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Jul 08, 2021 / 21:45

Vietnam pledges contribution to ASEAN-EU strategic partnership

The two sides are expected to strengthen cooperation in economic recovery for green and sustainable development.

Vietnam attaches high priority and is committed to contributing to the ASEAN-EU strategic partnership, said  

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung at the ASEAN-EU Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) held under virtual format on July 8.

Dung called for the EU to continue supporting ASEAN country members in accessing Covid-19 vaccines in a timely and fair manner while facilitating technology transfer for vaccine production in the region.

 Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung. Photos: VNA

“Both sides could strengthen cooperation in economic recovery for green and sustainable development,” he added.

Another issue pointed out by Dung at the meeting is the suggestion for the EU to assist ASEAN in responding to regional security issues.

“EU should support ASEAN’s efforts in maintaining peace, security and stability in the East Sea, along with the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), the soon finalization of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) that is in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” he said.

During the meeting, all parties welcomed the upgrade of ASEAN-EU relations to a strategic partnership, stressing the importance of the linkage between the two most successful regional organizations in the world.

Both the ASEAN and EU have committed to facilitating free and fair trade based on shared values and interests in the rule-based world order.

 Overview of the event. 

Head of EU SOM Gunnar Wiegan said the EU supports ASEAN’s central role in the region and will cooperate with the bloc in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Wiegan, the EU has contributed EUR3 billion (US$3.55 billion) via COVAX to provide vaccines for low- and middle-income countries; the launch of Team Europe package worth EUR800 million ($948.6 million) supporting ASEAN in the fight against the pandemic; and the “Southeast Asia Health Pandemic Response and Preparedness” project for EUR20 million ($23.7 million).

The two sides agreed on close cooperation in pushing back the Covid-19 pandemic and foster comprehensive and sustainable recovery.

Among priorities, the ASEAN and EU have expressed willingness to ensure successful implementation of the ASEAN-EU action program for the 2018-2022 period.

The EU representative proposed the organization of a summit marking the 45th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN-EU relations by 2022 in Belgium.

Regarding international and regional issues, the ASEAN and EU shared the same view on the necessity of maintaining a peaceful, secure, and stable environment in the region, in turn creating favorable conditions for countries to focus on the Covid-19 fight.

Bearing this in mind, all countries stressed the importance of peace, stability, safety, and freedom of navigation and aviation on the East Sea.