|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh addresses the ASEAN flag hoisting ceremony in Hanoi on August 7.
The following is the full text of his speech.
"Your Excellencies Ambassadors,
Good morning and a very warm welcome to all of you to the flag-hoisting ceremony to celebrate the 53rd anniversary of ASEAN’s founding.
Since its inception in 1967, ASEAN has come a long way.
By embracing 10 member nations, ASEAN has turned Southeast Asia from a land of discord to a land of concord, from confrontation to cooperation, and from poverty to dynamic development.
Through its Community building, ASEAN enables Southeast Asia to thrive as a big family of six hundred and fifty millions people with a combined GDP of US$3 trillion and as a peaceful, stable and resilient region with dynamic, vibrant economies.
Today, we are facing major, unprecedented challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the fast changing geo-strategic landscape as well as emerging non-traditional security issues.
But these are causes to be discouraged. Instead, these call for a more cohesive, responsive ASEAN, which retains its firm centrality in the region.
The encouraging results achieved in the first half of 2020 bear testament to the ASEAN that never wavers at any hardship.
Chairing ASEAN this year is a great honour for Vietnam as 2020 coincides with the 25th anniversary of Vietnam’s accession to ASEAN.
Under Vietnam’s Chairmanship, ASEAN has taken well-coordinated measures to collectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, protect the health of our peoples, cushion the negative impacts on our economies, and prepare for a comprehensive recovery to emerge from the pandemic.
Although the tough battles to defeat the pandemic and to revamp the economies are still ahead, I would like to emphasize that ASEAN’s future is bright.
With the “Think Community, Act Community” approach, Vietnam will continue to work closely with our ASEAN sisters and brothers as well as with external partners and the international community to build a united and resilient ASEAN Community.
Shoulder to shoulder, we can rise above any challenges and move ASEAN forward.
By way of conclusion, I am pleased to share that ASEAN Foreign Ministers will issue the Statement on the importance of maintaining peace and stability in Southeast Asia tomorrow, on the ASEAN Day of August 8, 2020.
In the context of complex and growing uncertainties in the world, this statement will reaffirm ASEAN’s vision, commitments and fundamental principles to build ASEAN into a region of peace, progress and prosperity as aspired in the 1967 Bangkok Declaration.