Making firm steps on a new path

Sunday, 2017-04-30 06:37:48
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (fourth from left) and other ASEAN leaders at the 30th ASEAN Summit (Credit: VGP)
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NDO - The 30th ASEAN Summit and related meetings, with the attendance of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, successfully wound up on April 29. Nhan Dan Newspaper reporter Ha Thanh Giang, who accompanied the PM and his entourage during their trip to the Philippines, recapped the delegation’s activities in the country.

The 30th ASEAN Summit was an important event, kicking off official activities in the 2017 ASEAN Year chaired by the Philippines as well as marking the first milestone in celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN (1967-2017).

Since the formation of the ASEAN Community, ASEAN has made efforts and gained important results in consolidating and strengthening connectivity and solidarity, despite numerous difficulties and challenges. The successful start-ups have become a stepping stone for ASEAN to continue developing in 2017 – the ‘golden’ anniversary year marking the half-century of the bloc’s establishment and development. Promoting its success, ASEAN continues to strive to enhance comprehensive connectivity among the community, improving the value and vitality of ASEAN, and bringing about tangible and clear benefits for the region and member countries.

Themed “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”, the 30th ASEAN Summit solemnly opened at the Philippine International Convention Centre. Speaking at the summit, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte emphasised that over the past 50 years, ASEAN has united and cooperated, bringing success to all members. He also noted that ASEAN members should focus on the economy in order to improve the quality of people’s lives.

Accordingly, ASEAN should put people in the central position and the leaders must ensure a stable life for the entire population. In addition, it is time to affirm ASEAN's position in the international community, according to the Filipino President.

In front of the ASEAN leaders, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the collective should give priority to building a people-oriented and people-centred ASEAN Community. It is essential to consolidate and uphold achievements gained as well as encourage and create conditions for ASEAN people, particularly those in remote areas facing difficulties, to proactively participate and master the building of ASEAN Community, aiming to raise the efficiency of cooperation among ASEAN countries, added the PM.

He stressed the importance of improving the efficiency of ASEAN’s activities, dramatically adjusting existing regulations, streamlining the apparatus, and enhancing the connectivity among ASEAN pillars and mechanisms. According to PM Phuc, the strengthening of intra-regional cooperation and regional connectivity is of great importance to ASEAN’s development. With their practicability, the Vietnamese Government leader’s messages were appreciated by ASEAN leaders.

At the retreat meeting on the framework of the 30th ASEAN Summit, leaders reiterated the need to push for the completion of a framework for a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea by mid-year, creating conditions for the early formulation of an effective COC. PM Phuc strongly affirmed Vietnam’s view that ASEAN should promote the basic principles and common stance on solving disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, especially the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982).

He called on parties to exercise restraint, not to use or threat to use force and respect legal and diplomatic processes, as well as fully and strictly implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and work towards the early formulation of an effective and feasible Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), contributing to maintaining peace, stability, security, aviation and navigation safety in the waters. The Vietnamese Government leader’s opinion was highly valued by ASEAN leaders.

The 30th ASEAN Summit and related meetings have successfully ended, with the important and positive contribution of PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Vietnamese high-ranking delegation. The success showed that Vietnam has always been an active, proactive and responsible member among the ASEAN Community, significantly contributing to implementing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 in three major pillars of politics – security, economy, and culture – society. Vietnam has also made efforts to strengthen the external relations of ASEAN and enhancing the solidarity and role of ASEAN, particularly in strategic issues of the region, contributing to maintaining the peace and stability in the region and the world.

On the occasion, Vietnamese PM Phuc attended important bilateral meetings, contributing to enhancing strengthening the friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and other ASEAN countries. Malaysian PM Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak highly valued the role of Vietnam in ASEAN; meanwhile Myanmar State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi said that Myanmar was inspired by Vietnam during its national construction and development.

Vietnamese PM and other leaders agreed to continue to strengthen the exchange of delegations and further implement current cooperation fields, particularly trade, investment, industry, oil and gas exploration and exploitation, marine cooperation, agriculture and tourism. Regarding the East Sea issue, leaders affirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, and security and maritime and aviation safety; solving disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law; fully and effectively implementing the DOC; and closely coordinating to soon reach a comprehensive and legally-binding COC.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited and talked with the staff of the Vietnamese Embassy as well as overseas Vietnamese (OV) who are living, studying and working in the Philippines. He said that the OV community in the Philippines has continuously strived and upheld the spirit of mutual understanding, aiming to build a better life and future. Their achievements and efforts have contributed to the fatherland’s development, added the PM.

He emphasised that the Party and State always pay attention to the OV community and expressed his hope that Vietnamese expatriates would promote their solidarity to overcome all difficulties, uphold the country’s tradition, follow the host country’s laws, preserve the country’s prestige, and make more contributions to the fatherland’s development.

HA THANH GIANG