Viet Nam for an ASEAN of unity and solidarity

Viet Nam reiterates its fullest support to efforts led by the ASEAN Chair in advancing ASEAN’s community building process and realizing ASEAN’s priorities and key deliverables for 2021, under the theme for 2021 of “We care, we prepare, we prosper”.

Against that background, the Vietnamese Foreign Minister has reminded the Association the significance of being in a family, where members are sharing and caring for each other.
At the Opening Ceremony of the AMM54, FM Bui highlighted three important points: i) unity and solidarity remain the cornerstone of ASEAN’s strength, especially in difficult times; ii) ASEAN’s internal strength should be brought into full play; iii) ASEAN needs to reflect on what have been achieved and what have not, in order to be visionary about the future path of the Association while facing a world full of uncertainties and complexities.
At the 23rd ASEAN Political-Security Community Council Meeting, the Foreign Minister suggested that ASEAN should work on a comprehensive approach in relations with current partners as well as new potential ones. The diplomat also suggested adding emerging issues to the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025, commenting that more attention should be given to agendas on women, peace and security.
Speaking at the Mekong-US Partnership Ministerial Meeting (MUSP) on August 3rd, FM Bui underlined that COVID-19 and Climate Change are posing great challenges to the sustainable development and inclusive growth of the Mekong sub-region, and require high determination and great efforts from Mekong countries. He also proposed a Mekong-US Senior Leadership Programme in order to strengthen dialogue and policy consultation serving sustainable development in the Mekong sub-region.

Joining his Colleagues from ASEAN, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea at the 22nd ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, FM Bui commented that a strengthened cooperation among APT countries would enable them to better deal with these most pressing challenges. He urged the Plus Three countries to continue facilitating ASEAN’s timely access to adequate amount of vaccines in need as well as encourage opportunities of developing regional supply chains of vaccines involving production hubs in APT countries.
The diplomat also pointed out the need for enhancing APT cooperation to support regional economies overcoming COVID-19 and preparing for the post pandemic era. Importantly, the Vietnamese diplomat commented that APT should continue efforts to promote dialogue, cooperation and confidence building, enhancing mutual respect and mutual trust while upholding international law and adopting a responsible approach to maintaining a conducive regional environment for development.

Regarding ASEAN – China Dialogue, FM Bui commented that China remains one of ASEAN’s most important partner. He also stressed that ASEAN and China became indispensable partners, bounded by shared responsibility and active partnership for peace, security and development in the region.

The Vietnamese FM said that both sides should leverage on the vast potentials to strengthen economic partnership, taking advantage of the RCEP and the ASEAN-China FTA, especially in view of the likely leaps and bounds in market demands as the pandemic recedes. Regarding the South China Sea, the diplomat appreciated China’s consistent commitment to maintaining the South China Sea peaceful, stable, secure and environmental friendly. He also commented that while staying faithfully committed to the DOC implementation, all parties are of the view that through responsible acts, goodwill cooperation, respect for the rule of law and settlement of differences and disputes through peaceful means, they shall be able to avoid mistrust and miscalculation that may lead to unwanted escalation of tension.
Addressing the ASEAN – Republic of Korea (RoK) Dialogue, FM Bui commented that the RoK’s goodwill, practical and effective cooperation with ASEAN countries, the mutual trust and confidence both sides have built over the past decades serve as strong foundations for the lasting and enhanced partnership. He also expressed that Viet Nam welcomes and fully supports the RoK’s New Southern Policy Plus.
He urged the RoK to join ASEAN led efforts to promote dialogue and confidence building, exercise of self-restraint and respect for international law, in particular, the 1982 UNCLOS, in responsible and lawful conduct of activities in the South China Sea.
The FM also reaffirmed that ASEAN stands ready to contribute to the peace process on the Korean Peninsula, including through facilitating opportunities for dialogue among parties concerned at ASEAN-led forums.

Co-chairing the annual ASEAN-Japan Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Minister expressed that ASEAN and Japan have proven to be trusted friends and important partners, being supportive to each other in times of need as the two sides are approaching the 50th anniversary of the Partnership.
The Foreign Minister went on expressing that Viet Nam supports Japan to further deepen active engagement with ASEAN and joining ASEAN led efforts to maintain regional peace, stability, development and addressing emerging challenges.
The FM took the opportunity to appreciate Japan and ASEAN Member States for the valuable support and cooperation extended to Viet Nam to enable us fulfil its role as the Country Coordinator for ASEAN-Japan Dialogue Relations for the period of 2018-2021.

At the AMM54 and related meetings, FM Bui also emphasized the necessity to implementing the 5-point Consensus and proposed speeding up humanitarian assistance to the Myanmar people as the country is being heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ongoing AMM54 and related meetings will last until August 7th, 2021./.

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