Leaders at the 18th ASEAN-Japan Summit (Source: VNA)
Kuala Lumpur (VNA) - Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on November 22 attended the 18 th ASEAN-Japan Summit, the 17th ASEAN-Republic of Korea (RoK) Summit and the seventh ASEAN-UN Summit, which took place in the framework of the 27th ASEAN Summit and related meetings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

During the meetings, ASEAN’s partner countries highlighted the historical significance of the formation of the ASEAN Community and the adoption of the 2025 ASEAN Community Vision.

They committed their support for the ASEAN Community building process, which is building toward meeting goals set out in the vision. They also affirmed that they backed the central role played by ASEAN in the region.

Leaders looked back at relations between the group and its partners in recent years and put forward orientations to strengthen cooperation.

At the 18 th ASEAN-Japan Summit, leaders spoke highly of results of the implementation of the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation approved in 2013.

Japan is ASEAN’s third largest trade partner, with two-way trade hitting 229 billion USD in 2014. It ranks second among investors in the bloc with a total registered capital of 23.4 billion USD.

The two sides agreed to aim to double their trade and investment values by 2022, and agreed to give priority to regional connections and integration promotion, narrowing the development gap and enhancing sub-regional links by implementing the 2015 Tokyo Strategy for Mekong-Japan cooperation.

They committed to working closely to fight terrorism and transnational crimes, concurring that they would deploy relevant working plans soon. The two sides also reached a consensus on strengthened cooperation in the fields of energy, disaster management and relief, health care, information and communication technology, and people-to-people exchanges.

At the 17 th ASEAN-RoK Summit, leaders reviewed the implementation of the Action Plan for 2011-2015 and applauded the approval of the Action Plan for the next five years.

The RoK has been ASEAN’s fifth largest trade partner since 2010 and is currently the six largest investor in the group. The two sides committed to lifting two-way trade to 200 billion USD by 2020.

The two sides will bolster links in climate change adaptation, sustainable forest management, infrastructure connectivity, IT and communications, people-to-people exchanges and bridging the development gap.

They also stressed the importance of cultural ties, and agreed to a plan to set up an ASEAN culture house in Busan by 2017.

At the ASEAN-UN Summit, the delegates welcomed the approval of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

The parties highlighted the reciprocal relationship between the agenda and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 in improving the living standards of Southeast Asian residents. They pledged to consolidate and expand ASEAN-UN relations in order to maintain peace, security and prosperity in the region and strengthen the regional structure, in which ASEAN holds the central role.

Participants also condemned recent large-scale terrorist attacks, emphasising the need for intensified efforts to fight against organised transnational crime and terrorism in any forms.

ASEAN leaders said they appreciated the UN’s contributions to promoting ASEAN connectivity and regional integration in trade, transport, energy and science-technology, and to settling challenges related to environment sustainability and socio-economic inequality.

The parties agreed to intensify cooperation on food, agriculture, forestry, health, disaster risk reduction and management, disease and drug prevention, and climate change response.

During these meetings, regional and international situations attracted the interest of the participating leaders, many of whom showed their concerns about recent developments in the East Sea.

They emphasised the importance of and their commitment to maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific, ensuring security and freedom of navigation and trade in the region. They underlined that disputes should be solved by peaceful means on the basis of international law – especially the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS). They welcomed commitments from ASEAN and China to effectively and fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and work toward the early formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

At the meetings, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said he appreciated the efficient and practical development of relations between ASEAN and its partners. He called for further efforts to intensify collaboration in fields of mutual concern, like economics, trade, sustainable development, poverty reduction, climate change and disaster response.

He also stressed the need to maintain peace, security and stability in the context of new challenges.

He informed the participants of the complicated situation in the East Sea, including large-scale reef island construction and the risk of militarisation, which are deeply worrying the international community, increasing tensions, eroding trust, and threatening peace and stability in the region.

The Vietnamese leader called on partners to contribute more to maintaining peace, stability, maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom in the East Sea, supporting ASEAN’s stance of handling disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law – particularly the UNCLOS. This also includes not using or threatening to use force and committing to not pursue militarisation in the sea. In this way the involved parties could build trust, reduce tensions and prevent conflicts, strictly following the DOC and working toward the formation of the COC, he said.

On the same day, the Declaration on the Launch of Negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was approved in order to accelerate the parties’ efforts during the negotiation process.-VNA