World leaders laud efforts of Vietnam as ASEAN chair

By Phuong Vu   November 14, 2020 | 08:26 pm PT
World leaders laud efforts of Vietnam as ASEAN chair
Vietnam chairs the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Hanoi on November 14, 2020. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Government Portal.
Leaders from ASEAN and EAS member states praised Vietnam’s leadership in facilitating a cohesive and responsive ASEAN, including efforts in the Covid-19 fight.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS) online on Saturday in Hanoi, with the participation of 10 ASEAN nations and guests from the U.S., China, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and India. ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, and World Bank President David Malpass were also in attendance.

World leaders also praised Vietnam for successful hosting the summits, complimenting in particular the country's initiatives to strengthen ASEAN cooperation through the Covid-19 response fund and regional reserve warehouse for public health emergencies, Vietnam's Foreign Ministry said in a release.

The leaders called for restraint and avoiding complicating the tensions between nations, refraining from militarizing and taking steps to peacefully settle differences and conflicts on the basis of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982).

They acknowledged the efforts of ASEAN and China to uphold the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (COC). The South China Sea is known in Vietnam as the East Sea.

At the summit PM Phuc urged world leaders to turn challenges into opportunities, resolve difficulties, and turn confrontations into cooperation. Such a response is needed to the rapidly changing, complex environment facing the world today, he said.

Phuc also suggested further promoting marine cooperation with several measures including sustainable use and conservation of marine resources, prevention of marine pollution and removal of debris, natural disaster prevention and response, and boosting sea connectivity.

The EAS was part of the 37th ASEAN Summit and related summits that took place online from November 12-15 in Hanoi. This is the most important event of a year with Vietnam being the ASEAN chair amid the Covid-19 pandemic that has infected more than 54 million people and claimed more than 1.3 million lives globally.

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