Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has stressed the need to soon implement recovery plans for the whole Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the 37th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi on November 12. Photo: Tuan Anh
The ASEAN Community Council should make haste in implementing the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its Implementation Plan right after today, he said at the opening ceremony of the 37th ASEAN Summit on November 12.
Accordingly, ASEAN’s 2020 key deliverables and priorities will map out the bloc’s future cooperation directions, focusing on three pillars.
First, ASEAN needs to focus its resources and efforts, at the highest level, to gradually curb the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic, quickly arrive at a vaccine and effective treatment for the disease, and enhance preventive healthcare capacity so as to best respond to medical emergencies, and protect the health and lives of their people.
At the same time, the bloc needs to step up ways and means to assist our businesses in restoring production, trade, work and livelihood for the public.
Playing its part in reshaping the post-Covid-19 world, ASEAN needs to position itself in the eco-political shift among nations and the re-adjustments in the global production and supply chains.
Second, equitable and sustainable growth is extremely important for the ASEAN Community building, especially as epidemics and natural disasters keep threatening to stunt the growth across the entire region.
ASEAN reaffirms its commitment and unity in narrowing the development gap, as well as converging and harmonizing sub-regional development efforts with ASEAN’s overall development.
Third, peace and stability are a prerequisite for recovery and development.
“We may only enjoy stability when international relations are rules-based and there is mutual respect, understanding, dialogue, cooperation and trust among nations. ASEAN shall continue to play a central and leading role in deepening and expanding dialogue and cooperation processes in the region, and bringing together our partners to contribute to issues of common interest and concern, and effective response to challenges,” the Vietnamese PM said.
Mr. Phuc warned that peace and security are even under greater threat as a result of compounding risks arising from the unpredictable conduct of states, rivalries and frictions among major powers, various challenges to the international multilateral system, and the increasingly acute emergence of non-traditional security issues and extremist tendencies.
“Being fully aware of the opportunities and challenges facing our region, ASEAN, in the spirit of self-reliance, has been of sound mind and steadfast in pursuing a balanced and harmonious approach so as to maintain its centrality without being swayed or drawn into the regional and international maelstroms,” he said.
He welcomed the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement on the 53rd Founding Anniversary of the Association, reaffirming our determination to maintain a Southeast Asia of peace, security, stability and neutrality.
ASEAN has also expressed consistently its principled position and strong commitment to turning the South China Sea, a critical sea lane of the region and the world, into a sea of peace, stability, security and safety for the free flow of goods, where differences and disputes are settled through peaceful means, where the law is fully respected and observed, and common values are upheld.
He underscored the importance of the 1982 UNCLOS as the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out, at the same time, look forward to the early conclusion of the COC which is effective, substantive and consistent with international law, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS.