The ASEAN National Committee 2020 held an international press conference on Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 on November 18 in Hanoi. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and General Secretary of the ASEAN National Committee 2020 Nguyen Quoc Dung affirmed that Vietnam is determined and will give the highest priority to performing its responsibilities well and contributing to building a strongly-connected ASEAN Community.

Deputy Chairman of the Office of the Government and Head of the Materials-Logistics Sub-Committee Nguyen Xuan Thanh, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Head of the Communications and Culture Sub-Committee Le Quang Tung, and Chief of Office of the Ministry of Public Security and Standing Head of the Committee of the Security and Health Sub-Committee, Major General To An Xo, co-chaired the press conference.

Deputy Minister Dung said that Vietnam will officially assume the role of Chairman of ASEAN on a rotating basis from January 1, 2020. 2020 has many meanings for ASEAN in general and Vietnam in particular. For the ASEAN community, 2020 sees a mid-term review of the implementation of the ASEAN Community Building Blueprints 2015-2025. For Vietnam, 2020 marks 25 years it has participated in the ASEAN community. Vietnam will also assume the role of a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.

The Deputy Minister emphasized that Vietnam has determined that taking on the role of ASEAN Chairman is a great responsibility but with many opportunities. Vietnam will be devoted to and will prioritize the successful implementation of its responsibilities and contribute to building a connected and strong ASEAN community on the basis of inheriting results to date. Vietnam has already chosen the theme of “Cohesive and Responsive” for its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.

It is also ready to hold many international seminars, meetings, and events during its ASEAN Chairmanship. According to Deputy Minister Dung, Vietnam will chair, coordinate, and organize about 300 different conferences and activities, the most important of which are two high-level meetings in April and November; the 41st General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in August; the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and Partners Meeting; Ministerial Conferences on the Three Pillars of Politics-Security, Economy, and Culture - Society; Defense Ministers Meeting on Economics, Finance, Environment, Transport etc.; as well as many Deputy Minister meetings on preparing these conferences.

Vietnam began preparations for the ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 very early on, with the establishment of the ASEAN National Committee 2020 in December 2018.

The ASEAN National Committee includes the Chairman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh, three Vice Presidents, Minister and Head of the Office of the Government Mai Tien Dung, Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Dao Ngoc Dung, General Secretary of the National Committee Nguyen Quoc Dung, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and 25 members who are leaders of ministries and agencies participating in ASEAN cooperation.

Many activities will be held to promote Vietnam’s image. According to Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Head of the Sub-committee for Communications and Culture Le Quang Tung, Vietnam must organize many important national celebrations in 2020. In terms of arts and culture, the Ministry will hold six arts programs to serve ASEAN summits. Six other major art events include the ASEAN Art Festival in August, the ASEAN Film Week in April, an ASEAN cultural and art exhibition in August, the Vietnam-ASEAN Tourism and Cultural Space Exhibition, and the ASEAN-Vietnam photo exhibition in Vietnam and in the ASEAN Secretariat headquarters in Indonesia.

Regarding tourism, the Ministry will also implement a project to promote images of Vietnam and its people, and regarding sports will focus on the “ASEAN Marathon Championship” in Vietnam and other sports activities.

According to Major General Xo, in order to ensure safety and security during the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020, his Subcommittee has already implemented plans preparing for urgent situations such as natural disasters and floods as well as food hygiene and safety issues, etc.