At the event (Photo: VNA)
Speaking at the ceremony Indonesian Ambassador Salman Al Farisi highly appreciated the activeness of Vietnam as the APC Chair in 2020.
Vietnamese Ambassador to South Africa Hoang Van Loi received the role from Thailand when South Africa was experiencing severe impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic on aspects of life as well as operations of foreign representative offices, he said.
Despite difficulties, the Vietnamese diplomat applied operation methods to adapt to the reality, he noted, adding that Ambassador Loi regularly contacted with APC members and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) to exchange information on the situation in South Africa and Africa and share experience in COVID-19 prevention and control as well as promote cooperation among parties and optimise opportunities from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the Vietnam News Agency reported.
The Vietnamese Embassy played the role as a bridge linking the DIRCO and the Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry in preparing for South Africa to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).
Under the chair of Vietnam – the ASEAN Chair 2020, South Africa, along with Colombia and Cuba, signed the agreement to join the TAC, opening opportunities on broader and deeper cooperation in politics, economy, socio-culture between ASEAN and the countries.
Ambassador Loi coordinated with other APC members to organise the ASEAN Golf Day in late November 2020 to boost cultural and sport exchange between the APC and local authorised agencies, he noted.
Ambassador Salman Al Farisi hailed the achievements that Vietnam has made as the ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, contributing to strengthening the common voice of ASEAN in the international arena, dealing with challenges of the region in a timely manner, and helping to build a Southeast Asian region of peace, solidarity and prosperity.
Ambassador Loi said that in 2020 when South Africa performed the role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and the President of the African Union, Vietnam and South Africa coordinated closely at regional and international forums for the common interest of the international community, Africa and Asia.
The Vietnamese and Indonesian ambassadors agreed to continue exchanging information and experience to help Indonesia fulfil the APC Chair role in 2021.
Earlier on January 27, ASEAN ambassadors in South Africa had an online meeting to evaluate the performance of the committee in 2020 and sketch out plan for 2021./.