Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith grants an interview to Vietnam News Agency (Photo: VNA)
Talking to Vietnam News Agency about Vietnam’s contributions and role during its 25-year membership of ASEAN, the minister said the country's becoming a member of this bloc on July 28, 1995, paved the way for other nations like Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia to join the grouping and for ASEAN from an association of countries with similar political systems to become the one for countries to cooperate, regardless of their political differences.
As a populous country, Vietnam’s participation in ASEAN has helped the bloc expand its market, thus helping with the socio-economic development of member nations and the generation of benefits for all regional countries.
He held that Vietnam's ASEAN membership has had important contributions in terms of politics, economy and cooperation, noting that over the last 25 years, the country has served in the ASEAN chairmanship thrice and made substantial contributions as both the Chair and a member of the bloc.
Kommasith highlighted the significance of the 2020 ASEAN chairmanship, which is themed “Cohesive and Responsive”, noting that Vietnam has been exerting utmost efforts to promote the cohesion, solidarity and unanimity within the grouping, which he believed are critically important as ASEAN is currently one of the international organisations that many countries around the world, especially superpowers and developed ones, wish to enhance relations with.
For “Responsive”, he said this orientation is greatly suitable for what are happening now in the region and the world, and the theme and initiatives issued by Vietnam, as the ASEAN Chair, during the first half of 2020 extremely match the reality.
Although this year marks the first time in the history that ASEAN meetings have been held online due to COVID-19, Vietnam has so far done a good job in its position as the ASEAN Chair, he said.
The country’s role has been reflected via not only its ASEAN chairmanship but also its non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.
It showed an outstanding role right in January, when it concurrently served as the ASEAN Chair and the UN Security Council President. Despite numerous difficulties, Vietnam still managed to perform tasks in these posts, according to the Lao official./.