Vietnamese deputy minister of foreign affairs, Nguyen Quoc Dung, made the statement at the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (ASEAN SOM) in the central city on Wednesday.
He said the ASEAN SOM was the second activity this year, and it focused discussions on achievements of a retreat of foreign ministers of the ASEAN (AMM Retreat) in Nha Trang in January.
Dung, who chaired the ASEAN SOM, said the meeting also discussed plans and preparations for the 36th ASEAN Summit from April 8-9, and the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit on April 9 to be held in Da Nang.
At the opening ceremony, the deputy minister also confirmed that Vietnam was a safe destination for all visitors, and measures were taken in prevention and monitoring of the novel coronavirus, or Covid-19.
“Don’t worry. We carried out all preparations for ensuring safety and health for all participants at the meeting,” he stressed.
Participants at ASEAN SOM also expressed support for initiatives and priorities proposed by Vietnam in the year of chairmanship as well as plans for ASEAN Community development in 2025 and ASEAN after 2025.
Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum, deputy permanent secretary of Thailand’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, highly appreciated the preparations by Vietnam at the ASEAN SOM.
He said Vietnam has been doing well in stopping Covid-19 from spreading.
Chaiyindeepum also expressed his hope that Vietnam would host ASEAN meetings successfully in the role of ASEAN chairmanship this year.
Participants also discussed the implementation of the ASEAN Charter, the co-operation of sub-region and the Mekong region as well as improving women’s role in building the ASEAN Community.
Following the ASEAN SOM, the 9th ASEAN Co-coordinating Council Working Group Meeting (ACCWG) and ASEAN Joint Consultative Meeting (JCM) will continue from March 5-6.
Vietnam has chosen the theme ‘Cohesive and Responsive’ for the ASEAN Chairmanship 2020.
The ASEAN SOM drew the participation of 10 ASEAN member countries and deputy secretary of ASEAN.