Question: As the Chair of ASEAN in 2020, what security challenges does Vietnam face?
Major General To An Xo: This is the second time Vietnam has taken the role of the ASEAN Chair. Vietnam has experience in protecting important international events, including the APEC Summit 2017 and the second U.S. – DPRK in 2019. However, there are still many difficulties and challenges in terms of security.
Firstly, the the situations related to politics andsecurity in the world and the Southeast Asia have seen rapid and complicating developments. In this context, there appear more traditional and non-traditional security challenges including land and maritime disputes, armed conflicts, terrorism, and transnational crime.
The theme of the ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 is “Cohesive and Responsive” with five priorities. During the year. Vietnam is expected to host some 300 related events and activities in its 10 provinces and cities. Several major important events include the 36th Summit in Da Nang and 37th Summit in Hanoi, which will likely to be attended by high-ranking leaders from the U.S., China, Japan and Russia. As a result, the highest security level must be applied to protect the events and delegates.
Question: Can you elaborate on security approaches that Vietnam has been deploying to ensure security and safety for all conferences and events of the ASEAN Vietnam 2020?
Major General To An Xo: Under the guidance of the Party, the State and the National Committeee, the Security – Health Subcommittee has drawn up its working program and successfully implemented a number of plans since its establishment in May, 2019.
The Subcommitee has coordinated with relevant subcommittees and agencies to ensure safety and security for the 25th ASEAN Transport Ministers’ Meeting (ATM 25) last November in Hanoi, and the meeting of ASEAN’s senior economic officials (SEOM Retreat) in Quang Ninh.
We have been deploying forces to ensure security and safety for seven conferences or SOMs in January 2020 and other 60 SOMs in the first quarter of 2020.
To date, the Committee has made all security and health preparations and plans for all events and activities related to ASEAN Vietnam 2020. Party and State leaders and interntional guests all applauded security and safety work during the first events.
Question: What are the priorities of the Subcommittee?
Major General To An Xo: Under the directions of the leaders of the Party, the State, the National Committee and the Minister of Public Security, the Security - Health Subcommittee and the Security and Order Subcommittee will focus on a number of key tasks as follows:
- Firstly, always grasp the situation and coordinate with the Reception, Material and Logistics Subcommittee to check the locations of events and conferences as well as venues of delegations.
- Secondly, coordinate with the ASEAN National Secretariat and relevant subcommittees, agencies, units, localities, and military forces to seek consensus on the reception protocols, logistics, and procedures and regulations on convoy, security and safety while conducting security and safety checks of vehicles and facilities serving the 36th Summit and training the forces serving the high-level conferences.
- Thirdly, direct the public security units to deploy forces and vehicles to firmly ensure national security and social order and safety, strengthen prevention and combat ofcrime. Enhance coordination with security, intelligence and police agencies of ASEAN countries, coordinate with the Interpol and ASEANAPOL in exchanging information, situations and handling of security issues affecting the summits and events.
- Fourthly, instruct all public security agencies and local-level police units to ready forces, vehicles and logistics for the security and safety plans for the high-level conferences. Closely coordinate with the military forces, especially the Military Region 5 Command, the Capital Military Command of Hanoi, to ensure security and safety at sea, in the airspaces, borders, cyberspace and localities, and ready for any complicated security situations.
- The Security - Health Subcommittee will drill in the plan to ensure security and order of the 36th Summit in mid-March, 2020.
- Additionally, the Subcommittee will upgrade the Command Center of the Security and Order Subcommittee in Da Nang, which will be connected to the Information Center of the Ministry of Public Security in Hanoi.
Thank you for your answers!By Duy Tien