Vietnam takes over ASEAN chairmanship from Thailand

By Quy Nguyen    November 4, 2019 | 05:09 am PT
Vietnam takes over ASEAN chairmanship from Thailand
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc receives ASEAN President's Hammer from his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha, November 4, 2019. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Government Portal.
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc represented Vietnam as the nation took over the ASEAN Chairmanship for 2020 at a ceremony in Bangkok Monday.

Phuc formally took the hammer from his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Vietnam will officially become the ASEAN chair on January 1, 2020, the third time it has held the responsibility after 1998 and 2010.

ASEAN member countries assume the chairmanship in alphabetical order. 2020 is a pivotal year in implementing the ASEAN Vision 2025 Realization Plan and the 25th anniversary of Vietnam's accession to ASEAN. 

Vietnam is actively holding exchanges with ASEAN countries and partners to develop themes, priorities and initiatives for the ASEAN Chair Year 2020, focusing on promoting intra-regional coherence and the adaptive capacity of ASEAN to meet challenges of the times.

"In 2020, we want to focus on strengthening ASEAN's sustainable cohesion by upholding solidarity and unity, increasing economic links and connectivity, deepening values and identities of ASEAN members, improving the efficiency of the ASEAN apparatus, and promoting ASEAN's partnerships in the global community," PM Phuc said at the ceremony.

Speaking at the launch of the ASEAN National Committee 2020 in Hanoi late last year, he had affirmed that Vietnam's assumption of ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 was both a responsibility and a duty of a member state, and a great opportunity to contribute to the common work, for the sake of common ASEAN interests and the bloc’s empowerment.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said as he handed over the ASEAN Chairmanship for 2020 to PM Phuc: "I believe that Vietnam will take on the role of ASEAN Chairman from Thailand with pride and realize ASEAN's dream of promoting partnerships and maintaining peace, freedom, security and prosperity in ASEAN now and in the future." 

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