Covid-19: Asean under Vietnam’s chairmanship

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Thai PM hands over the gavel for ASEAN chairmanship to Vietnamese PM

The coronavirus pandemic has created a serious crisis to the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2020. Vietnam, being the Chairman this year has been remarkable on handling the situation while demonstrating leadership.

Vietnam chose ‘Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN’ as this year’s theme. In his keynote speech on 6 January, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc enumerates five priorities thats supports the theme. That includes:  contributing to regional peace, security and stability by strengthening ASEAN’s unity, intensifying regional connectivity through the use of digital and novel technologies, promoting ASEAN identities and shared values, strengthening global partnerships for peace and sustainable development and improving ASEAN’s operational effectiveness.

With the Covid-19 effect disrupting the world’s supply chains, Vietnam has conducted over 300 different conferences and activities during its chairmanship. While some events were ultimately postponed or even cancelled, some of the conference conducted via online pushthrough nonetheless.

Through virtual meetings hosted by Vietnam, even member countries on a partial lockdown was able to attend meetings with Asean members to discuss diplomacy and trade.

Vietnam organized the Special ASEAN Summit on Coronavirus Disease 2019 last April to urge member states to act decisively in response to the pandemic and to established the Covid-19 ASEAN Response Fund to address the pandemic and future public health emergencies Despite the unprecedented health crisis, Vietnam has demonstrated its leadership through proactiveness in coordinating with member states and external partners.

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