Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and leaders of the country attended the 29th ASEAN Summit. Image: VGP
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc left Vientiane, Laos on 8 September to Hanoi, successfully attended the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summit and other related summits at the invitation of Prime Minister of the People's Democratic Republic of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith.
Improve the capacity and resilience of ASEAN is an important factor for the success of ASEAN
In 3 days, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended 35 conferences, meetings, multilateral and bilateral dialogues including 11 ASEAN Summit and summits between ASEAN and its partners (including the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summit, the ASEAN+1 Summit with China, Japan, Korea, Australia, India, the US and the United Nations, the ASEAN+3 Summit, the East Asia Summit and the Mekong-Japan Summit), the first dialogue between the ASEAN leaders with Representative of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, Dialogue with ASEAN youth representatives and Dialogue with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC).
On the sidelines of the conference, the Prime Minister had 10 meetings and contacts with leaders of the host country as well as ASEAN countries and partners, heads of states, international organizations, such as the United States, Thailand, the UN Secretary General, IMF, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Myanmar, the Philippines, among others.
Speaking at the Summit, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc pointed to priorities and focus in implementing the ASEAN Vision 2025 and other plans on each pillar, and areas of cooperation.
On the political-security pillar, ASEAN needs to promote trust-building activities, preventive diplomatic measures, ASEAN’s code of conduct, and international law abidance, contributing to maintaining peace and security by working closely together to prevent risks of conflict in the region and cope with non-traditional security challenges, particularly terrorism and cyber security.
In the economic field, priority should be given to facilitating trade, improving the business and investment climate, developing small- and medium-sized enterprises in added value and technological sectors, increasing coordination in macro-economic supervision and financial-monetary stability.
On cultural and social aspects, intensify cultural and people-to-people exchange to enhance cooperation on social security, human resource development, especially skilled labor, environmental protection, natural disaster prevention and response to climate change.
The implementation of the ASEAN Vision 2025 should be linked to Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development of the United Nations, COP 21 commitments on response to climate change and must be integrated into national development plans of each member State.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the capacity and resilience of ASEAN is crucial for the success of ASEAN. Efforts should be made to strengthen the mechanisms for coordination, monitoring and effective enforcement of agreements, renovate activities of forums, especially forums and regional security mechanisms that ASEAN plays the central role, strengthen the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), and the ASEAN Secretariat.
Promote the values and fundamental principles of ASEAN. Each member country has interests and responsibilities in strengthening solidarity and unity, and harmonious combination of national interests with the interests of ASEAN. Strengthen consultation, and raise a common voice on regional issues directly impacting regional security and development of ASEAN.
Sending out big messages from Vietnam
At the conference, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, sent a very clear messages from Viet Nam, outlining the issues to be resolved with necessary approach.
ASEAN's biggest challenge in 2016 and in the future, even the near future, is the protection and peacekeeping in its “premises.” Therefore, speaking at the Summit, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc called on all countries, regions and the international community to show joint responsibility for the maintenance of peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea and facilitate in “recipients” and the content: “All countries, regions and the international community has a joint responsibility” which means not only the countries directly involved, but the whole international community.
The call for “joint responsibility by all countries, regions and the international community” of the Prime Minister of Vietnam, therefore, means to include all countries (inclusive) and not exclude and only include the countries directly concerned (exclusive). An evidence for inclusion not exclusion is that ASEAN does not only “talk” to each other, but with other countries, from Russia, the United States, to Japan, India, Australia, and New Zealand.
To “create favorable conditions for the settlement of disputes” means (a) keeping in mind that all disputes can only be resolved in a peaceful manner; (b) refrain from the temptations to resolve disputes by unilaterally eliminating disputes; and (c) adopt the way of thinking and acting in the direction of "creating favorable conditions for the settlement of disputes,”
“Creating favorable conditions for the settlement of disputes” can be started in the framework of mutual binding and avoidance of conflict. It is in this spirit that Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc “welcomed ASEAN and China for having reached an agreement on the application of the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) in the East Sea, setting up a hotline among Ministry Foreign Affairs on emergency at sea “and” suggested the two sides to conclude COC right in 2017 the occasion of the 15th anniversary of signing the DOC (2002) and 50th anniversary of ASEAN.”
In order to “maintain peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea and to create favorable conditions for the settlement of disputes,” according to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, “the two sides should attach importance to strengthen the foundation of the ASEAN-China relationship, particularly political and strategic trust, promote comprehensive and substantive cooperation, resolve all differences and disputes through peaceful means based on international law, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.”
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said: “Viet Nam attaches great importance to relations with China and will do our utmost to cooperate with the ASEAN countries to develop the ASEAN-China relations and make it more substantive and reliable, contributing to peace and prosperity of the region and the world.”
With the theme “Turning Vision into Reality for a Dynamic ASEAN Community,” the 28th-29th ASEAN Summit and other related summits in Laos were a great success, achieving many positive results, adopting a variety of documents and cooperation agreements, thereby promoting ASEAN close linkage and more effective endeavor, strengthening unity and unanimity, raising the central role of ASEAN, and promoting comprehensive relations between ASEAN and partners. Successes of forums and multilateral and bilateral meetings are of great significance when the summits were the only opportunity for leaders of ASEAN countries and partners to meet and exchange after ASEAN community was officially established on 31 December 2015.
By attending the 28th-29th ASEAN Summit and related summits, once again Viet Nam proves to be a proactive, positive and responsible member of ASEAN and its partners in addressing regional and global challenges, contributing to enhance understanding, strengthen political and strategic trust, and boost cooperation between Viet Nam and other countries around the world.