Jakarta: Against the backdrop of the covid-19 pandemic, the 37th ASEAN Summit will take place today through video-conference. Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will preside over the opening ceremony. He will be joined online by Leaders from the other ASEAN Member States.
"Vietnam’s chairmanship of ASEAN this year has been exemplary. In spite of having to deal with its domestic covid-19 challenges and natural disasters, Vietnam has provided able leadership in keeping the region cohesive and responsive to these challenges, placing ASEAN Centrality and the peoples’ interest at the core," Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi said in a press release on Thursday.
High on the 37th ASEAN Summit agenda is the Leaders’ discussion and approval of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its Implementation Plan, which will serve as the whole-of-community exit strategy to recover and build back better from the covid-19 pandemic. In addition, there will be further discussions on the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement, which would facilitate the safe resumption of essential business travel in the region.
As ASEAN Chair, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is also expected to announce the recipient of the ASEAN Prize 2020. Launched in 2018, the ASEAN Prize aims to recognise inspiring achievements and contributions of an individual or organisation that fosters the ASEAN identity, promotes the ASEAN spirit, and champions the ASEAN way.
The ASEAN Leaders will also meet with their counterparts from ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners in a series of ASEAN Plus One summits.
Due to covid-19 pandemic, the ASEAN Leaders, under Viet Nam’s Chairmanship, has earlier met over three cyber Summits in 2020, namely the Special ASEAN Summit and Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on 14 April, and the 36th ASEAN Summit on 26 June.
Brunei Darussalam will assume the ASEAN Chairmanship for 2021.
ASEAN was founded in Bangkok, Thailand on 8 August 1967 when the five founding members – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand – signed the ASEAN Declaration. Since then, ASEAN has expanded and enlarged its membership with the inclusion of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.