Building the ASEAN community successfully becomes a top priority

At the ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) held online on July 16, ASEAN members emphasized that building the ASEAN Community successfully is a top priority of the bloc despite the challenges posed by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
July 18, 2020 | 09:23
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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung chairs the online ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting on July 16 (Photo: VNA)

In the morning of July 16, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, Head of ASEAN SOM Vietnam chaired the ASEAN Senior Officials Online Conference. Attending the meeting were senior officials of ASEAN countries, permanent representatives of ASEAN countries and Deputy General Secretary of ASEAN, according to Vnanet.

The main content of this meeting is to review the cooperation in building the ASEAN Community, the implementation of prevention and control initiatives after Covid-19, the preparation for the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and related conferences.

At the conference, countries emphasized that the successful building of the ASEAN Community remains a top priority for ASEAN despite the challenges caused by Covid-19 pandemic. Countries pledged to coordinate with Vietnam to implement initiatives of 2020, including the mid-term review of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

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Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, Head of ASEAN SOM Vietnam chaired the meeting. (Photo: VNA)

They welcomed the operation of the ASEAN Fund for Covid-19 response and discussed the next steps for post-pandemic recovery. Delegates also appreciated Thailand's announcement to contribute USD 100,000 for the Fund's initial activities.

Participants appreciated Vietnam's successful organization of the ASEAN forum on sub-regional development in Hanoi on July 14 under the theme "Converging Mekong sub-regional cooperation with ASEAN goals". They agreed that information shared at the forum helped countries to better understand the development as well as the challenges in the region.

Regarding external relations, participants affirmed that it is necessary to maintain the central role of ASEAN and promote practical and specific cooperation with partners, especially at this difficult time.

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ASEAN include 10 member countries (Photo: Tai mien phi)

ASEAN expects to approve eight action plans in the 2021-2025 period with partners Canada, China, India, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia, the US, and the United Nations.

Member countries spoke highly of the role of ASEAN+3 and agreed to promote cooperation to cope with Covid-19 and revive the economy, in particular improving regional financial and economic self-reliance.

They also discussed measures to enhance the role of strategic value of the East Asia Summit (EAS) in the new development period, and increase capacity to deal with emerging challenges, reported by Nhan Dan.

Founded in 1967, ASEAN includes ten member countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
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