Deputy PM to attend ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat hinh anh 1Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh will attend the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMM Retreat) which will be held virtually on January 21, said Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang at a press briefing on January 14.

Minh will take part in the event at the invitation of Second Minister of Foreign Minister of Brunei Dato Erywan Pehin Yusof, she said.

The retreat is the opening event of the ASEAN Chairmanship Year of Brunei in 2021 with the theme “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”. 

At the event, ASEAN foreign ministers will discuss a wide range of issues, including the implementation of outcomes of the 37th ASEAN Summit that took place in November 2020 in Hanoi, and major tasks and priorities of the grouping in 2021, as well as issues of the association’s external relations and regional and international matters of common concern.

Earlier, speaking at the first press conference of the Foreign Ministry in 2021, Hang said that 2020 witnessed special and unprecedented things. Along with socio-economic and traditional security issues, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed widespread and deep impacts on all aspects of life at global level and on each country and people. 

She affirmed that in this context, with the consensus and efforts of the whole political system and people, Vietnam gained encouraging achievements in pandemic control and socio-economic development, especially in external relations.

The country fulfilled the role of ASEAN Chair in 2020, President of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the first year, she said.

Hang noted that bilateral and multilateral diplomacy has been strengthened and reinforced through online and direct events. Besides, Vietnam’s provision of medical supplies to 51 countries and international organisation has contributed to the global efforts in preventing and combating the pandemic, she stated.

Vietnam and neighbouring countries have maintained shared land border of peace, friendship, cooperation and development, while upholding international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in the settlement of issues at sea, said Hang.

She said that Vietnam strengthened international economic connection through the approval and implementation of new generation free trade agreements (FTA), including the EU-Vietnam FTA (EVFTA), the UK-Vietnam FTA, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

“We are glad as the Dak Nong Geopark was recognised by the UNESCO as a Global Geopark, while Vinh city of Nghe An and Sa Dec city of Dong Thap become a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, she said.

The spokesperson underlined that amidst difficulties from the pandemic, Vietnam has supported citizens from other countries in COVID-19 treatment and brought them home, while rolling out citizen protection measures for Vietnamese abroad. Vietnam arranged 299 flights to bring home more than 80,000 Vietnamese citizens from 60 countries and territories, she added./.