Selangor Journal

AFF 2024 to discuss new initiatives on Asean’s future vision

HANOI, April 22 — The Asean Future Forum 2024 (AFF 2024), to take place in Hanoi, Vietnam tomorrow, is expected to create a platform for stakeholders to contribute ideas and initiatives on Asean’s future vision, said Vietnamese Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Đỗ Hùng Việt.

Vietnam News Agency (VNA) quoted him as saying that government leaders and ministers from Asean countries are scheduled to deliver speeches, with nearly 400 delegates registered to take part in the forum.

They include Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, Laotian Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, Brunei Foreign Affairs Minister Erywan Yusof, and Asean Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn.

Đỗ added that United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will send pre-recorded messages to the forum.

Many leading regional and international scholars, including former Indonesian foreign affairs minister Marty Natalegawa and former Singapore foreign affairs minister George Yeo, have also confirmed their attendance.

“This is a forum exclusively for Asean, and for its people, where all stakeholders will share new initiatives to help Asean leaders devise strategies and visions for the group in the coming time, helping to bring practical benefits to people,” he said in an interview.

Furthermore, a summary of opinions will be raised during the forum and sent to Asean high-ranking leaders through official channels.

The bloc’s proposals are also expected to be forwarded to the UN as one of its contributions to preparations for the UN Summit of the Future in September.

In addition to plenary sessions, Đỗ said there would be a business session on optimising development opportunities amidst the current digital transformation.

This session will be co-chaired by Vietnam’s Prime Minister Chính and his Lao counterpart Sonexay, with the participation of experts and enterprises from Vietnam, Asean, and partner countries.

“The session will offer a chance for businesses to look into advantages, difficulties and opportunities in the context of digital transformation and build new networks,” he said.

Đỗ said rapid, sustainable and people-centred development is an issue of common concern of the world and all Asean countries.

“This is a basic and essential need of Asean given many economic difficulties as well as non-traditional security challenges such as climate change, natural disasters or epidemics, and supply chain disruptions,” he emphasised.

To this end, the forum will examine how to harmonise development, environmental protection, and climate change response, ensure social security, and place people at the centre of all development-related decisions of each country and the region as a whole.

Đỗ said as one of the biggest multilateral diplomatic events hosted by Vietnam this year, the forum once again demonstrates Vietnam’s desire to contribute more to regional cooperation and promote its core role in regional and international collaboration.

— Bernama

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