|Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong gives an opening speech at the 37th ASEAN Summit
In his welcome remarks, Party General Secretary and State President Trong said in 2020, ASEAN member countries have shown their will, resolve and efforts to overcome a range of difficulties and challenges. He commended the grouping’s cohesive and responsive spirit of ASEAN in COVID-19 prevention and control, and the settlement of its consequences, saying public confidence in governments’ capacity to handle diseases has improved.
ASEAN has gained successes in maintaining activities as well as its role and position over the past years, the top leader said, noting that partners have continued to attach importance to and support the grouping’s centrality. Given huge human and property losses caused by natural disasters and diseases, he called on ASEAN leaders to put forth more drastic and effective measures to well control new COVID-19 infections, revive the economy, stabilize lives and ensure social welfare for all regions and people of countries.
“Establishing a suitable foothold for ASEAN in the post-pandemic world is a major matter,” he said. “The strong wish and will to maintain a peaceful, stable and united region in line with international law should continue to be a core value of Southeast Asia and the ASEAN Community.”
In the new context, the ASEAN countries need to display their mettle and actively coordinate to materialize recovery initiatives and plans, with new, result-oriented operation and cooperation methods. The values of regional dialogue and cooperation frameworks with ASEAN holding the central role should be brought into full play, the Party and State leader said, stressing that ASEAN would contribute more actively and effectively to efforts to promote multilateral cooperation and international law, and consolidate the international multilateral system with the United Nations as the core.
The Party General Secretary and State President laid emphasis on Vietnam’s policy of maintaining independence, self-reliance, multilateralism and diversification of external relations, being a trustworthy friend and partner and an active and responsible member of the international community, striving for peace, cooperation and development.
| Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the event
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivered a speech opening the 37th ASEAN Summit, using the platform to affirm that this is the last high-level meeting of the ASEAN Year hosted by Vietnam as ASEAN Chair 2020. As a result it will be an opportunity for ASEAN to comprehensively evaluate the results of co-operation throughout the year, including activities within the bloc as well as its work alongside partners towards setting priorities for the next phase.
According to PM Phuc, the 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings is of great significance for finalising the implementation of priorities set out for 2020 and the appropriate orientation for the stage.
In line with the scheduled programme, a total of 20 high-level activities will take place. This will also be the only occasion of the year that ASEAN leaders meet with important ASEAN partners, such as the ASEAN + 1 Summit with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, the United States, the UN, and Australia. In addition to the 45th anniversary of the ASEAN-New Zealand partnership, the 23rd ASEAN + 3 Summit, the Mekong-Japan Summit, and the Mekong-Korea Summit.
The plenary session of the 37th ASEAN Summit was followed by a ceremony to announce the results of a mid-term review of master plans for the implementation of the ASEAN Vision 2025 and the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework. This was along with the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies as a means of responding to medical emergencies.
For the first time, a summit for ASEAN’s female leaders will take place and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan will address the event.
This 37th ASEAN Summit will also outline new orientations for ASEAN with the regional bloc continuing to carry out the dual task of combating COVID-19 whilst meeting goals to build a common community. The occasion will also serve as an activity of special significance, thereby putting an end to Vietnam’s impressive term as ASEAN Chair 2020.