The annual Meeting of the Commission for the Treaty on the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) was held in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh on July 8.

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh attended the event, which was convened on the sidelines of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM).

At the meeting, regional top diplomats reviewed the implementation of the Plan of Action to strengthen the SEANWEFZ Treaty during the 2007-2012 period.

ASEAN Foreign Ministers applauded major outcomes in the four key areas, including the finalisation of negotiations with recognised nuclear-weapon states on their participation in the Protocol of the SEANWFZ Treaty, the enhancement of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, integration of nuclear safety into cooperation between ASEAN and its partners such as Russia, the US and Japan as well as a number of other nuclear free zones across the world, and the promotion of SEANWFZ’s role and contributions at multilateral nuclear security and safety forums.

ASEAN member countries praised Vietnam’s accession to the Convention on Nuclear Safety in 2010, Indonesia’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 2011 and Cambodia ’s participation in the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and the Convention on Nuclear Safety.

The ASEAN ministers highlighted SEANWFZ as the regional grouping’s important tool to maintain peace, security and nuclear weapon free status in the region.

They stressed the need for ASEAN member countries to uphold SEANWFZ’s values and others cooperative tools such as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), to further contribute to ASEAN’s common goal for peace, security, stability, cooperation and development in the region.

On the same day, ASEAN Foreign Ministers also discussed the building the ASEAN Community and the implementation of the ASEAN Charter and the TAC.

Leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations or ASEAN signed the SEANWFZ Treaty in Bangkok, Thailand, in December 1995 and it took effect two years later.-VNA