Leaders of ASEAN member countries and the association’s partners gathered in Phnom Penh on November 20 for the 7 th East Asia Summit (EAS).

At the summit, participants highlighted important strategic issues related to peace and stability in the region.

They reviewed and gave directions for EAS’s future operation and cooperation in priority fields including energy, finance, disaster management, education, infectious diseases, and ASEAN connectivity.

Regarding the orientations of EAS, the leaders affirmed that EAS is an important component of the regional architecture. Its operation should be based on the goals and principles stated in the 2005 Kuala Lumpur Declaration and the 2010 Hanoi Declaration.

They supported the promotion of ASEAN’s key role in EAS, while encouraging the association’s partners to engage in regional cooperation and further develop EAS.

The leaders applauded the Myanmar Government’s efforts to foster national reconciliation and regional integration, while supporting the removal of the economic embargo to the country. They expressed their support for a peaceful, stable and nuclear weapon free Korean Peninsula and the prompt resumption of the six-party negotiation.

Concerning the East Sea, many countries underscored the importance of ensuring peace, stability and maritime security, solving disputes through peaceful means and international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), as well as the effective implementation of the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), ASEAN’s Six-Point Principle, and the building of the Code of Conducts in the East Sea (COC) in the near future.

Addressing the summit, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung valued the central role of ASEAN and applauded the progress of EAS cooperation during the past years, particularly in priority sectors including energy, finance, disaster management, education, infectious diseases, and ASEAN connectivity.

To further promote the achievements, the PM suggested that in the future, EAS should focus on cooperation in priority issues such as ensuring the function of EAS as a forum for leaders to discuss issues of strategic importance to the region in politics, security and development cooperation.

He also highlighted EAS’s role in building common frameworks and standards in the region to forge peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia .

Speaking at the EAS’s retreat session, Dung emphasised the necessity of further promoting maritime security - a common concern and interest to the region and the world as a whole.

He lauded the joint efforts for peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea , while calling for countries to support ASEAN and China in fully implementing DOC and their Joint Statement on the 10 th anniversary of DOC, which will lead to COC.

He also asked the countries to support ASEAN to implement the Six-Point Principle on the East Sea in order to ensure the settling of disputes through peaceful methods based on international law and the 1982 UNCLOS, including respecting exclusive economic zones and continental shelves of coastal states for peace, stability, maritime security and safety and prosperity in the region.

The event concluded with the leaders approving the EAS Development Initiative, an EAS statement on drug-resistant malaria prevention, and the official launch of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations.-VNA