Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Manila (VNA) – ASEAN senior officials met in Manila, the Philippines on May 22 to discuss measures to realise outcomes of the 30th ASEAN Summit in April and prepare for the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting scheduled for August in the Philippines.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of the Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) ASEAN Vietnam, attended the meetings.

Participants agreed on specific measures to effectively take actions in the ASEAN Community Blueprints 2025, including pooling the full and effective involvement of specialised agencies.

They underscored the need to strengthen apparatus and streamline operations to effectively fulfill such goals. They discussed preparations for the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN, and considered external countries’ proposals to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) and agenda for the meeting of the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty Executive Committee’s Working Group.

In external relations, countries reaffirmed determination to strengthen ties with partners on the basis of respect to basic principles of ASEAN and uphold the ASEAN Community’s central role.

They reviewed specific cooperation activities with dialogue partners including China, the US, Russia, India, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Canada and the EU, based on guidelines of the 29th ASEAN Summit and related meetings in September 2016, as well as agreed on basic orientations in the implementation of the Working Plan on improving ASEAN’s central role.

On the East Sea issue, they looked into measures to realise outcomes of the ASEAN-China Consultation on the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

The ASEAN SOM with partners within the framework of the ASEAN 3, the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum and the Lower Mekong Initiative are slated for May 23-24.-VNA