Earlier this month, Vietnam held a series of the ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) and the ASEAN Joint Consultative Meeting (JCM) to prepare for the 37th ASEAN Summit and related summits.
Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of SOM Vietnam, said the host country gets ready to hold the summit with different options depending on the factual situation.
As many as 11 summits are set to take place from October 13 to October 15, including the 37th ASEAN Summit and those between the 10-member bloc and its partners. A number of meetings will also be organized on the sidelines of the summit, like Women CEOs Summit and the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ASEAN ABIS).
The 36th ASEAN Summit was held virtually in June 2020 due to restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. It focused on Covid-19 response, post-pandemic recovery, further cooperation with partner countries, the South China Sea issues and the importance of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The ASEAN Summit has been scheduled to occur semiannually since the adoption of the charter, bringing together the heads of state of member countries to discuss economic, political, security, and socio-cultural development.
The first ASEAN Summit was held in February 1976 in Bali, Indonesia when the member states expressed readiness to “develop fruitful relations” and mutually beneficial co-operation with other countries of the region.