It has been the second opportunity for ASEAN foreign ministers and the UK Secretary of State to discuss issues of mutual concern since the first event was held on September 30 of last year under the chair of Vietnam, the 2020 ASEAN Chair.

Deputy Foreign Minister and head of Vietnam’s ASEAN SOM Nguyen Quoc Dung attends the event.

At the meeting, UK Secretary of State Dominic Raab held that Southeast Asia has gained an increasingly important position in the UK’s foreign policy and has also played a key part in contributing to peace, security and prosperity in the region.

He affirmed that the UK will bolster efforts to join hands with ASEAN in fighting COVID-19, noting that his country presented a package worth GBP 50 million to ASEAN’s response to COVID-19.

Delegates to the event exchanged views on the significance of maintaining peace, security and stability in the region, including maritime security and safety in the East Sea (South China Sea).

They also discussed the recent developments in Myanmar, calling on stakeholders to exercise restraint and ensure safety for local people, and standing ready to help Myanmar seek dialogue in a bid to find sustainable measures to stabilize the situation and maintain its democratic process.

Participants to the meeting (Screen captured)

Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Dung spoke highly of the positive cooperation results between ASEAN countries and the UK over the years. He asked the UK to assist ASEAN members in improving national medical capacity and equitable vaccine distribution among countries in the region, as well as the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, maintenance of the supply chain, sustainable infrastructure investment, green growth and digital transformation.

The Vietnamese diplomat voiced his hope that the UK, assuming the presidency of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) this year, will actively support ASEAN nations in climate change adaptation, especially minimizing negative impacts of climate change on poor and vulnerable groups.

He called on the UK, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, to back efforts by ASEAN so as to promote dialogue, cooperation and trust building, and reinforce a rule-based order in the region.

Translated by Chung Anh