The 25th ASEAN Summit and meetings between the bloc and partner countries concluded on the afternoon of November 13 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.

At the closing ceremony, Myanmar, ASEAN Chair for 2014, transferred the chairmanship for 2015 to Malaysia, whose Prime Minister Najib Razak said his country will continue working with other ASEAN members to speed up the realisation of the bloc’s targets, particularly preparing for the formation of an ASEAN Community in December 2015.

The ASEAN Chairman’s statement of the 25th ASEAN Summit reiterated the importance of maintaining peace, stability and ensuring navigation and aviation security, safety and freedom in the East Sea.

It also emphasised the principles stated in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), the Statement on ASEAN’s Six-Point Principles on the East Sea, the Joint Statement of the 15th ASEAN-China Summit on the 10th Anniversary of the DOC and the bloc’s relevant statements approved at the 24th Summit.

The ASEAN-25 Chairman’s statement welcomed encouraging results attained in the consultation on the implementation of the DOC and the agreement on joint efforts to finalise a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC) as soon as possible.

Accordingly, concerned parties agreed to enhance consultation with China on measures and mechanisms to ensure the full and effective implementation of the DOC and the soon conclusion of the COC.

The statement also voiced concern over the East Sea situation and re-affirmed joint commitments to settling disputes through peaceful measures in line with internationally recognised principles, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, not use or threat to use force, practise self-restraint, and avoid actions that complicate the situation or escalate tensions in the region.

The document also stressed the importance of the ASEAN member countries’ joint pledges to regional peace, stability, navigation safety and trust, along with the necessity to create favourable conditions for solving disputes peacefully.-VNA