Vietnam attends ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat

Thursday, 2021-01-21 22:01:39
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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh at the event. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh on January 21 led a Vietnamese delegation to attend the online ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMM Retreat) at the invitation of Foreign Minister of Brunei Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof.

Representatives from participating countries congratulated Vietnam on successfully accomplishing its tenure as ASEAN Chair 2020, including leading the bloc in maintaining dialogues and timely and effective response to unprecedented challenges.

They agreed to effectively realise reached priorities, initiatives and cooperation programmes, including accelerating the building of the ASEAN Community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the event, Minh vowed to work closely with Brunei and other ASEAN member states to fulfill the targets and priorities set for the ASEAN Year 2021.

Amid uncertain developments in the region and the world, he called on the bloc to effectively carry out initiatives as agreed last year, including Vietnam’s idea to use the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund to buy vaccines and necessary medical supplies for front-line medical staff and vulnerable groups, as well as soon put into operation the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies and the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED).

On the Community building, Deputy PM Minh suggested the nations soon complete the review of the implemnetation of the ASEAN Charter, realise recommendations from the mid-term review of the implementation of ASEAN Community Vision 2025, and building the post-2025 ASEAN Vision.

Amid socio-economic impacts from by the pandemic, he proposed continuing to give high priority to narrowing development gap and sub-regional development. In its capacity as Chair of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Task Force for 2021, Vietnam will hold a regional dialogue on narrowing sub-regional development gap to propel sustainable recovery and balanced growth, Minh said.

According to the Deputy PM, ASEAN needs to continue further enhancing relations with external partners on the basis of ensuring solidarity, unity and central role.

Regarding the East Sea (South China Sea) issue, Foreign Minister Minh affirmed that contributing to peace and stability in the East Sea is responsibility of all countries in the region.

To meet such goal, he suggested ASEAN uphold the sense of responsibility, raise the united voice, uphold the basic principles and common stance over the past years, especially the spirit of abiding by international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Vietnam will join hands with nations to seriously and fully comply with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Sea, and together with ASEAN and China to soon reach an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, he said.

Concluding the event, on behalf of ASEAN, Brunei issued a press release highlight the major contents of the meeting.