Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (front, center) attends the plenary session (Photo: VNA)
Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - Developments with increasing complication in the East Sea pose one of the most serious security challenges to ASEAN, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said while addressing a plenary session of the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on November 21.

He noted that the large-scale reclamation and construction of islands, rocks and other unilateral activities in the East Sea have triggered serious implications, escalated tension, eroded trust, caused deep concerns in the international community, likely led to risks of militarisation and conflicts at sea, and threatened peace and stability in the region.

The guarantee of peace, stability, security, navigation and aviation safety and security in the East Sea is the common interest and responsibility of ASEAN as well as the insiders and outsiders, he said.

He called on the parties involved to address disputes via peaceful means and international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), avoid using or threatening to use force, and restrain from actions to complicate the situation, while taking measures to build trust, reduce tension and prevent conflicts via ASEAN mechanisms.

He suggested increasing exchanges with China to push the country to implement fully and effectively the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and forge ahead with the adoption of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The complicated developments in the East Sea caught deep concerns of other ASEAN leaders at the session, who stressed the need to use peaceful measures to handle disputes by international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully implementing DOC and forging ahead the formation of COC. The leaders agreed to bring into full play ASEAN’s role in settling the issue.

At the session, PM Nguyen Tan Dung also highlighted the establishment of the ASEAN Community at the end of this year as a historical event reflecting the common perception and high resolution of the ASEAN member states in increasing connectivity and cooperation to a new height.

It also demonstrates the strong maturity, solidarity, and unity of the bloc after 48 years of development, he said, adding that adoption of the 2025 ASEAN Community Vision and master plans at the summit will facilitate the bloc’s broader connectivity.

The PM called on the ASEAN member countries to continually strengthen solidarity to cope with an array of challenges in and out of the bloc.

He underlined ASEAN priorities to implementing effectively the 2025 ASEAN Community Vision and master plans on separate pillars and promoting the central role of the association in handling peace, security and development challenges in the region.

The ASEAN leaders shared the view that the building of the ASEAN Community is a non-stop process so the bloc needs to continue intensifying its connectivity and bring it to the next level.

Accordingly, they adopted the 2025 ASEAN Community Vision, which provide orientations as well as the foundation and framework for ASEAN’s connectivity in the next decade.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and other ASEAN leaders witnessed the signing of the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) at the end of the plenary session.

The signing of the statement to establish the ASEAN Community 2015 and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 is slated for November 22 in presence of ASEAN dialogue partners and the UN Secretary General.-VNA