ASEAN foreign ministers at the conference (Photo: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) – The 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 49) released a joint communiqué in Vientiane, Laos on July 24, showing the ministers’ serious concern over recent and ongoing developments in the East Sea.

The joint communiqué also took note of the concerns expressed by some ministers on the land reclamations and escalation of activities in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region.

It reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and over - flight above the East Sea.

It further reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The ministers emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities, including land reclamation that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the East Sea.

They underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the DOC in its entirety and urged all parties to work expeditiously for the early adoption of an effective Code of Conduct (COC), including through increasing the frequency of ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Meetings and Joint Working Group Meetings on the Implementation of the DOC.-VNA