From January 1, 2020, Vietnam officially assumed the role of ASEAN Chairman.
As Chairman of ASEAN 2020, Vietnam selects the theme of “ASEAN cohesion and proactive adaptation,” embodied in priority priorities to make a positive contribution to the environment of peace, security and stability in area; promote regional connectivity and connectivity, improve adaptability, take advantage of opportunities of the 4th Industrial Revolution; promote community awareness and ASEAN identity; promoting partnerships for peace and sustainable development, promoting the role and contribution of ASEAN in the international community; and capacity building, operational efficiency of ASEAN.
“Proactive adaptation” is one of the internal functions of ASEAN Community Vision 2025, was first included in the ASEAN Year theme to reflect the need to enhance ASEAN’s initiative, creativity, transformation and forward-looking ability.
Test for ASEAN 2020 chair year of Vietnam
Assessing the topic of ASEAN 2020, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States Pham Quang Vinh, who had 7 years as the SOM Head of ASEAN, said after Vietnam consulted with countries and Finally, the ASEAN 2020 theme “Cohesion and proactive adaptation” has been welcomed and agreed by many countries, which is very successful at this time.
[Việt Nam đang tập trung làm tốt vai trò Chủ tịch ASEAN năm 2020]
First of all the world is moving very fast, in the context of the whole world is changing from geopolitics, geopolitics to the fluctuations in this area.
Second, “cohesion” is first of all solidarity, adhering to ASEAN’s goals, principles and priorities, such as building the ASEAN Community on all three pillars of politics-security, economics and At the same time, the region must also promote the active role of ASEAN in relations with partners, and strive for peace, stability and development of the region.
That engagement must see that cohesion is both solidarity and consensus based on the principles, objectives, priorities and constructive orientation of ASEAN Community and in ASEAN relations with partners for peace, stability and development of this region.
Proactively adapting to regional and world situations with rapid and very complex changes, including geostrategic competition between major countries.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, there was a trade war between the two major countries, China and the United States, followed by the rapid development of science and technology, so economic development was required by countries. Innovating reforms adapting to the movements of the current global supply chain.
This is followed by non-traditional security challenges, from sea level rise, climate change to natural disasters.
According to Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh, this year the theme “Mounting and proactively adapting” has made a test for the five ASEAN chairmen of Vietnam, which is the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. .
In just over a month since the start in late December then spread to the whole world. How to proactively adapt in the context of unprecedented epidemics, at the same time, all countries, big and small in all continents are infected and forced to close the country, close the border, close exchanges.
This is a great challenge that needs a long-term view of the international and regional situation, which requires both ASEAN solidarity, community building and adaptation.
Cohesion and proactive adaptation include being able to match the task, that is, confronting challenges that may have countermeasures.
Right from the first month of the year chair of ASEAN 2020 outbreak of COVID-19.
The disease directly affects the economies of ASEAN countries, especially the service businesses, which account for 30% of ASEAN’s GDP, disrupting regional and global supply chains.
Many people are at risk of losing their jobs and social security. Since the beginning of 2020 many ASEAN activities have been postponed or delayed, including the ASEAN-US Special Summit and the 36th ASEAN Summit.
When the COVID-19 epidemic broke out, as the Chair of ASEAN 2020, Vietnam took the initiative and actively promoted solidarity, unity and coordination of ASEAN’s joint efforts to cope with the epidemic.
After consulting with ASEAN leaders, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued the Statement of ASEAN Chairman on February 14, affirming ASEAN’s determination and high political commitment to control and prevent the epidemic. .
The ASEAN Coordinating Council, consisting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam Pham Binh Minh on February 20 and in the morning of April 9, held two meetings to discuss on coordination and cooperation measures within ASEAN as well as with Partners to respond to epidemics.
On the other hand, emergency response mechanisms for the ASEAN region and with Chinese, Japanese and Korean Partners (ASEAN + 3) have been initiated. On February 20, ASEAN and Chinese Foreign Ministers issued a Statement of the Conference on COVID-19.
On February 19, ASEAN Defense Minister approved the Joint Declaration on Defense Cooperation in disease response.
