Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc received ASEAN Chair ASEAN President's Hammer from his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha, November 4, 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo: VGP)
According to the article, 2020 is a special year for Vietnam. This is a great opportunity for Vietnam to enhance its international position when Vietnam simultaneously holds the dual role of ASEAN Chair and non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council term 2020-201.
During the spread of COVID-19 epidemic throughout the world, Vietnam is asserting its role as ASEAN Chair and considering this as an opportunity to bring solidarity and comprehensive cooperation among the 10 ASEAN member countries. After the joint statement on ASEAN countries enhancing cooperation to prioritize dealing with Covid-19 of Vietnam chaired by Vietnam as the ASEAN Chair (February 4th), the special China - ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting was held in Laos to increase cooperation in dealing with COVID -19. Vietnam taking the role of ASEAN Chair is considered a specific example for the slogan “Cohesive and Responsive”.
Based on Vietnam's proposal, a consultation between the United Nations Security Council and ASEAN was first organized 52 years after ASEAN establishment. In the end of January 2020, ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi attended the UN Security Council and discussed options for consultations. Many ASEAN member countries also wish to further strengthen ASEAN's position in the international community.
Agenda items such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are expected to be signed in Vietnam this year and the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) is expected to be reached when Vietnam takes over the chairmanship of ASEAN.
In the closing part, the article quoted Choi Sing Kwok, Head of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore), on Vietnam’s leadership ability and its role in heightening ASEAN position in the international arena, that taking up the position of a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council gives Vietnam the opportunity to show its leadership globally and of course will benefit ASEAN.
Since gaining ASEAN membership in July 1995, Vietnam has always been an active, responsible member and made important contributions to the development of the association. During its ASEAN Chairmanship 2010, Vietnam left many important imprints, including the proposal of a number of initiatives which were realized such as the mechanism of the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM +); the establishment of the ASEAN Committee on the Promotion and Protection of Women’s and Children’s Rights, and the gaining of consensus on the decision to expand the East Asia Summit with the participation of Russia and the US.
Despite many difficulties and challenges during its terms as ASEAN Chair and non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, especially the threat from COVID-19, Vietnam fully has the ability, confidence and experience to successfully implement the two responsibilities, thus affirming its position, prestige and strategic leadership capacity, leading ASEAN to develop and raise ASEAN to a central role in regional and international issues./.