|Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh delivers speech at the opening ceremony of the Informal Meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers. (Photo: baoquocte)
The ministers discussed the progress of ASEAN Community building, implementation of agreements reached at the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 held in April, and preparations for the ASEAN Summit slated for this Friday.
Mr. Minh said that although the COVID-19 epidemic shows no sign yet of going away, ASEAN members should continue to pursue the goal of building an ASEAN Community by 2025.
He praised the measures ASEAN countries have taken to support each other in protecting their citizens’ health and minimizing the epidemic’s economic impact.
“In the traditional spirit of unity and solidarity, we have extended support to each other, strengthen intra ASEAN collaboration to protect our people and mitigate the social and economic impact of the pandemic. Such efforts have, so far, resulted in encouraging progress and achievements,” Mr. Minh added.
The Vietnamese leader said: “We are also facing a challenging strategic environment, competition among major powers, and unilateralism. These challenges are negatively affecting peace and stability, and the rule of law in our region. In the spirit of a cohesive and responsive ASEAN, I look forward to having fruitful discussions with you to advance further our shared priority.”
The ASEAN Foreign Ministers discussed the outcomes of the Special ASEAN and ASEAN+3 Summits, ASEAN Community building by 2025, and Vietnam’s priorities during its ASEAN Chairmanship this year. They also discussed ASEAN's external relations and traditional and non-traditional security challenges. Mr. Minh said Vietnam will continue to work closely with other ASEAN members to promote solidarity and unity in pursuit of their common goals.