On March 10, 2020, the ASEAN Economic Minister approved a joint statement on enhancing ASEAN’s economic resilience to cope with the COVID-19 epidemic.
In addition, Vietnam has chaired the establishment and convening of the Interagency Working Group Meeting under the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) on Responding to Public Health Emergency Situations (ACCWG-PHE); Actively contribute to promoting cooperation between ASEAN with China, the United States and the European Union (EU).
On April 14, the ASEAN Special Summit and the ASEAN + 3 Special Summit on Disease Response COVID-19, held online to adapt to the epidemic situation and provided a defense. If necessary, it is considered an opportunity for ASEAN to show its efforts beyond the COVID-19 epidemic.
ASEAN proactively adapts to integration and participation in global supply chains
Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh said the fluctuations of the world and the region also created new, proactive adaptive opportunities that require capturing the opportunistic period brought about by the movement of global supply chains. How can the ASEAN community integrate and participate in that global supply chain?
ASEAN has been pursuing the completion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to become the largest free trade agreement in the world.
RCEP was initiated by ASEAN in 2012, and completing the agreement will help strengthen ASEAN’s key role in promoting regional integration.
The impetus to reach a trade agreement has increased more urgently for ASEAN as members of the bloc are dealing with the economic impact of the US-China trade war and are now responding to the pandemic. COVID-19 disease.
According to Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, Head of ASEAN SOM of Vietnam, said the RCEP Agreement is one of the priorities of ASEAN and other partners, now there are some problems especially after being India. temporarily withdrawing from the RCEP negotiations, the epidemic also affected the negotiation process.
However, the more determined the countries are, especially in the context of this epidemic, the more needed it is for the countries to reach this agreement and the lower resolution countries to soon reach the RCEP agreement, hopefully this year and if there is any full participation of 16 countries including India is great.
ASEAN is proactively adapting to non-traditional challenges
ASEAN continues to face many challenges, including the competition of major countries in the region, challenges of maritime security, including the East Sea issue, the emergence of non-security challenges. tradition, disease.
Non-traditional security challenges, such as environmental security, high technology crime, and illegal migration …
In particular, the rapid outbreak and spread of the COVID-19 epidemic have posed a common challenge of the whole region and the world, not only ASEAN.
Besides, the spread of fake information on social networks has also become a challenge that needs to be addressed together; along with epidemics, human trafficking, pirates, disaster relief, humanitarian assistance.
Non-traditional security threats are not only urgent, but also permanent and permanent, involving all humanity.
Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung shared that in the face of these non-traditional challenges, no country can stand alone to confront well, it requires international solidarity and close coordination. between countries together.
Therefore, ASEAN also determined that the most important point is unity, combining with each other to coordinate policies, coordinate actions and have mechanisms to support each other.
ASEAN has established cooperative mechanisms to combat emergencies, support in times of natural disasters or humanitarian issues.
In this COVID-19 epidemic, all countries proposed to establish the ASEAN Anti-COVID-19 Fund.
Vietnam proposes to establish a stockpile of medical equipment, to use for the most urgent situation. In addition, developing processes and regulations, such as standards when dealing with issues, ASEAN has a standard process to handle issues such as natural disasters, currently ASEAN needs a process such as so to deal with urgent medical problems.
These are measures that ASEAN sees as necessary to be able to be applied this time with COVID-19, the next time applied to other things, so that ASEAN will be more proactive and have mechanisms ready to deal with those that work.
In short, cohesion and proactive adaptation are ASEAN’s most successful topic this year. Cohesion means uniting the goals of ASEAN but at the same time responding to changes in the region and the world.
It is an immediate test for the epidemic that took place, which helped Vietnam and ASEAN countries to take timely actions to cooperate, coordinate and respond to COVID-19.
ASEAN theme 2020 “Mounting and proactively adapting” affirms that solidarity is crucial to ASEAN’s sustainability.
A new ASEAN Community of cohesion and development can effectively adapt to external factors and vice versa, actively adapting will help ASEAN cohesion closely, thereby strengthening the overall strength./ .