Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh's remarks at 1st plenary session of 13th ASEM FMM
17:11 | 20/11/2017
VGP – Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh delivered his remarks on Monday at the 1st plenary session of the 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

The following is his full remarks:

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh. Photo: VGP/Hai Minh

Madame Chair,

Distinguished colleagues,

At the outset, I wish to sincerely thank our host country and Madame Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counselor and Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, personally, for the excellent arrangements for the Meeting and the warm hospitality extended to our Vietnamese delegation.

Given the fast-changing global landscape, the theme “Strengthening Partnership for Peace and Sustainable Development” and topics of our Meeting are very timely.

So I wish to share with you my thoughts on how  best  we can work together to further deepen the Asia – Europe partnership.

First, as we are all aware, the past year since the Ulaanbaatar Summit is a most challenging time to our two regions and to the whole world. The regional and global landscape is experiencing rapid and more complex developments, even shifts, with intertwined opportunities and challenges.

A decade after the global economic and financial crisis, the world economic recovery is firming up but projected growth rates are still below pre-crisis averages. Protectionist tendencies are on the rise. Economic integration in many regions has slowed down.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has created hopes for higher productivity, but there are also growing concerns about its transformative implications, environmental degradation, uneven distribution of the benefits of economic growth and globalization.

International cooperation endeavors continue to be reinforced. But threats posed by regional conflicts and tensions, terrorism, trans-national crimes, cyber security, inequality, migration, epidemics, never-ever-seen natural disasters are becoming more acute.

These cross-cutting and multi-dimensional questions call for cross-regional and multi-layered responses.  

After two decades, ASEM is at a critical juncture of transformation. ASEM has grown beyond our expectations as a unique platform for dialogue, mutual understanding and cooperation.  

However, the emerging opportunities and challenges call upon ASEM to further transform and reassert its relevance in the evolving global architecture.  

Second, as ASEM enters the third decade, it is time for us to build a vision for a responsible and responsive ASEM as a champion for multilateral cooperation.

In a globalised and digitalized world, greater inter-independence calls for stronger multilateralism.

The historic 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Agreement on Climate Change are universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world, with unique opportunities for international cooperation in the decades to come.

Only by strengthening partnership for peace and sustainable development, can ASEM’s ability to adapt and to transform and its global profile be enhanced.

Europe and Asia should continue to be on the front lines to maintain the world peace and stability, promote dialogue, confidence-building and preventive diplomacy and uphold international laws and norms of conduct. A lesson learned from the past 70 years is that peace and stability are always the prerequisite for development, cooperation and prosperity.

We need to work more closely with other fora to address both traditional and non-traditional challenges, especially non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, countering terrorism, promotion of maritime security and safety and cyber security.

As key drivers of economic growth and innovation in the 21st century, Asia and Europe have full ability and responsibility to champion for 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The 2030 Agenda not only helps to counter the negative impacts of megatrends, such as population growth, ageing population and rapid urbanisation, but is also the best way to reduce the threat of conflict and violent extremism.

So we need to translate commitment into concrete action on sustainable and inclusive growth, poverty eradication, comprehensive and quality connectivity, sub-regional and remote areas development, quality education and human resources development in the digital age, gender equality and empowerment for women and girls.

More efforts should be made to deliver on the promise of climate change, disaster risk reduction, sustainable management of natural resources, food – water – energy security.

It is also imperative for ASEM to sustain its unwavering support to foster a just and equitable global economic governance and to an open, transparent, rules-based and inclusive multilateral trading system. Issues of next-generation trade and investment issues, development of global value chains and supply chains, MSMEs’ competiveness and innovation… should be on our agenda in the years to come.

Third, in the Asia-Pacific region, peace, stability, economic integration and sustainable development remain a major trend. This year, the trend has been significantly strengthened by tangible outcomes of multilateral cooperation at all levels as well as a series of new bilateral agreements on strategic and comprehensive partnership and FTAs.

The commitments made by APEC Leaders at their Summit in Da Nang, Viet Nam, 10 days ago upheld the core values of APEC of free and open trade and investment and its continued support for the multilateral trading system. The Leaders adopted measures to address pressing concerns of the people and businesses in the region, including economic, financial and social inclusion. They also agreed to build a post-2020 vision for APEC.

The Golden Anniversary of ASEAN, prospects of finalizing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) next year and the new Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) have provided fresh dynamism for deepened regional economic integration.

With extensive international integration and proactive multilateral diplomacy, Viet Nam will continue working closely with ASEM partners for synergizing peace and sustainable development and building a vision for a responsible and responsive ASEM in the next decade.

To that end, Viet Nam, together with Myanmar, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands, will organize the “ASEM Conference on Climate Action to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals – Ways Forward” next year.

Only with collective initiatives and actions, can we turn policies into concrete results and turn agreements into tangible benefits for our people and businesses.

I thank you.


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