AMM' Retreat reaps important results: Ambassador Vu Ho

WVR/VNA - On January 29, in Luang Prabang, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers (AMM) Retreat concluded with important results obtained and Vietnam’s contributions reflecting its strong and consistent support for the ASEAN Year 2024 chaired by Laos, Ambassador Vu Ho has said.
AMM' Retreat reaps important results: Ambassador Vu Ho
Ambassador Vu Ho, Acting Head of the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) delegation of Vietnam. (Photo: Quang Hoa)

Following the meeting, Ambassador Vu Ho, Acting Head of the ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) delegation of Vietnam, said that as the first activity of the ASEAN Chair in 2024, the retreat identified the focuses and priorities of the bloc’s cooperation this year.Ambassador Vu Ho, acting head of the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) delegation of Vietnam, attends a meeting held on January 28 to prepare for the AMM Retreat. (Photo: VNA)

Member countries highly valued this year’s theme, “ASEAN: Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience”, and agreed on the nine priorities in terms of both connectivity and resilience that demonstrate the association’s common demand in the face of the era’s requirements.

About “resilience”, ASEAN will focus on building strategies for implementing the ASEAN Community Vision 2045, consolidating the bloc’s centrality, promoting environmental cooperation ,enhancing women and children’s engagement and contributions, and improving the regional health capacity. In terms of “connectivity”, it will boost the cohesion among economies, foster inclusive and sustainable development, make transformation towards a digital future, and bring into play the role of culture and arts during the regional integration process, he said.

He noted that another highlight for ASEAN cooperation this year is the point of transition between the community-building frameworks. In 2024, the bloc enters the final year of implementing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and prepares for the next period. Given this, it will be a busy year when the association prepares to make comprehensive reviews of the community blueprints for 2025 and build new cooperation strategies for 2045.

Last but not least was the message about solidarity, cooperation, and resilience delivered by ministers when they discussed international and regional situations, including strategic competitions among powerful countries, the issues of the East Sea and Myanmar, the Russia - Ukraine conflict, the Middle East, along with some ongoing processes like the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), the drafting of a code of conduct (COC) in the waters, and the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus to settle the issue of Myanmar.

This showed that ASEAN is deeply aware of the urgency of the issues emerging, as well as their impact on regional peace, security, stability, and sustainable development, Ho said, adding that through sincere and straightforward discussions, member countries further respect the values of solidarity and unanimity, which have given ASEAN strength to surmount every difficulty and obstacle in the past, at present, and in the future.

About Vietnam’s contributions to the retreat, the Ambassador said the country’s responsible participation from preparatory steps to contributions at the event reflected its commitment and sense of responsibility towards common works of the group, along with its strong and consistent support for the ASEAN Year 2024 chaired by Laos, thereby further strengthening the special traditional friendship between the two countries.

Ambassador Ho cited Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son as affirming that Vietnam will coordinate closely with Laos and other countries to effectively carry out the specified priorities.

The Minister highlighted the significance of the building of an ASEAN resilient to complex developments and major challenges in the current context. He also underlined the importance of enhancing connectivity and asked ASEAN to tighten digital, institutional, infrastructure, and people-to-people connectivity, along with intra-bloc investment and trade.

Foreign Minister Son raised many important opinions and proposals about the Community building process, external relations, and regional and international issues of shared concern. Notably, Vietnam’s initiative of hosting the ASEAN Future Forum on fast, sustainable, and people-centered development, to take place in Hanoi this April, attracted others’ attention.

He also emphasized the need to build inclusive and comprehensive cooperation strategies for 2045 with monitoring and assessment mechanisms to improve the culture of compliance and step up the building of a sustainable and balanced community, Ambassador Ho said.

Regarding ASEAN’s cooperation with partners, Minister Son recommended ASEAN maintain a balanced approach and work out a strategic vision for the implementation of external relations. He also suggested the bloc encourage its partners to participate in and responsibly contribute to regional cooperation, assist ASEAN with Community building, and advocate ASEAN’s centrality in the regional architecture.

The Foreign Minister stressed that the group needs to sustain solidarity and consensus, promote strategic self-reliance, consolidate the principled stances on the issues of the East Sea and Myanmar, maintain a balanced and objective approach, and boost its role and voice in the issues related to regional and international peace, security, stability, and sustainable development, according to the Head of the ASEAN SOM delegation of Vietnam.

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(Source: WVR/VNA)