The 21st ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF-21) on August 10 issued a Chairman’s Statement, which again highlighted the importance of ARF as a political and security forum for boosting regional peace, stability and prosperity through dialogue and cooperation.

The statement expressed backing for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)’s central role in orienting cooperation process of ARF and participating countries, while reaffirming their commitment to implementing the Hanoi Plan of Action to implement the ARF Vision Statement by 2020.

The ministers of ASEAN countries and representatives from participating countries are satisfied with the dialogue process, cooperation and achievements of the ARF, which have contributed to consolidating trust between participating countries, according to the statement.

It took note that regional countries should continue to build mutual trust, and Confidence Building Measures (CBM) should be maintained throughout the ARF process.

The document also highlighted regional and international issues discussed at the forum, including the current situation in the Korean Peninsula, Ukraine and the Middle East, and nuclear and other non-traditional challenges.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the statement again confirmed the importance of fostering peace, stability, maritime security and safety, free trade, and freedom of aviation and navigation.

It emphasized the need to solve disputes by peaceful means on the basis of universally-acknowledged principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The statement called on parties involved to restrain themselves and avoid making actions that can complicate the situation, at the same time underlined the need to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and actively work toward an early formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea in order to better ensure peace, stability, security and prosperity in the region.-VNA