Ha Noi, 15 November 2020 – Brunei Darussalam has taken the symbolic gavel for the ASEAN Chair in 2021 from Vietnam at the closing of the 37th ASEAN Summit and related summits in Hanoi on November 15. With the theme “We Care. We Prepare. We Prosper,” the bloc's next chair will continue to advance the regional recovery and community-building efforts.
Brunei Darussalam’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah revealed the next year’s focus that reflects three priority areas the country plans to promote: (1) Caring for the people and each other’s well-being, (2) Preparing for future opportunities and challenges, and (3) Prospering together as a unified region.
“Although ASEAN is a prosperous region with a growing economy and improved connectivity, the region has faced financial crises, energy shortages, natural disasters and climate change,” The Scoop quoted the sultan as saying.
“The severe challenges to global activities brought about by the [coronavirus] has also shown us that ASEAN must continue to strengthen ASEAN solidarity and centrality to overcome them,” the sultan said, adding that in today’s polarized world, ASEAN must continue to advance together.
The sultan emphasized that ASEAN was formed over fifty years ago with a vision for a better and more peaceful future based on the shared understanding that ASEAN as a whole, is greater than the sum of its parts.
“Integration, unity and solidarity, have and must continue to be, the foundation of ASEAN’s relations in advancing together,” he noted.
The Brunei government has yet to announce how ASEAN-related meetings will take place in 2021, whether they will continue to be held virtually or in-person at some point during the year.
Brunei last held the ASEAN chairmanship in 2013.
According to Article 31 in the ASEAN Charter, the Chairmanship of ASEAN shall rotate annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of member states.
A member state assuming the Chairmanship shall chair the ASEAN Summit and related summits, the ASEAN Coordinating Council, the three ASEAN Community Councils, relevant ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Bodies and senior officials, and the Committee of Permanent Representatives.
The hosting country shall chair high-ranking and ministerial meetings, promoting the bloc’s interests and prosperity, recommending initiatives and new plans, and ensuring timely response to emergencies for the sake of the bloc.
Source: Hanoi Times
Indonesia - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia organized the East
Asia Summit (EAS) video conference, where virologists and epidemiologists met
to identify practical cooperation and formulate strategic solutions to combat
COVID-19 (14/10). This International Conference was also attended by economists
and policymakers from 10 ASEAN countries and 8 EAS participating countries
(PRC, the US, India, Russia, Australia, Japan, ROK, New Zealand), to discuss
efforts to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerate the recovery of its
Conference, initiated by Indonesia in collaboration with the ASEAN Chair,
Vietnam, aimed to bring together international virologists and pandemic experts
to anticipate and share practical experiences in overcoming this pandemic in
their respective countries, including efforts to recover the economy in the
International Conference discussed not only strategies for utilizing
technological advances in the health sector, especially (for) diagnostics,
capacity building for digital-based testing, tracing, and isolation that can
accelerate the process of mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but also
practical solutions to grow the economy during a pandemic.
produced an agreement to encourage the strengthening of an increasingly
integrated public health system between the EAS participating countries, as
well as synergy and cooperation between international health experts and
virologists with the government at the national level to build the regional
health security and health resilience.
Countries such as
the United States, the People's Republic of China, Russia, and Australia have
shown appreciation for Indonesia's initiative to encourage comprehensive and
practical cooperation synergies in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in a
The results of
this meeting are expected to be a solution recommendation for the Leaders of
the East Asia Summit Participating Countries, based on the views and thoughts
of experts and policymakers to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in a more
systematic, practical, and effective manner.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (kemlu.go.id)
On 4 November
2019, H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of
Thailand officially handed over the ASEAN Chairmanship to H.E. Mr. Nguyen Xuan
Phuc, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. Viet Nam’s
Chairmanship of ASEAN will begin on 1 January 2020.
PM Phuc noted
Vietnam has chosen “Cohesive and Responsive” as the theme for the ASEAN Year
2020. He said 2020 will mark five years since the formation of the ASEAN
Community. While efforts to boost regional connectivity and build the Community
are being enhanced, and in the face of swift and complex developments in the
region and the world, the capability of sustainable cohesiveness is all the
more important to ASEAN.
In 2020, Vietnam
wishes to focus on fostering the bloc’s sustainable cohesiveness through
consolidating solidarity and unity, increasing economic connectivity, further
intensifying the values and identities of the ASEAN Community, improving the
efficiency of ASEAN’s apparatus, and stepping up relations with the bloc’s
partners in the global community, the PM affirmed.
sustainable cohesiveness, the ASEAN Community can promote its active and
effective responsiveness to opportunities and challenges, including the strong
development of science-technology, changes in global and regional economies,
and transnational challenges that are affecting the stable and sustainable
development of countries and people’s lives, according to him.
