||Asean Affairs 1 July 2013
ASEAN Continues to be an Important Pillar for Vietnam’s Foreign Policy
“A united and strong ASEAN remains a top priority and interest for Viet Nam,” said H.E. Truong Tan Sang, President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to a gathering of diplomats and dignitaries at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta earlier today.
“ASEAN has been and will continue to be one of the important pillars in Viet Nam’s foreign policy of openness, diversification and multilateralisation of external relations and proactive international integration,” said The President. The President also reiterated that Viet Nam is consistent in its policy and efforts to work responsibly together with other ASEAN Member States in order to achieve the ASEAN Community by 2015.
President Truong Tan Sang, during this first ever visit by the Head of State from Viet Nam to the ASEAN Secretariat, also shared his views on some key directions for ASEAN for the future. “The top priority of ASEAN is to accord highest political will and necessary resources for the successful building of the Community by 2015,” he stressed. According to the President, ASEAN also needs a broader vision for the long-term development of the Community beyond its foundation on 31 December 2015. “As an open process, the Community in 2015 is just a mark of a starting point,” he said. In addition, the President highlighted the need for ASEAN to further maintain the momentum of dynamic development and bring into full play the advantages of an economic community of 600 million people and a Gross Domestic Product of USD 2,100 billion. He also called on ASEAN to take the initiative and better play its active role in ensuring regional peace, security and development.
In his address, President Truong Tan Sang also drew attention to the harmonisation of the interest of individual Member States and the common interest of the region, which he said, was an unique factor for the success and development of ASEAN. Admitting that this was by no means simple, the President said that, “At times, ASEAN members may have been compelled to take sides, particularly in the cooperation and interaction with major powers, for the sake of their respective interest. This would benefit no one.” He therefore called on ASEAN to foster unity and consensus, based on the common denominator of harmonised interest of all Member States.
In his welcome remarks for the Presidential visit, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Le Luong Minh, said that the visit by President Truong Tan Sang to the ASEAN Secretariat “is another strong manifestation of the commitment to ASEAN by its Member States at the highest levels of leadership.”
“Viet Nam, with its strong commitment to integration and with its dedicated leadership, will continue to make still greater contributions to the development of an ASEAN of ‘One Vision One Identity,’” said the Secretary-General.
Earlier, during a bilateral meeting, President Truong Tan Sang was briefed by the Secretary-General on some of the notable progress to-date in ASEAN community-building efforts. Paying tribute to the leadership and staff of the ASEAN Secretariat, the President said that “the ASEAN Secretariat plays an important role in ASEAN’s community-building work and in raising the voice of ASEAN to the world”.
During the visit, the President presented a replica of the Dong Son drum, a symbol of the rich history and culture of Viet Nam, to the Secretary-General. The gift will be displayed at the ASEAN Gallery.
President Truong Tan San was accompanied by his spouse, Madam Mai Thi Hanh, Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Office Dao Viet Trung and other high-level officials.