Singapore (VNA) – A Vietnamese senior leader has urged ASEAN to be more active and dynamic to make its cooperation with external partners practical and efficient, especially in countering globally-arising challenges, including energy security, food crisis, financial issue and environmental protection.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem made the call while addressing the 41 st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Singapore on July 21.
Deputy PM Khiem said the group needs to continue upholding its lead and central role in regional cooperation processes that it initiates, including the ASEAN+3, the East Asia Summit, and the ASEAN Regional Forum, as well as accelerating the global integration process of the Asia-Pacific region.
The Vietnamese leader said ASEAN is entering a new, important stage of development, giving top priority to putting the ASEAN Charter into action and to ensure the successful construction of a three pillar-based ASEAN Community by 2015.
For accomplishing those tasks in line with the roadmap, the group needs to enhance its unity and raise the effectiveness of its cooperation to foster regional integration, Deputy PM Khiem said.
He said that narrowing development disparity is a condition for the group to achieve regional integration and build the ASEAN community and it will continue to be given a high priority in the group’s inner cooperation and its cooperation with outside partners.
Deputy PM Khiem said ASEAN should concentrate on building the second phase of an IAI working plan on narrowing the development gap to fit the group’s new priorities and requirements in addition to increasing implementation effectiveness and integrating the issue into resource mobilisation strategy.
As scheduled, Deputy PM Khiem will attend related conferences and meetings with dialogue partners on July 22-24 following the AMM-41.