Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 extraordinary: UNDP official hinh anh 1UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen. (Photo: Internet)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 is very extraordinary at the time of great uncertainties and challenges, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, UNDP Resident Representative for Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen has said.

The official told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on the sidelines of the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits that kicked off virtually on November 12 that the country is really committed to the exceptional organisation of not only the summit but also the entire ASEAN Year 2020.

The theme selected for the ASEAN Year is appropriate and reflective, she said, highlighting the importance of being cohesive and responsive at this tough time.

“Vietnam has much to be proud of. The UN force is very pleased to see the centrality that is given to the multilateralism and the reinforcement of that which is so needed at the time of uncertainties and challenges,” she said.

According to Caitlin, the summits being organised are excellent examples of the initiatives that have been taken to move forward, and ASEAN activities are very creative and innovative, demonstrating the solidarity and cultural richness of the grouping.

In an interview with the VNA, Ambassador of the Netherlands Elsbeth Akkerman also congratulated Vietnam for not only its organisation of the summit but also its fulfillment of the ASEAN Chairmanship, saying Vietnam has chaired ASEAN in a very complex circumstance.

The diplomat said the shift from in-person to online meetings amidst COVID-19 has reflected the preparation, resilience and flexibility of ASEAN countries and partners.

It is a great achievement that deserves a big complement from the whole international community, she said, adding: “ASEAN and Vietnam as the Chair did a great job. ASEAN and Vietnam really place the people of ASEAN at the heart of their efforts.”

The ambassador said there is a smooth transition from Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship to Vietnam, and Vietnam has completed that role, which deserves a good complement./.