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Nov 12, 2020 / 13:28

ASEAN should identify optimal position in post-pandemic world: Vietnam president

The Vietnamese president highlights the role of solidarity in the 10-member bloc.

Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam and State President Nguyen Phu Trong has urged ASEAN member states to identify an optimal position for the bloc in the post-Covid-19 world.

Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam and State President Nguyen Phu Trong speaks at the 37th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi on November 12. Photo: Viet Thanh

As losses in lives and property of millions in the region from natural disasters and diseases are catastrophic, the people of ASEAN expect their leaders to adopt more effective and vigorous means of cooperation in curbing new waves of infections, Mr. Trong said at the opening ceremony of the 37th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi Thursday.

The people of ASEAN expect their countries to find ways to sustain business operation, and join them in revitalizing economies as well as assist them to return to normal life and guarantee social security for each and every individual and locality, the Vietnamese president said.

From political commitments at the highest level to the well-coordinated actions of the entire community and between member states, a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN embodied in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Such spirit is equally visible in ASEAN’s efforts to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and the governments’ capable response to Covid-19 has garnered high level of public trust, Mr. Trong said.

In the new context, ASEAN member states need to showcase their resilience and work together in realizing recovery plans and initiatives via new, substantive and effective ways of operation and collaboration.

The ASEAN-led frameworks for regional dialogue and cooperation should be fully harnessed. ASEAN can make even greater contributions to promoting multilateralism, upholding international law, and strengthening the global multilateral system with the UN at its core.

The Vietnamese president highlighted the strong will and aspiration to uphold a region of peace, stability, cohesion, unity and the rule of law that is affirmed as a core value of Southeast Asia and the ASEAN Community. "I am fully confident in the solidarity and collective strength of the ASEAN Community."

Vietnam’s policies

Mr. Trong affirmed Vietnam’s consistent policy to engage in diversification and multilateralization of its external relations, to be a reliable friend and partner, and an active and responsible member of the international community, striving for peace, cooperation and development.

Guided by that policy, Vietnam’s ASEAN membership over the past 25 years has served as the cornerstone for its international integration and conducting of foreign affairs.

As the 2020 Chair, Vietnam has been promoting a “cohesive and responsive” ASEAN.

“We always value the solidarity, support and assistance of fellow member states, partners and friends of ASEAN. This, by itself, reflects the spirit of the ASEAN Community in seeking to triumph over all adversities, maintain the momentum of integration, grow strong and reinforce ASEAN centrality, for a Southeast Asia of peace, friendship, cooperation, neutrality and stability,” the Vietnamese president said.

He noted that ASEAN has become a common home, and the ASEAN Community is critical to upholding the Southeast Asian identity.

Quoting Vietnamese late president Ho Chi Minh “Unity makes strength”, Mr. Trong said only through cooperation, trust, synergy and one-mindedness, can ASEAN and the world overcome hardships to revitalize growth and maintain peace, stability and sustainable development.