Vietnam Attends 68th Initiative for ASEAN Integration Task Force Meeting

The meeting is a regular event at the permanent representative level between ASEAN countries and partners to review the implementation of projects within the IAI framework and propose measures for improving the implementation of the IAI’s plans.

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A Vietnamese delegation led by Ambassador – Permanent Representative of Vietnam to ASEAN Nguyen Hai Bang attended the 68th Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Task Force meeting and the 12th consultation between the IAI Task Force and ASEAN partners in Jakarta from September 22-23, VNA reported Friday.

Delegates at the 12th consultation between the IAI Task Force and ASEAN partners. Photo: VNA
Delegates at the 12th consultation between the IAI Task Force and ASEAN partners. Photo: VNA

The regular meetings reviewed the implementation of projects within the IAI framework and suggested measures to improve the efficiency of the IAI Work Plan.

The 68th IAI Task Force meeting drew the participation of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), major beneficiaries of the IAI.

Delegates spoke highly of the implementation of the IAI Work Plan IV from 2021-2025, with 12 out of 24 lines of action being launched in strategic areas of food and agriculture, trade facilitation, small and medium-sized enterprises, education-training, and community health. So far, 46 projects worth USD 4.87 million have been adopted.

The IAI Task Force also adopted four new projects, bringing the total under the IAI World Plan IV to 50 with a total value of nearly USD 10 million.

They agreed to continue with the IAI Work Plan IV in the near future, with priority given to remaining lines of action and the socio-economic impacts of Covid-19.

During the 12th consultation, representatives from partner countries such as Australia, the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, New Zealand, the UK, the EU, India and Canada vowed to continue support for ASEAN within the IAI framework.

The IAI was adopted by ASEAN in 2020 with the aim to narrow the development gap among ASEAN member states and assist CLMV in fully integrating into the regional economy.

Delegates attend the 68th Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Task Force meeting. Photo: VNA
Delegates attend the 68th Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Task Force meeting. Photo: VNA

In a related news, an informal ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting (IAMM) took place at the UN headquarters in New York on September 22 to discuss cooperation within the bloc and coordination in member countries’ candidacies for membership of UN bodies and international organisations.

The event, held on the sidelines of the ongoing 77th session of the UN General Assembly, reviewed preparations for the 40th and 41st ASEAN summits and related summits, slated for November 10 – 13 in Phnom Penh.

Participants affirmed that their countries will keep working closely with Cambodia, which holds the ASEAN Chairmanship this year, to ensure the summits’ success.

They also welcomed some countries’ proposals to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) while affirming the TAC’s principles and values in guiding relations among regional countries, as well as between regional countries with external partners.

Vietnam Attends 68th Initiative for ASEAN Integration Task Force Meeting
Source: Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Officials also discussed the Myanmar issue, especially measures for the bloc to effectively engage in and build a favourable environment for dialogue in this country.

They voiced their deep concern over the Myanmar situation, stressing the necessity to continue effectively implementing the ASEAN leaders’ Five-Point Consensus, particularly promoting the work by the ASEAN Chair’s Special Envoy on Myanmar to obtain more concrete progress.

They also affirmed the support for efforts by ASEAN Chair Cambodia and the Special Envoy, and agreed to increase humanitarian assistance for Myanmar in the coming time.

Addressing the meeting, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc, authorised by Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, thanked other ASEAN countries for their support to Vietnam to successfully run for many important positions at UN agencies. He agreed on the continuation of the bloc’s normal practices, coordination, and mutual support in coming candidacies.

He emphasised that ASEAN needs to keep upholding and promoting the TAC’s principles and values, especially amid profound, fast, and complex changes in the region and the world that have multidimensional impacts on all countries.

Regarding the Myanmar issue, Ngoc held that ASEAN should be more persistent and active in helping the country overcome the crisis and seek solutions for the sake of its people.

The bloc should press on with implementing the consensus with concrete and realistic targets and clear results, he stressed, adding that Vietnam and other ASEAN members strongly support Chair Cambodia, particularly the Special Envoy, to keep carrying out assigned tasks, thereby helping promote dialogue and reconciliation and work towards durable solutions for Myanmar and its people.

Hannah Nguyen