ASEAN, UN vow to advance comprehensive partnership

Wednesday, 2020-09-16 09:50:53
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General view of the virtual meeting between the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN and UN officials. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – Representatives of ASEAN member countries and UN officials reviewed the implementation of projects and cooperation activities within the ASEAN-UN Plan of Action for 2016-2020, during their annual meeting on September 15.

The virtual meeting between the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN and UN officials was co-chaired by Vietnamese Ambassador Tran Duc Binh, head of the Vietnamese mission to ASEAN, and UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs Khaled Khiari.

The delegates commended major development steps in the ASEAN-UN comprehensive partnership, with regular meetings at different levels, and the completion of 97 out of 103 action lines set in the action plan.

These cooperation activities cover the three pillars of politics-security, economy, and culture-society, as well as experience exchange in narrowing the development gap and enhancing connectivity in ASEAN, and improving the capacity of the ASEAN Secretariat.

They said most of cooperation plans in politics-security and economy have been completed ahead of schedule, especially in the areas of the UN’s strength like peacekeeping, the settlement of natural disaster consequences, gender equality, economic integration, narrowing the development gap, and sustainable development.

They spent much time discussing the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic both regionally and globally.

The UN backed initiatives of ASEAN and Vietnam, as ASEAN Chair in 2020, and wished to further aid the bloc in realising its post COVID-19 recovery framework, assisting refugees in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, and handling other issues regarding women, peace, security, climate and cyber security.

ASEAN and the UN agreed to advance their comprehensive partnership, and committed to closely coordinating in implementing the 2016-2020 action plan and completing a draft action plan for the next five years that will be submitted to the ASEAN-UN Ministerial Meeting in October for approval.

The UN will continue to send experts to help ASEAN improve its capacity in the combat against terrorists and cross-border crime, and other spheres like cyber security, human rights, women empowerment, economic integration, energy security, food, forest protection and support to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

The two sides consented to join hands in implementing goals of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals, humanitarian aid, natural disaster settlement, climate change, education and health care, and step up collaboration between their Secretariats.