Joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a decision of great historical significance at both national and regional levels, Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh stated on the occasion of the 19th anniversary of Vietnam’s official membership in the bloc (July 28, 1995 - July 28, 2014).
He said the decision paved the way for Vietnam to become more integrated into the region, allowing the country to join hands in building a regional environment of peace, stability and cooperation.
It also created opportunities and momentum for the country to expand cooperation with not only regional countries but also major partners and other countries in the international community, thus raising its global status, he said.
Vinh affirmed that ASEAN membership had created a peaceful and stable cooperative environment that Vietnam needed to conduct reform, overcome war aftermath and push regional and international integration, adding that the country benefited from regional support and investment while its image and position had been elevated.
The deputy foreign minister proposed ASEAN to reinforce its solidarity to make stronger voice on regional matters and strengthen its internal strengths, focusing on ensuring the progress of building the ASEAN Community.
Furthermore, the association should further promote its central role in all issues related to regional peace and security, Vinh emphasized.
ASEAN should also take the initiative in proposing and building regional codes of conduct for all countries, not only those in the region but also partner nations joining partnership in Southeast Asia, to share and observe, he said.
Only by doing this, can ASEAN overcome arising challenges and enhance the important role that it has played over the past years, Vinh said.-