ASEAN senior officials discuss preparations for AMM Retreat hinh anh 1Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung at the meeting (Photo: VNA) 
Hanoi (VNA) – Senior officials of ASEAN member countries met online on January 19 to discuss preparations for the upcoming ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMMR) that is slated for January 21.

Speaking at the event, the head of SOM ASEAN of Brunei said that with the ASEAN 2021’s theme of “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper,” Brunei hopes to build on the achievements that the association gained in 2020, with focus on the people and sustainable development, building a regional architecture ruled by law, upholding multilateralism and supporting an open multilateral trade system.

Participants exchanged their ideas on work that need to be done since after the 37th ASEAN Summit and related meeting, including a mid-term report on the implementation of the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Blueprint and the strengthening of inter-pillar and inter-sectoral coordination towards the building of the Post-2025 ASEAN Community Vision.

They pledged to continue speeding up the realization of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and showed support of Brunei's suggestion for a comprehensive strategic approach to cope with disasters and emergency situations in the future to protect economies and societies and ensure broader development.

They continued to underline the significance of multilateralism, while reaffirming the association’s commitment to promoting multilateral cooperation to safeguard peace, security, safety and prosperity in the region and the world.

Participants agreed that the ASEAN continues to play an important role in the region, especially in uniting joint efforts for peace, stability and prosperity.

Looking back on 2020, they noted that the East Sea continued to witness complicated developments, requiring the association to maintain solidarity and unity as well as its commitment to peace and stability in the East Sea and the region in general.
They stressed the need for all parties to continue fully and strictly implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and work to resume negotiations for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) that is in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.
ASEAN senior officials discuss preparations for AMM Retreat hinh anh 2Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung (Photo: VNA)

Addressing the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung thanked ASEAN member countries for supporting Vietnam in 2020, expressing his belief that Brunei will lead the ASEAN through challenges to recover from the pandemic. Vietnam is ready to cooperate with Brunei in performing the role of ASEAN Chair in 2021.

The Vietnamese official suggested using the ASEAN fund for COVID-19 response to buy vaccines, first of all for medical staff, adding that Vietnam called on all ASEAN member countries to fully operate the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies (RRMS).

He stressed that the grouping should optimise the outcomes that ASEAN had achieved in 2020, proposing that key agencies in charge of ASEAN Community’s pillars continue to improve and complete the remaining action lines in the master plan for the 2025 ASEAN Community Vision.

He also asked ASEAN to early define the roadmap to build the ASEAN vision 2025 based on the Hanoi Declaration on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision, which was approved at the 37th ASEAN Summit, while reviewing the ASEAN Charter, strengthening the proactive and central role of the association in promoting sub-regional cooperation, contributing to narrowing the development gap and reinforcing ASEAN connectivity.

Dung also highlighted the need to maintain intra-bloc solidarity and take the initiative in responding to newly-emerged challenges, thus ensuring the life of people and recovering from the pandemic in a sustainable manner. The ASEAN should continue to be the central and pioneering force in the region to make positive contributions to peace, stability of the region and the world, he added./.