Vietnam impression at 34th ASEAN Summit

(VOVWORLD) - Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Sunday concluded his trip to Thailand for the 34th ASEAN Summit. Vietnam’s activities at the event reflect its responsibility and contributions to internal unity and determination to promote ASEAN’s central role and regional mechanisms.
Vietnam impression at 34th ASEAN Summit - ảnh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (fifth, right) and other leaders at the opening ceremony of the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok on June 23 (Photo: VNA) 

Attending major meetings of the Summit including the opening and closing sessions and closed meetings of ASEAN leaders, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc introduced Vietnam’s initiatives to promote unity within the bloc and to address ongoing challenges.

Efforts to ensure ASEAN’s sustainability

The 34th ASEAN Summit takes place the emergence of trade protectionism, increased competition between world powers, and the rapidly developing 4th Industrial Revolution. ASEAN countries need to work more closely to overcome the challenges. Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said: “The world situation is attracting concern of ASEAN leaders. Competition between major countries, trade wars, and changes caused by the 4th Industrial Revolution are affecting ASEAN’s security and trade. Waste pollution and aging population are also challenges for ASEAN countries.”

ASEAN leaders all expressed determination to maintain sustainable security and ensure ASEAN’s central role. They agreed to strengthen regional trade cooperation and finalize the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership within this year to create the world’s largest free trade area. Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said: “Amidst trade competition between countries, ASEAN leaders are determined to complete the RCEP which will help increase ASEAN’s resilience despite global trade fluctuations.”

The ASEAN agreed leaders to observe 2019 as an ASEAN Cultural Year.

Vietnam prioritizes internal unity

As Vietnam will be ASEAN Chair in 2020, Prime Minister Phuc called on ASEAN to promote cooperation, strengthen institutional reform, and increase the effectiveness of ASEAN mechanisms. Addressing the plenary session, Prime Minister Phuc emphasized the priorities given to strengthening internal unity and connectivity, promoting ASEAN’s central role and the effectiveness of ASEAN-led mechanisms. Mr. Dung said: The Prime Minister’s speech highlighted Vietnam’s support for Thailand’s initiatives, its readiness to work with other countries to strengthen unity and address regional and global issues, and in hope of promoting sincere and open relations between ASEAN countries. As Vietnam will be ASEAN Chair and a Non-Permanent Member of the UN Security Council next year, it will do its utmost to protect ASEAN’s interests and work out initiatives to strengthen ASEAN.

Prime Minister Phuc held separate meetings with the leaders of Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia, and Laos. The leaders agreed to work closely to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and finalize a Code of Conduct.

At a meeting with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc expressed dissatisfaction with Lee’s statement last month concerning Vietnam and Cambodia in the 1979-1980 period. Lee explained that Singapore did not mean to hurt Vietnam but simply recalled a sad chapter in the history of Indochina to emphasize that today’s peace, stability and prosperity in the region could not be taken for granted and the current context requires ASEAN to maintain solidarity, closeness and strong cooperation. He stressed that Singapore attaches great importance to friendly and trusting relations with Vietnam and highly values Vietnam’s role in and important contributions to the maintenance of peace, security, stability and development in the region as well as in the process of building a strong, united and self-reliant ASEAN Community.