Vietnam celebrates 20-year membership with ASEAN
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh chaired a ceremony on July 28 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Vietnam’s entry into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on July 28, 1995, and the bloc’s formation 48 years ago on August 8, 1967.
The Deputy PM said the formation of the ASEAN Community at the end of 2015 will have a significant impact on all member states and the region.
He said that based on the pillars of politics, security, economy and culture, the ASEAN Community would improve the solidarity of the people, help reduce tension and disputes and build peace, cooperation and development in the region.
Vietnam Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh is pictured addressing an ASEAN summit held in Myanmar in 2014. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He continued to say that ASEAN, with a population of more than 600 million and the seventh largest GDP in the world, would continue to play an important part in maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the Asian-Pacific region.
To achieve that goal, every ASEAN member state must strive to overcome obstacles, seize opportunities and unite.
In addition, ASEAN must take a proactive approach in safeguarding the region’s peace and security by leading efforts to build trust, share common standards and code of conduct to prevent conflicts and settle disputes through peaceful means and in accordance with international law, he suggested.
The Deputy PM emphasised that over the past two decades, ASEAN has always been a priority in Vietnam’s foreign policy and international integration.
As an active member, Vietnam has contributed to building an ASEAN of close connections, solidarity and unity, and making the group play a central role in the forming regional structure, he added.
He affirmed that the Vietnamese Government and people will continue their important contributions to the development of the association, for practical interests of ASEAN people at present and in the future.
Minh stated that he was grateful for the support and friendship of ASEAN member states and partners in the last 20 years.
At the event, Indonesian Ambassador Mayerfas congratulated Vietnam on its 20-year ASEAN membership.
Speaking of Vietnam’s friendship and cooperation spirit in ASEAN, the diplomat confirmed that Indonesia, together with other member states, will continually collaborate closely and stand side by side with Vietnam in the time to come.
On this occasion, a set of stamps welcoming the ASEAN Community was exhibited. This is the first time ASEAN countries issue joint stamps and postmark. The stamps will be issued on August 8 in Indonesia./.