This is a forum exclusively for ASEAN, of ASEAN, and for its people, where all stakeholders will share new initiatives to help ASEAN leaders devise strategies and visions for the group in the coming time, helping to bring practical benefits to people, he said in an interview granted to the press.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet

Nearly 400 delegates have registered to take part in the forum, Viet said, noting that government leaders and ministers from ASEAN countries are scheduled to deliver speeches. They include Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone of Laos - ASEAN Chair 2024, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Brunei Minister of Foreign Affairs Erywan Yusof and ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will send pre-recorded messages to the forum.

Many leading regional and international scholars have also confirmed their attendance, including former Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marty Natalegawa and former Singapore Minister of Foreign Affairs George Yeo.

A summary of opinions to be raised at the forum will be sent to ASEAN high-ranking leaders through official channels. The bloc's proposals are also expected to be forwarded to the U.N. as one of its contributions to preparations for the U.N. Summit of the Future in September.

In addition to plenary sessions, there will be a business session on how to optimize development opportunities amidst the current digital transformation. It will be co-chaired by PM Chinh and his Lao counterpart Sonexay, with the participation experts and enterprises of Vietnam, ASEAN and partner countries.

Viet said the session will offer a chance for businesses to look into advantages, difficulties and opportunities in the context of digital transformation, and build new networks.

The official stressed that rapid, sustainable and people-centered development is an issue of common concern of the world and all ASEAN countries. This is a basic and essential need of ASEAN given many economic difficulties as well as non-traditional security challenges such as climate change, natural disasters or epidemics, and supply chain disruptions.

To this end, the forum will examine how to harmonize between development and environmental protection and climate change response, to ensure social security, as well as to place people at the center of all development-related decisions of each country and the region as a whole.

As one of the biggest multilateral diplomatic events hosted by Vietnam this year, the forum once again demonstrates Vietnam's desire to contribute more to regional cooperation and promote its core role in regional and international collaboration, he said.

Source: VNA