Tightening solidarity for a self-reliant and prosperous ASEAN Community

Sunday, 2017-11-12 07:08:31
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc attends the 30th ASEAN Summit, held in the Philippines in April 2017.
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NDO – At the invitation of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, heading a Vietnamese delegation, has arrived in Manila for the 31st ASEAN Summit (ASEAN-31) and related summits, including the 20th ASEAN+3 Summit (with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea), the ASEAN+1 Summit (with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, the United States, Canada, the European Union and the United Nations), and the 12th East Asian Summit (EAS).

* PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc leaves for 31st ASEAN Summit in Philippines

These important events will attract the participation of the leaders of ten ASEAN countries and the association’s key partners, thus wrapping up the ASEAN Chairmanship Year of the Philippines.

August 8, 2017 marks the 50th founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). During the last half century, ASEAN cooperation has achieved a lot of success, making the Association become a comprehensive regional cooperative organisation; a cohesive and active political economic entity, operating on the basis of the ASEAN Charter; and an indispensable factor, contributing significantly to peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia and around the world. This is a noble goal and mission that ASEAN is proud of, respects and continues to promote strongly in the time ahead. December 31, 2015 marked a historic milestone in the development of ASEAN, with the establishment of the ASEAN Community, opening up a new stage of development for the Association. The ASEAN Community of more than 625 million people is currently the seventh-largest economy in the world, with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of nearly US$3 trillion, and a diverse cultural community imbued with identities and traditions. ASEAN has also created an important position, which is rarely seen in any other sub-regional links, with not only the cohesion inside the bloc, but also the mechanisms, related to politics, security and defence, for powers and important countries in the world to join in – a unique characteristic of ASEAN and a value of the Association on both the regional and global scale.

Through a number of programs, initiatives and specific measures, the dialogue partners have attached increasing importance to and have proactively facilitated multifaceted cooperation with ASEAN, whilst also pledging their continuous support for ASEAN to build the Community, strengthen regional link and connectivity, bridge the development gap and address the common challenges of the region and the globe.

In addition to the special gala programme marking the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN and the ceremony to hand over the ASEAN Chairmanship to Singapore, a number of other important events are also scheduled in Manila, including the ninth Mekong – Japan Summit, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Leaders’ Meeting, a working lunch session with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, and a dialogue session between the leaders of ASEAN + 3 with the East Asia Business Council.

ASEAN conferences and meetings within the framework of ASEAN-31 and related summits will focus on discussing orientations and measures to strengthen ASEAN connectivity, particularly in implementing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and implementation plans on each of the pillars of the Community. They will also highlight the consolidation and acceleration of ASEAN’s solidarity and central role, whilst working to promote economic growth, narrow the development gap, and enhance the capabilities of the ASEAN Community to develop a self-reliant ASEAN that serves the interests of its members, and to ensure a secure and stable environment in the region. Furthermore, orientations and measures to boost cooperation between ASEAN and partners will be given priority on the agenda, alongside the regional and international issues that are emerging, as well as the following steps in the joint efforts to address the issues of mutual concern. A total of 55 documents should be signed at the upcoming summits in Manila.

With its 22 years of ASEAN membership, Vietnam is proud to be an important part in ASEAN’s development history, always showing its goodwill, efforts, enthusiasm and responsibility, and making significant contributions to the Association’s general achievements. Vietnam affirms the voice of solidarity, unity and a common sense of responsibility, aiming to effectively address the threats to peace, security and stability of the region. The country has also been working with ASEAN members to actively implement the building of the ASEAN Community, whilst strictly observing its commitments, proposing initiatives in many fields, and implementing the policy of proactivity, activeness and responsibility in joining ASEAN countries to build a strong Community.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the Vietnamese delegation will attend the conferences in Manila with an aim of tightening ASEAN solidarity, promoting the central role of the Association, expanding and deepening the relations between ASEAN and partners, creating a favourable environment for sustainable development of each country and the whole region, and advertise the image of an innovative Vietnam participating proactively, actively and responsibly in the regional cooperation contents, thereby effectively protecting the interests of Vietnam.

It is strongly believed that ASEAN-31 and related summits in the Philippines will end on a high note, contributing to strengthening solidarity, cooperation and connectivity inside ASEAN; promoting the building of a united, coherent, self-reliant and prosperous ASEAN Community, for the benefits of the people of each country, and for peace, stability, cooperation and development of the region and the world.

NHAN DAN