit offers the chance for ASEAN and its member
states to show their importance in the development of the Indo-Pacific
The summit will discuss not only measures to deal
with COVID-19 but also those for post-pandemic economic recovery. It will
also be an opportunity for ASEAN leaders to call on involved parties to ease
tensions in Asia and focus on more pressing issues such as COVID-19.
The Indonesian scholar said he appreciates the role
Vietnam plays as Chair of ASEAN in 2020, as despite the impact of the
pandemic it has carried out its tasks in an effort to ensure the proper
functioning of ASEAN in this difficult year and in organising high-level
Over the next six months, he went on, ASEAN members
should seek measures to reopen their economies in a safe manner, prevent a
new wave of the disease from spreading, and address the consequences of the
pandemic to create solid foundations for 2021./.
Laos supports ASEAN human resources development plan
Laos supports ASEAN’s human resources development
plan, the Vientiane Times reported, quoting a speech by Lao Minister of
Information, Culture and Tourism Kikeo Khaykhamphithoune at the 23rd ASEAN
Socio-Cultural Community Council (ASCC) meeting on June 23.
“Laos supports the ASEAN Declaration on Human
Resource Development for Changing the World of Work. I believe that this
declaration will provide a greater opportunity for ASEAN nations to share
their benefits and interests and bring more benefits to the people of
Asean,” Kikeo was quoted as saying at the meeting, which was held in the
form of a video conference.
He expressed his belief that the plan will produce
effective outcomes and great success, especially in the fields of labour and
education, and called on ASEAN member nations to work together in
At the meeting hosted by Vietnam's Ministry of
Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in its capacity as ASCC Chair 2020,
participants shared their opinions on priorities and cooperation during the
period of recovery from COVID-19, to set orientations for the ASEAN
Community’s activities this year and the next five years, towards a cohesive
ASEAN Community that is beneficial for all./.