08:39 | 01/05/2019 Vietnam - Asean
(VEN) - As Vietnam prepares to assume leadership of ASEAN next year, it is focusing its mandate on preserving the identity and centrality of the 10-nation group and of the more than 600 million people it represents.
The existence and development of the 10-nation ASEAN Community over more than five decades proves the strong vitality of a regional cooperation model. ASEAN’s development has been based on its achievements and important role in Southeast Asia and the larger region covering India, Asia and the Pacific.
At a recent workshop themed “ASEAN Community: Identity and Centrality” held in Hanoi, Nguyen Van Thao, Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said maintaining ASEAN’s identity and centrality is indispensable in the context of numerous changes in the regional and global situation. The task requires active participation of all member nations in its implementation at the regional level between governments and the national level between ministries, sectors and localities of each member country, Thao added.
ASEAN has to deal with linkages between each member nation and the whole region, as well as trans-regional and international relations. Therefore, former Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa believes ASEAN should make the best of existing commitments and mechanisms and formulate specific policies to realize its vision and perform its central role. “ASEAN can play a pivotal role in a cooperation mechanism for the Indian and Pacific oceans, which is similar to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), and increase mechanisms to deal with regional crises. This will enable ASEAN’s more substantial contributions,” he said.
In the opinion of former Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan, ASEAN needs to promote intraregional growth and change its development model in the context of growing scarcity of natural and human resources and increasingly severe impact of climate change.
Since it joined the bloc, Vietnam has considered ASEAN one of its top priorities in external relations. Nguyen Vu Tung, Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, said, “Not only proposing and implementing ASEAN initiatives, Vietnam also attaches great importance to improving state authorities and local people’s awareness of the association, especially the ASEAN Community.”
Next year, Vietnam will assume the chair of ASEAN. This is a great honor but also a heavy responsibility, requiring Vietnam to initiate effective measures and guide their implementation to boost ASEAN’s resilience and adaptability to global changes.
Peter Girke, Chief Country Representative of KAS, a German political foundation, believes 2020 will be a busy year for Vietnam when it becomes a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and at the same time serves as Chair of ASEAN.
Le Hai Binh, Deputy Director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, said during its tenure as ASEAN Chair, Vietnam needs to affirm the bloc’s central role in the current trend of geopolitical changes. Even after its term, Vietnam has to maintain its contribution to strengthening ASEAN’s pillars: economics, politics, culture and society, he added.
The ASEAN Community Vision 2025 seeks to build people-centered societies and strengthen solidarity and unity
among member nations.