A total of 25 years on since joining ASEAN, the country has always played an active role in the bloc, contributing a great deal of effort and wisdom to the sound development of the wider ASEAN Community.
|Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith
Discussing this issue, Lao Foreign Minister Kommasith said that the past 25 years has seen Vietnam take on the position of ASEAN Chair three times, with the current period marking the third time. In its role as ASEAN Chair, the nation has made many important contributions, as well as being a vital member of ASEAN.
Most notably, this year has seen the country hold the vital position of ASEAN Chair, something which is reflected in the ASEAN theme for the year, "Cohesion and Proactive Response". In the country’s role as Chair of ASEAN, Vietnam has made every effort to promote cohesion, solidarity, and unity within the bloc, the Laotian diplomat said.
Upon being questioned on whether the theme and initiatives put forth by Vietnam in its role as ASEAN Chair are suitable for regional and world practices, Kommasith said the theme and initiatives proposed by the country are very suitable to the practical situation. Indeed, the first half of the year has seen the country lead ASEAN and launch a range of initiatives, although due to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, it has been impossible to conduct face-to-face meetings.
With this year being the first time in history that ASEAN meetings have been organised in an online format, it can be judged that the country has done well, while also ensuring contents and procedural issues.
Under the nation’s leadership, numerous high-level conferences have been organised and several initiatives have been implemented, all of which can be considered outstanding achievements which happened as a result of Vietnam being Chair of ASEAN 2020, the Laotian FM noted.
Upon assessing the country’s role as ASEAN Chair in 2020, the Lao official said the Vietnamese role has been reflected through both its ASEAN chairmanship and its non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for the 2020 to 2021 period.
Moreover, the nation displayed an outstanding role in January, when it simultaneously served as the ASEAN Chair and the UN Security Council President. Despite facing numerous difficulties, the country still managed to perform all tasks in these posts.
In the context that several countries are faced with the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, therefore taking steps to address the severe impact on socio-economic fields caused by the pandemic, the nation has been able to bring the epidemic under control whilst dealing with the socioeconomic consequences. If compared to other countries in the world, especially within ASEAN, despite Vietnamese economic growth slowing, it has still maintained positive growth, he added.