The 43rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM-43) opened in Hanoi on July 20 in the presence of Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
Foreign Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pose for a group picture with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (6L) at the opening of their 43rd annual meeting in Hanoi on July 20, 2010.
In his opening speech, PM Dung said that the meeting is taking place as ASEAN enters a new stage of development, moving towards the creation of an ASEAN Community by 2015, operating under the ASEAN Charter.
“ASEAN is making every effort and using all its resources to achieve the objectives set out in the plans for an ASEAN Community,” said the PM.
“The association is also striving to further its external relations and expand cooperation with its partners to facilitate the ASEAN Community and effectively respond to global challenges while maintaining the Association’s central role in addressing regional issues,” he noted.
The Vietnamese leader stressed that the achievements recorded to date are enormous and of great significance. However, much remains to be done to realise the ASEAN Community’s goals of being a community that is politically harmonious, economically integrated and socially responsible.
PM Dung went on to say that this meeting coincides with the celebrations of the 15 th anniversary of Vietnam joining ASEAN. Since Vietnam has been a member of ASEAN, the country has rapidly integrated into and positively contributed to the Association’s development.
“We are very happy and proud that Vietnam has joined with other ASEAN members to lay down a firm foundation to bring the ASEAN Community to life by 2015,” said the PM.
Being an integral part of the ASEAN family, it is Vietnam’s policy to be “proactive, positive and responsible”, which will contribute to a strong and closely integrated ASEAN at the heart of the region.
He added: “During our ASEAN Chairmanship in 2010, we have been doing our utmost to work closely with other member states and record tangible outcomes in the process to build an ASEAN Community.”
PM Dung said he believed that at this meeting, the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and their partners will have fruitful and constructive discussions, work out how to step up cooperation in various fields, address political and security issues and cope with emerging challenges in the region and the world.
Following the opening ceremony, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers attended a plenary session.
Prior to the AMM-43 and other related meetings, PM Dung hosted a reception for the heads of the ASEAN delegations and ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan.
He told his guests that the meeting is very important for the ASEAN community as well as for Vietnam as it holds the bloc’s chair.
The PM thanked the ASEAN leaders, the Foreign Ministers and the bloc’s Secretary General for helping Vietnam to organise the ASEAN Summit in April 2010, saying that the Foreign Ministers contributed greatly to the summits success.
In its capacity as ASEAN chair, Vietnam attended the G20 Summit in Canada and highlighted the group’s viewpoints, which were applauded by the international community, he said.
The Vietnamese PM gave a briefing on Vietnam’s socio-economic situation in the first half of the year and said that, with its responsibility as ASEAN Chair, Vietnam will make great efforts to realise the motto “Towards the ASEAN Community: From Vision to Action” as agreed upon by the ASEAN leaders.
The PM said he hoped that the ASEAN leaders and Foreign Ministers would continue to work with Vietnam to ensure the successful creation of the ASEAN Community.