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ASEAN holds Joint Consultative Meeting to prepare for 33rd Summit

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held a Joint Consultative Meeting (JCM) in Singapore on October 15 and 16 to prepare for the 33rd ASEAN Summit and related meetings.

The Vietnamese delegation to the meeting was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of SOM Vietnam.

Participants discussed and basically reached agreement on the working programme and agenda of the summit, as well as the list of documents to be submitted to the high-ranking leaders.

About 12 meetings of ASEAN leaders and between ASEAN and partners (China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, Russia, the United Nations and invited guests such as the European Union, Canada, the International Monetary Fund and Chile) are scheduled to be held on the occasion of the 33rd summit. An estimated 60 documents will be approved or acknowledged, with their content covering many important areas in ASEAN cooperation, cooperation between ASEAN and partners, and regional and international issues of common concern.

Chair Singapore updated participants on the pace of implementation of initiatives and priorities of ASEAN in 2018, including the ASEAN smart city network, the 2018 Southeast Asia Counter-Terrorism Symposium, and the implementation of the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation adopted at the 32nd ASEAN Summit in Singapore in April this year.

The JCM also heard reports of the ASEAN Secretariat and related agencies on ASEAN connectivity, coordination of issues across ASEAN pillars and the integration of ASEAN Community Vision to 2025 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Countries applauded Singapore’s efforts in promoting cooperative initiatives under the year’s theme, and affirmed that they would coordinate closely with the Chair country to effectively realise the year’s priority goals.

At the SOM Plus Three (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) and countries participating in the East Asia Summit (EAS), participants gave opinions on the drafts of documents to be submitted to the ASEAN+3 Summit and the EAS. They discussed increasing cooperation in cyber-security, counter-terrorism, fighting marine plastic pollution and building smart cities, while proposing directions to bring the ASEAN+3 and EAS processes forward.

The partner countries affirmed that they would actively contribute to meetings in the framework of the upcoming 33rd ASEAN Summit, with many new initiatives on cooperation with ASEAN to be announced.

Vietnam’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said Vietnam will join other ASEAN members in supporting Chair Singapore to successfully organize the 33rd ASEAN Summit and related meetings, in order to concretise priorities in building a resilient and innovative ASEAN Community in 2018.

He also contributed opinions to the content of high-level meetings, including the preparation for the Commemorative Summit marking the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan partnership. Vietnam, which is the coordinator of ASEAN-Vietnam relations, will chair discussions at the summit.