ASEAN: Cohesive and proactive adaptation

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting and Related Meetings (AMM-53) in September, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that cohesive and responsive is not merely the theme of ASEAN 2020. Cohesive and responsive, along with proactive and responsible, have become a brand of ASEAN, which enabled us to stand hand-in-hand in the face of immense challenges and keep forging ahead.
Such brand has prominently emerged in the past 9 months, and is evident through the highest-level commitments by the ASEAN leaders at the ASEAN and ASEAN+3 Special Summits in April and the 36th ASEAN Summit in June, respectively. The spirit also guides the efforts of the Community pillars to expand cooperation and linkages while realizing the dual tasks of advancing growth and containing the pandemic.

According to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, ASEAN has obtained significant progress recently. Many ASEAN economies have been able to maintain positive growth rates, though lower than the set targets. Trade growth with Dialogue Partners has been maintained over the past months.

Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong delivers a video speech to the opening session of
the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) under the theme
of “Parliamentary Diplomacy for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community”. Photo: Tri Dung / VNA

Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan hands over a hammer which is the symbol
of AIPA Presidency to Pengiran Haji Sahari bin Pengiran Haji Salleh, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to Vietnam.
Photo: Duong Giang / VNA

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh addresses the ASEAN-Canada Ministerial Meeting
within the framework of the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Minister’s Meeting (AMM-53) and related meetings. Photo: Lam Khanh / VNA

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam attends the ASEAN high level conference on
Human Resource Development for the Changing World of Work. Photo: Anh Tuan / VNA

Delegates attending AIPA 41 in Thailand. Photo: Secretariat of ASEAN countries' National Assemblies / VNA

The photo exhibition showcasing ASEAN countries and people in Hanoi
to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Vietnam’s admission to the bloc. Photo: Thanh Tung / VNA

At A Dot - Ta Vang border gate, the border guard force of Thua Thien - Hue coordinates with A Luoi district
to present gifts and essential goods to the soldiers and people of Ka Lo hamlet, Ka Lum district, Se Kong province of Laos. Photo: VNA

People wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo: Xinhua / VNA

On September 19, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines had the first commercial flight from Hanoi to Japan,
after a long pause for COVID-19. Photo: Huy Hung / VNA

ASEAN also made good use of the wave of investment shift to the region. The grouping’s relations with Dialogues Partners have been further strengthened and expanded. The number of non-regional countries desiring to accede to ASEAN’s Treaty on Amity and Cooperation (TAC), establish new partnerships or enhance their current partnerships with ASEAN are rising. In the fight against COVID-19, ASEAN’s recovery rate has been relatively high with a low mortality rate.

These valuable fruits of our cooperation are being tested in an environment full of volatilities and unprecedented challenges, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vietnamese Prime Minister took this opportunity to commend the ASEAN sectoral bodies for the whole-hearted devotion to help businesses and people restore production and return their life to normal. The initiatives, including the COVID-19 Response Fund, the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, the Standard Operating Procedures, and an ASEAN comprehensive recovery plan have not only assisted in the pandemic joint response but also strengthened the bonds
between and among ASEAN member states, including the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement on the 53rd anniversary of ASEAN.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh also said: “Building upon the efforts made by ASEAN over the past years, we will continue to enhance connectivity and sustainable development, encourage innovation, promote inclusive and equitable growth so that no one is left behind. The ASEAN initiatives, such as the ASEAN Network of Smart Cities, Connecting the Connectivities Initiative, etc., will continue to be effectively implemented.”

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asserted that in such a complex landscape today, ASEAN needs to continue adhering to its more-than-five-decade path and ASEAN way. "Let us capitalize on the ASEAN values and identity, which bind our peoples together in a caring and sharing community, just like the sheaf of yellow paddy stalks on our ASEAN flag or the ASEAN song, which we should promote to become popular icons and the pride of the 650 million ASEAN people", the Prime Minister added.

Water-Splashing Festivals in Southeast Asian Countries

Water-Splashing Festivals in Southeast Asian Countries

As one of the largest traditional festivals, the Water-Splashing Festival in some Southeast Asian countries has attracted many tourists worldwide. Because the Water-Splashing Festival is a communal event, everyone joins in dances, singing and water splashing, and has endless joy in the cool water, wishing for a prosperous new year.