The 36th ASEAN Summit is set to take place on June 26 on an online platform, according to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and General Secretary of the ASEAN National Committee 2020 Nguyen Quoc Dung who was speaking at a press conference held in Hanoi on June 23
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and General Secretary of the ASEAN National Committee 2020 Nguyen Quoc Dung chairs the press briefing
In his remarks, Deputy Minister Dung said the country and regional nations have agreed to organise the meeting on an online platform as a result of the complicated nature of developments relating to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As usual, the first ASEAN Summit of the year will be an internal meeting featuring ASEAN leaders undertaking a review of all activities conducted by the regional bloc since the previous summit in November, 2019. Moreover, the meeting will serve to outline directions for the building of an ASEAN Community, especially moving ahead into the second half of the year.
Each of the leaders will also give their opinions on ASEAN's relations with external partners, whilst comparing notes on a number of international and regional issues that are of shared concern. One of the current key points that ASEAN leaders are set to focus their discussions on is how to continue their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to how ASEAN can enjoy a recovery as quickly as possible.
Participants will hear reports and give comments on ASEAN co-operation during the first half of the year, with all three pillars regarding political security, the economy, and socio culture.
Recent times have seen the nation, in its role as the ASEAN Chair, join with other ASEAN member states to carry out the "dual task" of concentrating on epidemic prevention tasks and continuing efforts to develop the community, whilst simultaneously implementing priorities and initiatives that have been agreed for the year.
In terms of offering a response to the COVID-19 epidemic, ASEAN has quickly developed a coordinating mechanism for preventing the spread of the virus within the bloc, as well as organising an array of online meetings at various levels, in addition to the special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 Response which was held on April 14.
The special summit served to devise a range of specific measures regarding the establishment of a COVID-19 Fund and a health warehouse, along with the development of a standard process aimed at coping with the pandemic in ASEAN as the bloc moves towards formulating a united recovery plan.
Furthermore, ASEAN has also conducted a series of online meetings with the United States, China, and Russia, with the bloc set to hold similar meetings with other partners in the near future as a way of increasing COVID-19 co-operation and providing mutual support to overcome the consequences caused by the COVID-19.
With regard to community building, Deputy Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said that ASEAN has also implemented several initiatives and priorities put forward by the ASEAN Chair 2020. The regional group has also been active in terms of evaluating the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, with all three pillars and the implementation of the ASEAN Charter under review.
ASEAN has also launched a series of discussions on the ASEAN Community Vision following 2025, as well as implementing measures aimed at promoting the image and identity of the Association and the ASEAN Community.