10/08/2021 20:02 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

ASEAN member countries unite to overcome challenges

The 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-54) and related meetings via video conference on the occasion of the ASEAN’s 54th founding anniversary have wrapped up successfully. The event continues to affirm the role and value of the association during over half a century of development, especially in the context that the world and the region are facing many difficulties and challenges.  
Despite of arising challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic, the instability in Myanmar as well as increasingly fierce competition of major countries in the region, results of the meetings show that the bloc remains resilent and optimistic in the process of building the Post-2025 ASEAN Community Vision.
AMM-54 comprises 20 ASEAN ministerial meetings and those between ASEAN and partners within the frameworks of the ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3, the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

Regarding ASEAN Community building, comprehensive plans for the effort till 2025 have been carried out in the three pillars. Up to 96 percent of political-security pillar, 88 percent of economic pillar and 72 percent of social-cultural pillar have been completed, which are encouraging results.
ASEAN member countries have shown their unity on common issues in the region. In dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and promoting post-pandemic economic recovery, they have affirmed their efforts to implement joint initiatives and cooperation plans in responding the pandemic.

ASEAN has received commitments of cooperation and support from its partners in the fight against COVID-19, with an increasing number of vaccines for ASEAN countries and plans for economic recovery after the epidemic are being actively promoted.

The ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund has so far received 20.8 million US dollars contributed by the group’s member countries and partners.


Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son attends the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting via video conference. Photo: Pham Kien/VNA


The Vietnamese Foreign Minister delivers a speech at AMM-54. Photo: Pham Kien/VNA


Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son attends the second ministerial level Mekong-US Partnership (MUSP) held virtually. Photo: Pham Kien/VNA


Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son speaks at the ASEAN-RoK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held via videoconference. Photo: Pham Kien/VNA


The Vietnamese Foreign Minister participates in the ASEAN - China Foreign Ministers’s Meeting held virtually. Photo: Pham Kien/VNA 


Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and his Japanese counterpart Motegi Toshimitsu at the ASEAN – Japan Ministerial Meeting via video conference. Photo: Pham Kien/VNA
 
The crisis in Myanmar has become an important part in the agenda of AMM-54. Brunei’s second Minister for Foreign Affairs Erywan Yusof has been appointed as the special envoy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to Myanmar.

The role of the ASEAN envoy to Myanmar was stated in a press release dated August 4. He will be tasked with building trust and prestige between the sides and devising a detailed schedule to carry out the five-point consensus in a bid to settle the crisis in the Southeast Asian nation.
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According to the joint communique of AMM-54, the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund has so far received 20.5 million US dollars from ASEAN member states and partner countries. The bloc decided to use 10.5 million US dollars to buy vaccines for its members via partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund.

At the ASEAN Leaders' Meeting held in late April in Jakarta, ASEAN leaders reached consensus on five points on Myanmar situation: ending violence, conducting constructive dialogue among all parties, appointing a special ASEAN envoy to facilitate the dialogue, providing humanitarian assistance for Myanmar’s people through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance.

Myanmar has pledged to cooperate with ASEAN’s special envoy. Myanmar is ready to work on ASEAN cooperation within the ASEAN framework including the dialogue with the ASEAN Special Envoy in Myanmar.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has welcomed ASEAN's decision to appoint Brunei Second Foreign Minister Erywan Yusof as their special envoy to Myanmar.

In a statement released on August 4, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary General said the appointment is an important step towards the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus adopted at the ASEAN Leaders Meeting on April 24.

The United Nations looks forward to continuing its cooperation with ASEAN on a coherent response to the crisis in Myanmar, noting the complementary roles of the Special Envoy of the ASEAN Chair and the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General, the statement said.

The ministers took the occasion to exchange views on many regional and international issues of common concern such as the East Sea, the Korean Peninsula and the Middle East. They reaffirmed the importance of maintaining peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea and expressed their concerns over the reinforcement and serious incidents, including actions that damage the marine environment.

They asserted their consistent stance on addressing disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, calling for parties to restrain, and not to militarise, not to use or threaten to use force.

The meeting reaffirmed the importance of the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), welcomed the resumption of negotiations on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) between ASEAN and China, stressed the need to maintain a favourable environment for COC negotiations and to continue efforts towards an effective, practical COC in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers a speech at the ASEAN – US Ministerial Meeting held virtually. Photo: Pham Kien/VNA


Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son attends the ASEAN – Australia Ministerial Meeting via video conference. Photo: Pham Kien/VNA


Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar speaks at the ASEAN – India Ministerial Meeting held virtually. Photo: Pham Kien/VNA 


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on August 5 granted
the UK the formal status of Dialogue Partner at a ceremony held virtually. Photo: Pham Kien/VNA



The Vietnamese Foreign Minister attends the ASEAN – EU Ministerial Meeting via video conference. Photo: Pham Kien/VNA


Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son attends the 28th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Photo: Pham Kien/VNA
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on August 5 granted the UK the formal status of Dialogue Partner at a ceremony held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brunei, which is the current Chair of ASEAN. 
The UK has become ASEAN’s 11th dialogue partners, along with China, Japan, South Korea, India, the US, Canada, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union (EU). 

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on August 5 emphasised that the UK has become the first country to be awarded the status of a dialogue partner by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over the past 25 years.

He said it is a part of London’s strategy to shift its policy towards the Indo-Pacific region after Brexit, and the new position enables the country to attend high-level ASEAN meetings and opens up opportunities for practical cooperation with countries in the region.

Vietnam attends the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and Related Meetings when the country successfully performed its dual international responsibilities as the Chair of ASEAN and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

In 2020, Vietnam's initiatives on cooperation in response to COVID-19 and promote post-pandemic recovery have been agreed upon and put into action by ASEAN members such as the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies, ASEAN Strategic Framework for Public Health Emergencies, ASEAN comprehensive recovery framework and implementation plan, and ASEAN Declaration on an ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement. These initiatives have contributed to helping ASEAN stand firm against the COVID-19 pandemic and recover soon, ensuring ASEAN's development orientations.

About Vietnam’s initiatives at AMM-54, Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the SOM ASEAN Vietnam Nguyen Quoc Dung said Vietnam dealt with difficulties and obstacles due to different opinions at the event. Vietnam initiated and urged countries to reach an agreement on Myanmar, grant the status of ASEAN’s dialogue partner to the UK, and boost collaboration between ASEAN and partner nations. Partner countries also pledged to assist ASEAN in vaccine supplies and transfer of vaccine production technology.

By VNA/VNP