Illustrative photo (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) –
Vietnam, which held the chair of ASEAN
in 2020, had set the agenda for future chairpersons of ASEAN, not only for
2021 but also for the next several years, said an assessment recently published
by The Times of India, an Indian-based Indian English-language daily newspaper
and digital news media.
The assessment, titled “Vietnam’s influence in ASEAN
meetings 2021”, mentioned Vietnam’s ‘Cohesiveness and Responsive’ theme for
2020. It said the theme highlights ASEAN’s unity and solidarity in the face of
increasing challenges. Brunei as Chair of ASEAN this year is continuing with
the policies laid down by Vietnam by selecting the theme of “We care, We
prepare, We prosper.”
The article said Vietnam had stressed a need for leveraging
the fourth industrial revolution, focusing on the requirements of not only
capital but also raw materials. Hence in February 2021, the bloc discussed a
plan to exploit mineral resources and developing the ASEAN Mineral Cooperation
Action Plan in a time-bound manner. Vietnam’s emphasis on economic development
was further taken up by the chair in the ASEAN Leaders Meeting in April 2021.
Brunei stressed the timely realisation of Priority Economic Deliverables (PEDs)
under the ASEAN Economic Community Pillar.
Taking forward Vietnam’s priorities for community
development and unity were taken up in ASEAN meetings this year. In a March meeting,
plans for ASEAN Community development in 2025 and ASEAN after 2025 were proposed.
Brunei emphasised better care, effective preparations, and prosperity. The
ASEAN chair also underscored the need to maintain the unity, centrality, and
relevance of ASEAN in the region and to collectively address common challenges.
According to the assessment, COVID-19 health-related issues were
in the focus of Vietnam last year. At the ASEAN level, under Vietnam’s
chairmanship, all channels of communications among member states were activated
to share their problems and take appropriate actions. In April this year,
Brunei convened the ASEAN Leaders Meeting to advance the bloc’s community
building, fasten post-pandemic recovery, strengthen ASEAN’s external relations,
and address pressing issues of common interest. Brunei stressed the commitment
for the implementation of the Plan of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery
Framework in a timely manner.
The article said Vietnam, last year, paid great attention to the
policy moves on the Indo-Pacific and stressed the ASEAN Outlook for
Indo-Pacific (AOIP), while engaging with other nations. This year, Brunei has highlighted the need for engaging ASEAN external partners through
ASEAN-led mechanisms in order to build mutual trust and confidence as well as
to reinforce an open, transparent, inclusive, and rules-based regional architecture
with ASEAN at the centre./.