ASEAN senior officials meet face to face in Phnom Penh

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PHNOM PENH — Senior officials of ASEAN convened both in person and via video conference on Wednesday in Cambodia, Chair of the bloc in 2022, to review preparations and the agenda for the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Retreat.

The ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) was attended by ASEAN SOM leaders of the member states and the ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General for the Political – Security Community. The Vietnamese delegation is led by Ambassador Vũ Hồ, acting ASEAN SOM leader of Việt Nam.

This is the first face-to-face SOM after an over-one-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants reviewed the preparations for and agenda of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Retreat (AMMR), slated for February 16 – 17 in Phnom Penh.

Foreign ministers of seven countries have confirmed their in-person participation in this event, while two others will attend via videoconference.

The senior officials also discussed new developments relevant to the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus, adopted by ASEAN leaders in April 2021. Many countries held that the successful implementation of this consensus is important to ASEAN’s support for Myanmar to stabilise the domestic situation and effectively take part in the ASEAN cooperation and Community building.

Ambassador Vũ Hồ voiced Việt Nam’s support for and affirmed its commitment to work closely with member states to build ASEAN into a united, unanimous, strong, and resilient bloc, thus creating a prerequisite for realising the association’s targets.

He also proposed some initiatives and orientations for lifting the ASEAN – Republic of Korea partnership, currently coordinated by Việt Nam.

At the two-day AMMR, foreign ministers are scheduled to discuss the bloc’s cooperation orientations for this year, COVID-19 response, post-pandemic recovery efforts, the building of the ASEAN Community and the Post-2025 ASEAN Vision, the implementation of outcomes of the 38th and 39th ASEAN Summits in Brunei last November, the bloc’s external relations, and some international and regional issues of shared concern. — VNS

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