The ASEAN 2020 National Committee convened its fifth meeting in Hanoi on May 15, focusing on preparations for the upcoming 36th ASEAN Summit. At the Meeting Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh, who is chairman of the committee, said the COVID-19 pandemic has largely impacted ASEAN in general and Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 in particular.
The Deputy Prime Minister described these challenges as opportunities for Vietnam to promote its role as ASEAN Chair 2020.
Vietnam has proactively and promptly organised many video conferences within ASEAN and between the grouping and its partners regarding the fight against the epidemic, and raised initiatives in line with the theme of “Cohesive and responsive” of the ASEAN Year 2020, he said.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, who is general secretary of the committee, reviewed the work that has been done so far this year, especially the adjustments and supplements of Vietnam’s activities and initiatives within the framework of the ASEAN Chairmanship Year under the impacts of COVID-19.
Regarding the implementation of the results of the Special ASEAN Summit and Special ASEAN 3 Summit on COVID-19, as well as Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s initiatives presented at the events, Dung said relevant ministries and agencies are speeding up the building of implementation documents and measures that will be sent to other ASEAN member countries for feedback collection and submitted to the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC).
Representatives of many ministries and agencies also proposed scenarios for activities to be held in the time ahead, with attention paid to ensuring security, safety and disease prevention and control for delegates.
Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh asked the Ministries of Foreign Affairs; Industry and Trade; and Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs to play a more active role as agencies in charge of the pillars of politics-security, economy and culture-society.
Greater efforts should be made to push ahead with the realisation of the results reaped at the two above-mentioned summits, he said.
He assigned the sub-committees and the ASEAN 2020 Secretariat to continue with preparations for the 36th ASEAN Summit, and put forth suitable plans, programmes and scenarios.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) consists of 10 member states - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam./.