ASEAN Day 2020 successfully held in Washington D.C.


In the evening of 20 August 2020, H.E. Ha Kim Ngoc, Ambassador of Viet Nam to the United States, hosted the virtual celebration of the 53rd anniversary of the founding of the Association of Southeast Asia (ASEAN), in coordination with other ASEAN Embassies in Washington D.C.


Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell and Congressman Ted Yoho (Republican-Florida), Ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Asia-Pacific and Nonproliferation joined the event as guests of honor. Attendees of  the virtual event included all ASEAN Ambassadors and diplomats, representatives from the U.S. Administration, Congress, businesses, academia, the press and NGOs. The Embassy also received congratulatory messages from American friends, Diplomatic Corps and international organizations.



The celebration started with a video message from Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the founding of the organization and 25th anniversary of Viet Nam’s membership in ASEAN. Prime Minister Phuc underlined that ASEAN has become a Community united in friendship, neighborliness and cooperation, mutual respect and understanding. ASEAN is now a driver of cooperation and dialogue for peace, security, stability and development in the Asia-Pacific and the world. To further move ahead, Prime Minister stressed, all ASEAN member states need to continue to uphold the fundamental principles of ASEAN, international law and the spirit of regional and multilateral cooperation.  He also expressed his appreciation to the other ASEAN member states and international partners for their assistance to Viet Nam in the first half of its chairmanship.



Speaking at the event on behalf of ASEAN Ambassadors, Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc (photo above) underlined that the 53rd anniversary of ASEAN inception coincided with the 5th anniversary of ASEAN Community establishment with the latter’s encouraging achievements. Along its journey of development, ASEAN has been supported by its partners, particularly the United States, to sustain a peaceful, stable, secure and prosperous Indo-Asia-Pacific. Viet Nam, along with other ASEAN countries, highly values the cooperation with partners, particularly in response to Covid-19 with scientific research and development of vaccines and medicines, maintenance of supply chains, and support for a sustained economic recovery. Ambassador Ngoc also stressed that Viet Nam, as an ASEAN Chair, has been working closely with other ASEAN members to strengthen the unity and solidary of ASEAN and cooperation with its partners. Viet Nam has confidence in a bright future of the U.S.-ASEAN partnership and looks forward to the constructive engagement of the U.S. with ASEAN for the maintenance of peace, stability, security, cooperation, and respect for international law and rule-based order in the region.



In his keynote speech, Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell (photo above) conveyed a congratulatory message from Secretary of State Pompeo, acknowledging that ASEAN has fostered a more stable, prosperous, and peaceful region and that ASEAN, along with ASEAN-led mechanisms, are the heart of the U.S. vision for the Indo-Pacific. The U.S. and ASEAN, Assistant Secretary Stilwell underlined, share similar principles in the former’s Vision and the latter’s Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, such as ASEAN Centrality, respect for sovereignty, rule of law and transparency. The U.S. will continue to work closely with ASEAN in fostering U.S.-ASEAN Strategic Partnership. Specifically, in maritime cooperation, the U.S. will continue to support ASEAN in maritime capacity building as the South China Sea serves as indispensible resources for all countries and should be appropriately shared. Assistant Secretary Stilwell highlighted the upgrading of Lower Mekong Initiative into Mekong-U.S.  Partnership and looks forward to building an effective U.S.-ASEAN cooperation mechanism in public health. He highly valued Viet Nam’s achievements as the ASEAN Chair in the first half of the mission and had confidence in further success achieved by the grouping.



Sharing the views from Assistant Secretary Stilwell, Congressman Ted Yoho (photo above) emphasized the importance of ASEAN in today’s world and congratulated Viet Nam’s chairmanship this year. He stressed that ASEAN is a great partner in rebalancing the supply chains and manufacturing. The U.S. stands ready to work with ASEAN and its member states to promote economic cooperation, public health, and poverty alleviation, particularly in addressing the challenges posed by Covid-19.


During the virtual event, the participants also enjoyed the art performance featuring ASEAN traditional dances and ‘We are Unity’- an ASEAN song to fight Covid-19.


ASEAN Day is an annual event in Washington D.C., that confirms ASEAN’s spirit of unity and solidarity and promotes cooperation between ASEAN and external partners, particularly ASEAN – U.S. partnership./.