ASEAN Summit 37: Numerous challenges in 2020

(VOVWORLD) - The 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings opened on Thursday. Promoting ASEAN 2020’s theme “Cohesive and Responsive”, the meeting, the last event Vietnam will host during its ASEAN Chairmanship Year, will review the results of internal and external cooperation and set future priorities.
ASEAN Summit 37: Numerous challenges in 2020 - ảnh 1A performance at the opening of 37th ASEAN Summit (Photo: Nguyen Hong/ 

In its 53-year history, 2020 has been the most difficult year for ASEAN. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN countries have worked closely to seize opportunities and overcome difficulties.

The 37th ASEAN Summit is one of several events held this year which show ASEAN’s solidarity, strong political will, and determination to move forward.

ASEAN Summit 37: Numerous challenges in 2020 - ảnh 2Vietnamese Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trongs peaks at the opening of the 37th ASEAN Summit 

Sustainable-Proactive- Responsive

During the pandemic, ASEAN has proved responsive and cohesive in its policies and actions. The organization set up the ASEAN Fund for COVID-19 Response, the ASEAN Reserve of Medical Supplies, and Standard Operation Procedures to Cope with Public Health Emergencies, and the ASEAN Center for Emerging Diseases Response.

ASEAN has continued to implement ASEAN Community Vision 2025, reviewed implementation of the ASEAN Charter and the Hanoi Declaration on ASEAN Community Vision 2025, and pursued sub-region sustainable development through the ASEAN Community. ASEAN signed a Memorandum of Understanding on implementing non-tariff measures on essentials, and accelerated adoption of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is expected to be signed at the Summit. All these things demonstrate ASEAN’s support for multilateral trade, trade and investment liberalization, and contributions to post-pandemic recovery.

ASEAN’s relations with its partners have been strengthened during the past year. Cooperation mechanisms including ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3, the East Asia Summit, and the ASEAN Regional Forum have been promoted. This year, Colombia, Cuba and South Africa signed the Southeast Asian Treaty on Amity and Cooperation. The expansion of the treaty shows ASEAN’s rising role in promoting regional and global cooperation, peace, and security.

ASEAN has always stood for peace and stability in the region and the world. For the East Sea issue, ASEAN defends the role of international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and calls for serious and full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and quick finalization of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

ASEAN Summit 37: Numerous challenges in 2020 - ảnh 3Vietnamese and foreign leaders at the 37th ASEAN Summit 

Spreading a cohesive and responsive spirit

The COVID-19 pandemic has made Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship more difficult. But Vietnam has contained the disease, become a role model for other countries in fighting the disease and led ASEAN to overcome the global crisis in a “Cohesive and Responsive” spirit.

ASEAN is pursuing the dual goal of containing COVID-19 while building the ASEAN Community.

At the 37th ASEAN Summit, ASEAN leaders will discuss and approve more than 80 documents, the most of any summit. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement and an agreement on an ASEAN Travel Corridor are expected to be signed at the Summit. In a cohesive and responsive spirit, the 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings will wrap up Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship Year.