Vietnam urges building of vision for responsible ASEM

Tuesday, 2017-11-21 04:26:46
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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at the 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – As the Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) enters the third decade, it is time to build a vision for a responsible and responsive ASEM as a champion for multilateral cooperation, said a senior Vietnamese official.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh made the remark while addressing the first plenary session of the 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which convened in Myanmar’s capital city of Nay Pyi Taw on November 20.

In his speech, Deputy PM Minh urged Europe and Asia to continue taking the lead in maintaining world peace and stability, promoting dialogue, confidence-building and preventive diplomacy, and upholding international law.

“As key drivers of economic growth and innovation in the 21st century, Asia and Europe have the full ability and responsibility to champion for 2030 Sustainable Development Goals,” he added.

The official also suggested the collaboration cover sustainable and inclusive growth, poverty eradication, climate change, disaster risk reduction, sustainable management of natural resources, food – water – energy security, and development of global value chains and supply chains, among other arenas.

Minh recalled commitments made by APEC leaders at their meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam, noting that they “upheld the core values of APEC, of free and open trade, and investment in its continued support for the multilateral trading system.”

“The Golden Anniversary of ASEAN, prospects of finalising the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) next year and the new Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) have provided fresh dynamism for deepened regional economic integration,” he said.

The official affirmed that Vietnam will continue working closely with ASEM partners for peace, sustainable development, and to build a vision for a responsible and responsive ASEM in the next decade.

“To that end, Vietnam, together with Myanmar, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands, will organise the ‘ASEM Conference on Climate Action to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – Ways Forward’ next year,” Minh concluded.

At the first session, themed “Synergising Peace and Sustainable Development”, participants agreed to boost dialogue, security cooperation, multilateralism, and democracy in line with the UN Charter and international law.

Participants voiced their support for a rule-based multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation at its core toward sustainable and inclusive growth.

They also committed to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development in Europe and Asia and Paris climate agreement, with a focus on poverty eradication, climate change adaptation, technology transfer, and building capacity for developing countries, among others.

The second plenary session, which revolved around boosting partnerships for the third-decade development of ASEM, took place in the afternoon the same day. The function stressed the preservation of core values and principles on equality, mutual respect and benefits, with discussion concentrating on regional connectivity across the spheres of infrastructure, institutions and human resources.

Since 1996, ASEM has become an important dialogue mechanism between the two continents, bringing together 53 members, including four permanent members of the UN Security Council and 12 members of the group of the world’s 20 largest developing and emerging markets (G20). ASEM makes up 68 percent of population and contributes about 55 percent of the GDP and nearly 60 percent of trade globally.