PM Phuc said
cohesiveness and responsiveness are greatly complementary to each other, adding
that a cohesive and developed community needs to increase its responsiveness to
external factors and, in return, responsiveness can only be attained if ASEAN
is a strongly cohesive bloc.
forward to the active support and assistance from other ASEAN members and
partners to realise the spirit of the theme of the ASEAN Year 2020, he
speech, the logo for the ASEAN Year 2020 was debuted, and a short video
introducing the chairmanship of Vietnam screened at the ceremony.
On 15 November 2018, H.E. Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore, ASEAN Chairman of 2018, handed officially the ASEAN Chairmanship of 2019 to H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, at the end of the Closing Ceremony of the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in Singapore.
The Prime Minister of Thailand announced the theme of Thailand's Chairmanship in 2019 as Advancing Partnership for Sustainability.
The Prime Minister also unveiled Thailand’s logo for the ASEAN Chairmanship which is inspired from Phuang Malai, or flower garland, which is commonly used in Thailand to welcome and honour our guests. Flowers that are put together and arranged into a circle shape, represent the people of the ASEAN Community and their collective cooperation to drive forward together the ASEAN Community. Ten tassels hanging from the Malai symbolise the ten ASEAN Member States. They collectively form the shape of an upward arrow, representing their striving together in Advancing Partnership for Sustainability, which is the theme of Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship, towards a people-centered ASEAN Community, that leaves no one behind and looks to the future. The logos theme colour is inspired by the colour of purple mangosteen, Thailand’s Queen of Fruits.
The Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, as the ASEAN National Secretariat of Thailand, together with the Faculty of Decorative Arts, Silpakorn University, and network universities, organised the ASEAN Chairmanship Logo Competition during June to September 2018. The competition specified as a requirement that the design submitted must reflect the theme of Thailand's ASEAN Chairmanship as well as a reflection of Thai culture in a contemporary manner. The winning design was chosen by the Prime Minister as Chair of the National Committee on the Preparations for Thailand's ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019.
As host, Thailand will use the logo in all of the ASEAN meetings, at all levels, as well as in its promotional media and various activities to raise awareness of ASEAN throughout the year starting from 1 January 2019.
Original publication date: 21 November 2018
November 2017 – In celebration of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, the
Ambassadors of the 18 East Asia Summit (EAS) participating countries in
Jakarta, collectively referred to as the East Asia Summit Ambassadors’ Meeting
in Jakarta (EAMJ), planted mangrove seedlings at the Taman Wisata Alam Angke
Kapuk (Ecotourism Mangrove Park) in North Jakarta. The activity was jointly organized by the
Permanent Mission of the Philippines to ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat.
H.E. Elizabeth P.
Buensuceso, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN and Chair of
the EAMJ, led the mangrove planting and was joined by over 100 representatives
from the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), Ministry of
Environment and Forestry of Indonesia, Nature Conservation Agency of Jakarta
and volunteers from the ASEAN Youth Organisation. The event reiterated EAS
countries’ commitment to the global environmental agenda through the
protection, conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity and natural
resources, in line with the ASEAN Vision 2025 and the Sustainable Development
In her remarks,
Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso, stressed the importance of the EAS as a
Leaders-led, ASEAN-centered forum which addresses the major challenges,
including environmental degradation, that confront the region. The EAMJ, she emphasized, is tasked to see to
it that Leaders’ statements are translated into action, and environmental
awareness through the mangrove planting event is one such on-ground example.
Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for Socio-Cultural
Community (ASCC) highlighted that ASEAN is home to one-third of the world’s
mangrove forests and expressed the hope that the event will “raise the
awareness of the peoples in the region on the importance of mangrove ecosystems
and the need for collective action to conserve it in order to contribute to
climate change mitigation and disaster risk reduction, for a low carbon,
disaster resilient region.”
In his remarks,
Dr. Hillman Nugroho, Director-General of the Watershed and Forest Directorate
of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MOEF), expressed his
appreciation to the EAMJ on their initiative to promote mangrove ecosystem
rehabilitation and noted that it “reflects the growing awareness of the
importance of mangrove ecosystems as critical for people’s well-being.” He also shared that the initiative is very
much in line with President Widodo’s call for every individual to plant 25
trees in their life.
Prior to the
mangrove planting, Executive Director Roberto Oliva delivered a compelling
presentation that further highlighted the importance of mangrove forests, not
only for the ASEAN region, but also for the global environment.
The EAS is a
regional leaders’ forum for dialogue and cooperation on broad strategic,
political, and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of
promoting peace, stability, and economic prosperity in East Asia. The 18 EAS
participating countries are the ten ASEAN Member States, Australia, the
People’s Republic of China, the Republic of India, Japan, New Zealand, the
Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America.