Vietnam striving to bolster ASEAN connectivity for regional peace, stability and development

This is the first ASEAN summit under the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the world” held by the Philippines as the ASEAN Chair 2017. The event takes place at a time when ASEAN sees a number of good achievements in implementing the ASEAN Vision 2025 and master plans on all the three pillars of the community, in celebration of the 50th founding anniversary of the bloc and the second anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN Community.

Regarding political-security, 217 out of the 290 action lines or nearly 75% are implemented albeit at different degrees. In economic terms, ASEAN has so far fulfilled 532 out of the 611 (87%) while the bloc is actively realizing the Master Plan for a socio-cultural community with the 109 action lines.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits in Laos. Photo:

To facilitate the community building, ASEAN continues to step up efforts for connectivity and narrow the development gap. Particularly, the bloc has effectively deployed the Initiative For ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III with five prioritized areas: food and industry, trade facilitation, MSMEs, education, and health and well-being, and the master plan for ASEAN Connectivity 2025 with five strategies: Sustainable Infrastructure, Digital Innovation, Seamless Logistics, Regulatory Excellence, and People Mobility. Besides, the bloc continue implementing measures to improve its apparatus and working procedures on the basis of streamlining the structure, improving the efficiency of mechanisms and increasing the connectivity of the communities pillars so as to augment its operational efficiency and quality.

Meanwhile, ASEAN has successfully drawn the strategic engagement of all major powers in regional mechanisms for the common interests of peace, stability and development in the region and world. Its partners continue valuing its central role in regional mechanisms and actively promote comprehensive cooperation with the block via various programs, initiatives and concrete approaches. They also pledge to support ASEAN in building a community, increasing regional connection and integration, narrowing the development gap, responding to common challenges of the region and world. For instance, ASEAN is now implementing the Action Plan 2016-2020 with China, the US, India, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Canada and the UN; at the same time, the bloc is drafting action plans with other major partners, including Japan, Australia, Russia and EU.

Over the past time, ASEAN has always striven to foster peace, stability as well as navigation and aviation freedom, safety and security in the East Sea (South China Sea), while seeking to deal with all disputes via peaceful means, including full respect of the legal and diplomatic processes, in line with universally-recognized conventions and international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982). In reality, ASEAN has demonstrated a high sense of responsibility and played a central role in building a favorable environment for peace, stability, and navigation and aviation security, safety and freedom in the East Sea, along with its effort to call involved parties to fully, seriously and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of parties in the East Sea (DOC) and to actively work with China to soon complete a Code of Conduct of parties in the East Sea (COC).

In these circumstances, the 30th ASEAN Summit serves as a chance for the bloc’s leaders to review the regional situation and seek orientations for the building of the ASEAN Community in the coming time, as well as to discuss measures to consolidate its central role in the region and boost cooperation between the bloc and its partners for peace, security and sustainable development in the region.

The Vietnamese participating delegation is doing its utmost to promote ASEAN connection and operational efficiency operation; to cement unity and central role of the bloc in response to complex developments in the regional current context; to strengthen cooperation for practical benefits for all regional people; to narrow the development gap; to bolster its relations with other ASEAN member countries for a Southeast Asian region of stability, cooperation and development in a changing world with both opportunities and challenges.

Vietnam strongly believes that the 30th ASEAN Summit hosted by the Philippines in Manila will be successful, contributing to boosting cooperation and development, and preserving a peaceful and security environment in the region.

Written by the Editorial Board

Translated by Thu Nguyen

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