Major partners called on to work towards stable relations, health competition
VGP - Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh expressed hope that major powers, who are all partners to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), to work towards stable relations and responsible, healthy competition, for the sake of regional and global peace and security.
The Vietnamese Government leader made the above statement while addressing the highly anticipated ASEAN – U.S. Special Summit on May 13 (local time).
The summit includes a meeting between ASEAN leaders and U.S. President Joe Biden, a session between ASEAN leaders and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on maritime security and COVID-19, and a session between ASEAN leaders and the U.S. administration on climate, clean energy, and infrastructure.
The American leaders have announced a range of proposals and initiatives for cooperation with ASEAN. The U.S. will invest US$40 million to finance the development of clean energy infrastructure, another US$40 million to strengthen maritime cooperation, US$150 million to implement the ASEAN-U.S. Health Futures initiative, provide support for ASEAN's climate change response capacity enhancement and infrastructure development, and US$70 million for educational programs and people-to-people exchanges.
ASEAN leaders thanked the U.S. for its proactive support in responding to COVID-19, helping to improve disease response capacity, providing vaccines, and recently establishing the Southeast Asia Regional Office of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. ASEAN member states expect the U.S. to continue backing ASEAN's pandemic prevention initiatives.
Recognizing that the global and regional situation continues to witness complicated developments with many new challenges arising, ASEAN and the U.S. affirmed to work closely together to contribute to the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the region, including security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.
The U.S. affirmed its support for ASEAN's stance on the East Sea issue, welcomed ASEAN's efforts to promote cooperation, dialogue, and confidence-building in the region, and strive to build an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law, and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Regarding the situation in Myanmar, the countries called for restraint, reducing tensions and violence, ensuring people's safety and the full implementation of ASEAN's Five-point Consensus, and welcomed the ASEAN Chair's efforts to support Myanmar in stabilizing the situation and finding sustainable solutions to current problems.
With regard to Ukraine, as for all nations, the U.S. and ASEAN reaffirmed their respect for sovereignty, political independence, and territorial integrity, while calling for compliance with the UN Charter and international law to peacefully handle conflicts.
During the session chaired by President Joe Biden, PM Pham thanked the warm and stately welcome of the U.S.
Looking back on the past 45 years, ASEAN-U.S. cooperation had made great strides, making important contributions to promoting dialogue, building trust, and maintaining peace, security, stability, and development in the region, he noted.
In the face of complex and unpredictable developments in the region and the world, PM Pham emphasized the need to continue to promote frank dialogue on the basis of trust and responsibility, solidarity, cooperation, controlling disagreements and upholding the law, to contribute to the realization of a world of peace, stability, cooperation, and prosperous development.
Pham expressed his hope that major powers and ASEAN's partners, could bring their relations into a stable state in a healthy and responsible manner, and at the same time contribute to Southeast Asia in keeping with the spirit of transparency, constructiveness, with the utmost respect for ASEAN's central role, full consultation with ASEAN, respect for international law, to help contribute to peace, security, and stability in the region and the world.
Viet Nam reaffirmed ASEAN's principled stance on the East Sea issue, emphasizing the peaceful resolution of all disputes and differences based on international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
Pham said Viet Nam welcomed all partners' support for ASEAN to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and to build an effective and substantive COC consistent with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
At the Summit's session on maritime security and COVID-19, PM Pham welcomed the U.S. initiatives to strengthen maritime cooperation with the region.
He also stressed that all countries, including ASEAN countries and the U.S., shared the importance and interests in guaranteeing peace, stability, security, safety, freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, considered a major lifeline of the world's maritime trade.
PM Pham thanked the U.S. for its support for Viet Nam's COVID-19 pandemic response, including the provision of COVID-19 vaccines for Viet Nam.
Mentioning Viet Nam's achievements in pandemic control and the ongoing economic recovery, the Vietnamese Government leader emphasized building a global approach to addressing global issues.
PM Pham stated that the pandemic had an impact on everyone, so it was necessary to have a people-centric approach, with consideration to the health and lives of the people being the top priority, and that people should be placed at the center of pandemic response and in the post-pandemic recovery processes.
He urged the U.S. to continue to support ASEAN in disease prevention and control, especially in the transfer of vaccine and medication production technology, improving healthcare system capacity and healthcare workers' quality, as well as assist ASEAN countries, including Viet Nam, in taking care of and providing support for the vulnerable groups most affected by COVID-19.
Addressing the session on climate, PM Pham expressed his hope that the U.S. would continue to advance effective cooperation within the framework of the Mekong-U.S. Partnership, contributing to ensuring equitable and sustainable development in the region.
The Vietnamese PM also praised countries' cooperative efforts in responding to climate change, through economic structural transformation, application of scientific and technical advances, development of renewable energy, promotion of clean energy transition, the building of high-quality infrastructure, and shifts towards green and sustainable development.
At the end of the Special Summit, the leaders of the countries adopted a Joint Vision Statement reflecting the results achieved in the past 45 years and setting future directions.
In particular, the U.S. and ASEAN are committed to establishing an ASEAN-U.S. Comprehensive Strategic Partnership that is substantive, effective and mutually beneficial at the 10th ASEAN-U.S. Summit slated for November 2022, and look forward to the early completion of the necessary procedures./.