ASEAN 2020:  Cohesive and Responsive

Cohesive and Responsive, the theme of Viet Nam’s ASEAN Chairmanship for 2020, has been tested by the COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the region and the world. Conceptualised prior to the outbreak, the goal of the ASEAN Chair–enhancing cohesiveness–was intended to further ASEAN unity and solidarity, increase economic integration, deepen ASEAN awareness and identity, and sustain its work toward a people-centred Community.

On the bright side, the pandemic has given ASEAN Member States (AMS) an opportunity to further enhance solidarity and unity, specifically through combatting the pandemic, pursuing economic integration amid fall out from the disease’s spread, and reinforcing the ASEAN Community’s people-centred approach, since ASEAN’s peoples are most directly affected.