Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh attends activities to commemorate the founding of ASEAN. (Photo: VOV)

Vietnam's good promotion of the leading role of the ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 in COVID-19 has once again added to Vietnam's list of contributions to ASEAN over the past 25 years, as well as affirming its position and the leadership of the country in the region.

Vietnam's contributions to ASEAN growth

2020 is a meaningful year for Vietnam, as it is both Vietnam’s third rotating ASEAN Chairmanship and its 25th anniversary of joining ASEAN. Over the past 25 years, Vietnam has launched many initiatives which have been realized, including the Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM +) and the establishment of ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC). In 2010, ASEAN Chairman Vietnam created a consensus on the decision to expand the East Asia Summit (EAS) for Russia and the US to participate.

In a coordinating role, Vietnam has done a good job of connecting, expanding and deepening relations between ASEAN and strategic partners such as China, the US, Russia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the European Union (EU), Australia and India. In addition, Vietnam has also actively implemented the overall roadmap for building the ASEAN community, participating in drafting the ASEAN link initiative, contributing to narrowing the development gap and supporting new members to integrate into the region. .

Assessing the role and contributions of Vietnam during the past 25 years, Ambassador Tran Duc Binh, Head of the Vietnamese delegation to ASEAN, said that Vietnam is a responsible, proactive and active member in all ASEAN activities. “We have made important contributions to the development and growth of the ASEAN community,” he added. “We are always in the group of countries with the highest rate of implementation of the ASEAN community building master plan.”

One of the important results in 2019 was that Vietnam and ASEAN member countries built and adopted the view of the Indo-Pacific, helping to establish ASEAN's common position on this issue. In addition, Vietnam has been working with ASEAN countries to soon reach the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) with China, which has been delayed due to the global pandemic.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh presents the ASEAN Secretariat's new headquarters with a lacquer painting of "Vietnam golden bamboo". (Photo: VOV)

Also in 2019, Vietnam participated in promoting the ratification and completion of negotiations on ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA), the development of a roadmap for reducing non-tariff barriers and ending the negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is expected to be signed in 2020 in Vietnam. In addition, Vietnam actively participated in and supported the implementation of the previous Presidents' initiatives.

Vietnam shows strong leadership in 2020

In 2020, the ASEAN Community has taken timely action, actively adapting and connecting countries to cope with the global COVID-19 pandemic. After the success of the ASEAN and ASEAN +3 Summit on responding to COVID-19, the 36th ASEAN Summit was also held online for the first time. Leaders of ASEAN countries highly appreciated the leading role and dynamism of the ASEAN Chairman 2020 Vietnam.

According to ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Vietnam has demonstrated “strong leadership” in leading the region’s collective response to COVID-19. ASEAN has been united and quickly responded to the pandemic since February. The strong response of ASEAN is largely due to Vietnam's leadership, especially in promoting member countries to dialogue and cooperation through a variety of online conferences. 

The year 2020 is bringing Vietnam many challenges, while it is at the same time ASEAN Chairman and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. It has successfully completed its tasks with a sense of responsibility and creativity by contributing to the strong and sustainable development of ASEAN, helping the region show the world an ASEAN of internal strength, bravery, and capable of overcoming difficulties under the leadership of Vietnam Chairmanship./.

Compiled by BTA