Vietnamese Foreign Minister chairs ASEM High-level Policy Dialogue

23:06 22/06/2021
Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son on June 22 chaired the ASEM High-level Policy Dialogue themed “ASEM at 25: Strengthening Asia-Europe Partnership in a Transforming World.”

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son on June 22 chaired the ASEM High-level Policy Dialogue themed “ASEM at 25: Strengthening Asia-Europe Partnership in a Transforming World.”

The event, held in both online and in-person forms, saw the attendance of nearly 200 delegates from governmental agencies, businesses and social organisations, and scholars from 53 member countries of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), along with representatives from international organisations.

The high-level policy dialogue was initiated by Vietnam on the occasion of the 25th founding anniversary of the ASEM (1996-2021) and one of the major activities of the forum this year.

It offered an opportunity for the members to discuss development orientations and visions of the Asia-Europe partnership in the new period to effectively contribute to peace, stability, prosperity and sustainable development in the two continents and the world at large.

Its outcomes would significantly contribute to the 13th ASEM Summit scheduled to take place on November 25 and 26 in Cambodia.

In his remarks, Son lauded remarkable achievements and progress of the partnership over the past 25 years, and affirmed that Asia-Europe cooperation continues to be a priority in Vietnam’s foreign policy.

The world is witnessing profound transformation in all aspects as a result of scientific and technological breakthroughs, geo-economic and geo-political shifts, the emergence of new, complex, inter-related traditional and non-traditional security challenges, and the impact of COVID-19, Son said.

Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son speaks a the dialogue. (Photo: VNA)
The minister also pointed to numerous hurdles standing in the way of international cooperation, including protectionism, unilateralism, and behaviors that erode international law.

In such a rapidly changing and complex world, the Asia - Europe partnership and cooperation is more important than ever, he said, stressing that it is, in fact, indispensable to the world’s stability and prosperity.

It is high time for ASEM to devise a new vision to create new drivers and vitality, and carve out for it a befitting role in the evolving regional and global architecture, the minister said.

He called on the member countries to demonstrate stronger resolve, take bolder actions, and choose an appropriate path to move forward so that ASEM would reap more successes.

It is important for ASEM to prioritise areas that meet the development needs of its member countries, pay due attention to confidence-building measures, and contribute through concrete actions to the global restructuring process towards inclusive and sustainable development, Son suggested.

To this end, he proposed three major objectives for ASEM cooperation in the coming decades, comprising maintaining a favorable international environment of peace, stability, dialogue and trust; playing a leading role and making greater efforts to enhance sustainable and inclusive development; and laying a solid foundation for sustainable, enduring, and mutually beneficial economic ties between Asia and Europe.

At the dialogue (Photo: VNA)

With the aim of contributing to building a new vision for the Asia-Europe partnership, the dialogue focused on major changes in the world and the two continents, new factors and trends that impact the cooperation in the coming decades, the role of Asia-Europe cooperation in addressing global challenges, consolidating multilateral cooperation and spurring sustainable and inclusive growth, and Asia-Europe cooperation vision in the next periods.

The delegates shared the view on the significance of the partnership, especially in a rapidly changing and complex world, and committed to promoting the close coordination between the member countries.

Appreciating Vietnam’s initiative, they said the dialogue has importantly contributed to maintaining cooperation pace, given ASEM’s activities disrupted by the pandemic.

They said ASEM needs to have a new cooperation vision to better contribute to peace, security, stability and sustainable development in the two continents and the world, while meeting development requirements in the member countries.

They suggested innovation in cooperative activities to bring practical benefits to people.

The dialogue has affirmed Vietnam’s role and contributions to ASEM, as well as joint efforts made by the country and other member nations in building the Asia-Europe partnership.
VNA