Ten notable international events in 2020

Friday, 2021-01-01 17:19:53
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Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong speaking at the opening ceremony of the 37th Asean Summit and related meetings. (Photo: NDO)
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NDO – Vietnam’s assumption of both the ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 and non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council for 2020 – 2021, and the coming into effect of the Vietnam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) were among the notable international events selected by reporters from Nhan Dan (People’s) Newspaper.

1. Vietnam assumed both responsibilities - non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2020 – 2021 and ASEAN Chair 2020.

Taking this “dual role”, Vietnam has left an impressive mark in terms of its proactive and positive contributions to the common work of the region and the world, thereby improving the country’s overall position in the international arena.

During the year Vietnam was ASEAN Chair, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement was signed following eight years of tough negotiations.

2. The European Union (EU) – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) officially took effect on August 1, 2020, creating a strong impetus for the development of Vietnam - EU relations as well as having a positive impact on each economy. The agreement marked an important milestone in Vietnam's international integration process.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaking at a video conference on the action plan to implement the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU.

3. The COVID-19 pandemic shook the world, killing millions of people and pushing the global economy into its biggest recession since the 1929-1933 Great Depression. The world developed a keener a sense of solidarity in having to deal with this "invisible enemy", including intensive research for a vaccine against Covid-19, while trying to recover the economy following the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic shook the world.

4. The US and Taliban signed a historic peace agreement, paving the way in Afghanistan for a national dialogue moving towards an end to the bloody conflict that has lasted nearly 20 years and Washington’s withdrawal of troops from yet another South Asian battlefield. In addition to Afghanistan, the US called home a significant number of forces from Iraq.

The US and Taliban signed a historic peace agreement.

5. The UK and the European Union (EU) reached a post-Brexit trade agreement thanks to efforts to strengthen negotiations in order to resolve disagreements, avoiding negative impacts on commercial activity as the transition takes place, focusing instead on economic recovery.

The UK and the EU reached a post-Brexit trade agreement.

6. Democratic nominee Joe Biden was elected 46th president of the US following one of the longest and most expensive elections in history. The new head of the US administration will face numerous difficulties such as mending socio-political divisions, controlling the COVID-19 epidemic, restoring economic growth, reducing unemployment and settling the problem of immigrants.

Joe Biden (right) was elected 46th president of the US.

7. Iran-US tensions have escalated since January 3 after a US drone strike in Iraq killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC’s) Quds Force. The United Nations Security Council called on stakeholders to restrain and reduce stress and increase dialogue to seriously and fully implement the Iran nuclear deal, for peace and stability in the region.

The Iran-US tensions have escalated since January 3.

8. Israel signed agreements to normalise its ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco with the assistance of the US. These were "historic" steps to improve relations between the Jewish State and Arab countries, paving the way for the enhancement of cooperation across many fields.

Israel signed agreements to normalise its ties with several Arab countries under the presence of the US.

9. Libya's peace-seeking efforts have made important strides, with a long-term ceasefire agreement signed thanks to the mediation of the United Nations and the international community. The move paved the way for political dialogue, towards a general election to put Libya back on a stable trajectory following nearly ten years of civil war.

At the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum

10. Various disasters killed many people. A terrible explosion at a chemical warehouse in the port area of Beirut, Lebanon, on August 4 left more than 190 people dead and more than 6,000 injured. On January 8, the Iran army mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing 176 people. In addition, terrorist attacks in Europe, including a knife attack in France and shootings in Austria, raised concerns about a potential security threat.

The terrible explosion at a chemical warehouse in the port area of Beirut, Lebanon.