Deputy FM highlights higher awareness of ASEAN’s values amid difficulties hinh anh 1Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the SOM ASEAN Vietnam Nguyen Quoc Dung has highlighted the higher awareness of ASEAN’s values amid increasing difficulties.

Dung made the statement in an interview granted to the press following the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-54) that was held virtually from August 2-6. The event comprised 20 ASEAN ministerial meetings and those between ASEAN and partners within the frameworks of the ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3, the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

He said AMM-54 took place at a special time when the bloc faced various challenges such as the new outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, intense strategic competition among major powers, and complicated developments in the East Sea and Myanmar.

According to him, the event was a success with determination to implement the Five-Point Consensus reached by leaders, including sending the second Foreign Minister of Brunei to Myanmar as ASEAN Chair's special envoy, and launching humanitarian activities in support of Myanmar via the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management.

ASEAN member states also vowed to continue with mutual support plans to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. The bloc received commitments from partner countries, vaccines and post-pandemic economic recovery plans. It also agreed to allow the UK to become its dialogue partner.

About Vietnam’s initiatives at AMM-54, Dung said Vietnam dealt with difficulties and obstacles due to different opinions at the event. Vietnam initiated and urged countries to reach an agreement on Myanmar, grant the status of ASEAN’s dialogue partner to the UK, and boost collaboration between ASEAN and partner nations. Partner countries also pledged to assist ASEAN in vaccine supplies and transfer of vaccine production technology.

Regarding ASEAN Community building, Dung said comprehensive plans for the effort till 2025 have been carried out in the three pillars. Up to 96 percent of political-security pillar, 88 percent of economic pillar and 72 percent of social-cultural pillar have been completed, which are encouraging results.

Asked about “hot” issues tabled for discussion at the event, Dung said Myanmar vowed to help ASEAN Chair’s special envoy fulfilled assigned tasks. Meanwhile, the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, which was established in 2020, has so far received 20.5 million USD from ASEAN member states and partner countries. The bloc decided to use 10.5 million USD to buy vaccines for its members via partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund./.