|Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, Head of ASEAN SOM Vietnam attends the event in the role of ASEAN Chair 2020
Those in attendance included representatives of ASEAN member states, the ASEAN Secretariat, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and relevant UN agencies.
The event marks an annual dialogue framework organised by Thailand, the ASEAN co-ordinating country for sustainable development, and the UNESCAP, which has occurred annually since 2017 with the aim of promoting co-operation schemes and projects which strive for sustainable development.
These policies are achieved through the implementation of the Mutual Initiative, including the Roadmap for Mutual Assistance for 2020 to 2025, the Mutual Roadmap for 2020 to 2025, and strengthening the role of the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD). Moreover, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, Head of ASEAN SOM Vietnam, was in attendance at the event in the role of ASEAN Chair 2020.
Participants noted their great appreciation for efforts made by Thailand and UNESCAP to promote online meetings as a way of maintaining the spirit of co-operation amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.
In addition, the occasion serves to affirm that sustainable development remains a top priority in both the regional and international co-operation agenda, something that is becoming increasingly urgent in the face of the various impacts of the epidemic, therefore posing great challenges to the economy, along with the political and cultural life of countries and both regional and international organisations.
On that basis, participants conducted a joint review of the progress of the implementation of the programmes and projects under the Mutual Initiative to enhance the role of ACSDSD Center. Following this proposals were made regarding the directions for effective implementation of the Roadmap for Mutual Assistance for 2020 to 2025 with five key priority areas, including poverty reduction, infrastructure and connectivity, the sustainable management of natural resources, sustainable production and consumption, and resilience.
During this speech, Deputy Foreign Minister Dung emphasized the ASEAN theme for 2020 of “Cohesion and Proactive Adaptation". Indeed, the nation has been proactively and swiftly stepping up the regional bloc’s joint efforts to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that challenges such as inequality, poverty, food security, health, education, climate change, and a digital gap are "litmus tests".
These issues challenge core development values to ensure the resilience, cohesion, proactive adaptation, and sustainable development of each country as well as the entire world.
The Vietnamese diplomat affirmed that, in the nation’s role as the ASEAN Chair 2020 and as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Vietnam will continue to push ahead sustainable development co-operation in line with the goal of building a cohesive and responsive ASEAN towards realising the ASEAN Vision 2025.