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Symposium seeks orientations for ASEAN future path

Over half a century, ASEAN has brought great benefits to Southeast Asian and Asian-Pacific countries by providing a peaceful and stable environment for development, and an open cooperation space, stated Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung.

Addressing the “ASEAN Post 50 and Vietnam” symposium in Hanoi on November 30, Dung, who is head of the ASEAN SOM of Vietnam, said that 2018 is the first year of the next 50 years of the bloc.

The way ahead of the association will not be smooth as its surrounding regions and global environment are changing fast in an unpredictable manner, and especially when its community has been formed just three years, he said.

Dung expressed his hope that participants will have an overview of the grouping’s new path, point out its urgent issues, and define development orientations and proper steps in the future.

The event is also an important preparatory step for Vietnam to assume the ASEAN Chair in 2020, he added.

Dr. Hoang Anh Tuan, ASEAN Deputy General Secretary for Political and Security Community said that in order to firmly maintain its central role and deal with challenges from the world’s powers as well as effects from the US-China trade tension, ASEAN should focus on building a single voice when facing regional and global matters, and strengthening its self-reliance.

Ambassador Nguyen Nguyet Nga, Vice Chair of the Vietnam National Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation, asserted that peace, stability, cooperation and connection are the major trend amidst the increasing geopolitical transformation.

Ambassador Nga underlined the need for ASEAN to become one of the pioneering mechanisms to promote multilateral partnership, global governance, and the implementation of sustainable development goals.

Vietnam should continue making contributions to affirming the role of the grouping, especially its position as a major political motivation for the new evolving architecture in the Asia-Pacific region, she said.