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ASEAN Leaders’ Summit: Vietnam calls for feasible solution to Myanmar crisis

Rosy Huong Rosy Huong

huongthhd@gmail.com

April 25, 2021 | 08:06

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called on ASEAN to work harder in order to come up with a feasible solution to the Myanmar crisis.

World Population Report 2021: Vietnam's indicator value lower than Cambodia and Myanmar World Population Report 2021: Vietnam's indicator value lower than Cambodia and Myanmar
Vietnam calls for int'l efforts to prevent violence, promote dialogue in Myanmar Vietnam calls for int'l efforts to prevent violence, promote dialogue in Myanmar
World breaking news today (April 1):  UN envoy warns of civil war in Myanmar without Security Council action World breaking news today (April 1): UN envoy warns of civil war in Myanmar without Security Council action
PM Pham Minh Chinh joins leaders of other ASEAN countries at their gathering in Indonesia. (Photo: VGP)
PM Pham Minh Chinh joins leaders of other ASEAN countries at their gathering in Indonesia. Photo: VNA

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh called on ASEAN to work harder in order to come up with a feasible solution to the Myanmar crisis, while addressing an ASEAN Leaders’ Summit in Indonesia on April 24.

Sharing the leaders’ views about the situation in Myanmar, Chinh affirmed that Vietnam, as a non-permanent member and currently the President of the UN Security Council, has made efforts to facilitate the finding of a right solution to the Myanmar crisis, the VOV reported.

The Prime Minister asked other ASEAN countries to work alongside Vietnam at UN forums to garner support for ASEAN’s efforts in finding a suitable solution to the crisis.

The leaders of ASEAN countries expressed concern about the worsening situation in Myanmar, which they said has seriously affected the lives of local civilians. They called on parties concerned to restrain and stop use of force, creating favourable conditions for finding a solution for Myanmar’s future.

They held that ASEAN should promote its role and take advantage of existing mechanisms to support Myanmar, in the spirit of solidarity and noninterference in the country’s internal affairs. To this end, they agreed to dispatch an ASEAN representative to Myanmar to explore the situation, contact stakeholders, and propose measures for dialogue and conciliation.

ASEAN Leaders’ Summit: Vietnam calls for feasible solution to Myanmar crisis
ASEAN leaders spend much time examing ways to resolve the Myanmar crisis. Photo: asean.org

The leaders also agreed to increase humanitarian assistance efforts to help the people of Myanmar through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre).

With regard to the ASEAN Community building process, the leaders of ASEAN countries said the grouping is facing many challenges that threaten peace, stability and development of nations, as well as people’s lives. They therefore vowed to promote solidarity and mutual assistance to steadily overcome the challenging period, while maintaining its central role, prestige and position regionally and globally.

According to the leaders, one of ASEAN’s top priorities at the moment is to step up the COVID-19 response and foster comprehensive recovery. They agreed to continue to effectively implement the COVID-19 initiatives endorsed in 2020, including those on purchasing coronavirus vaccines and assisting businesses with production recovery. They voiced their strong support for Brunei’s ASEAN Responses to Emergencies and Disasters Initiative (ASEAN SHIELD Initiative).

During the summit, the ASEAN leaders stressed the need to deepen the effective, substantive and balanced dialogue and cooperation with the bloc’s partners on the basis of ASEAN’s fundamental principles and ensuring its central role. They expressed their strong support for proposals to strengthen relations between ASEAN with China, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

PM’s activities on sidelines of ASEAN Leaders’ Summit

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (L) and Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (Photo: VNA)
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (L) and Sultan of Brunei Haji Hassanal Bolkiah. Photo: VNA

On the sidelines of the ASEAN Leaders’ Summit, PM Chinh met with Sultan of Brunei Darussalam Haji Hassanal Bolkiah on April 24 morning, the VNA reported.

Both leaders emphasised the upgrade of the Vietnam - Brunei relations to a comprehensive partnership in 2019 during the Sultan’s visit to Vietnam as an important milestone, creating a driving force for their cooperation to be increasingly consolidated and enhanced.

They agreed upon key areas for collaboration in the time to come, which include increasing high-level exchanges and meetings when conditions allow; organising the 2nd meeting of the nations’ joint cooperation committees at the foreign ministerial level in 2021; building an action programme to implement their comprehensive partnership in the next five years; and promoting the effectiveness of bilateral join works in energy, agriculture, and education.

The leaders concurred to fortify economic ties and add new suitable sectors to the current cooperation in a bid to double the bilateral trade in the future.

The Brunei’s side will assist Vietnamese companies in the production and issue licences allowing Vietnamese Halal products to enter the local market.

The leaders said they encourage Vietnamese and Brunei firms to expand their investment and trade relationships and support the two nations’ increasing collaboration at sea, particularly in aquaculture, seafood processing and information and experience exchange on law enforcement.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi (Photo: VNA)
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi. Photo: VNA

The PM also had a meeting with ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi.

PM Chinh spoke highly of the cooperation and coordination of the official and the secretariat with Vietnam, and pointed to the bloc’s priorities, namely the control of the pandemic, the acceleration of recovery, the rational settlement of issues, and the maintenance of the central role, prestige and position of ASEAN.

The ASEAN official congratulated Vietnam for successfully playing the role of the ASEAN Chair 2020 and a non-permanent member of the UNSC in the 2020-2021 tenure. He said he hopes Vietnam will further its support and contributions to the grouping.

PM Chinh asked Lim to support the effective implementation of the outcomes recorded by ASEAN last year, and expressed his hope the official will continue to bring into play his role, thus helping improve the efficiency of the operation of the bloc. He also proposed to continue pushing up the popularisation work so the people can understand more about the ASEAN Community and improve the grouping’s image in the eye of the international community.

On this occasion, Chinh also held separate meetings with his Cambodian, Singaporean and Malaysian counterparts./.

The ASEAN leaders underscored the importance of Myanmar’s continued efforts in addressing the situation in the Rakhine State, including commencing the repatriation process, in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner in accordance with its bilateral agreements with Bangladesh, according to the Chairman’s Statement on the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting issued on April 24.

In this regard, they looked forward to the resumption of repatriation of verified displaced persons as soon as possible. They also reiterated appreciation to the Secretary-General of ASEAN for his efforts in leading the implementation of the recommendations of the Preliminary Needs Assessment (PNA).

The leaders also looked forward to the conduct of the Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) and encouraged the Secretary-General of ASEAN to continue identifying possible areas that can effectively facilitate the repatriation process for displaced persons from Rakhine State.

They further underscored the importance of efforts to addressing the root causes of the situation in Rakhine State.

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Rosy Huong