The ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) was held at International Convention Palace, Furama Resort Danang on March 4th, 2020 under the chair of Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung.
The Deputy FM affirmed Vietnam’s determination to fulfill the tasks of the Chair of ASEAN in 2020, including the acceleration of the ASEAN Community building process, the expansion of the regional group’s external relations and the reform of ASEAN working methods.
Regarding the complicated developments of the acute respiratory disease COVID-19, Dung highlighted Vietnam as a safe destination for foreign tourists with the epidemic under good control. As host of ASEAN events this year, Vietnam has been taking a score of measures to ensure the safety and health of all delegates, he added.
Participants discussed making actionable the conclusions reached at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa province in January, and the initial preparations for the 36th ASEAN Summit and relevant events to be held in Danang on April 8th-9th.
They agreed on the working agenda of the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit slated for April 9th immediately after the 36th ASEAN Summit. Participants also gave their opinions about steps to implement initiatives and priorities, proposed by Vietnam during 2020 under the theme “Cohesive and Responsive”.
Following the SOM, the special ASEAN SOM, the 9th meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group, and the Joint Consultative Meeting are set to take place on March 5th-6th.