ASEAN, Canada hold 18th annual dialogue hinh anh 1The 18th dialogue between ASEAN and Canada takes place virtually on July 13 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The 18th dialogue between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Canada took place virtually on July 13, focusing on sketching out orientations for cooperation between the two sides, discussing regional and international issues of mutual concern, and preparing for the ASEAN-Canada Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in this August.

At the event, ASEAN members and Canada agreed to coordinate closely and actively in implementing the Action Plan for the 2021-2025 period, while promoting collaboration in economic, trade and investment, maintaining the supply chains and prioritising the launching of negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement in 2021.

Both sides will continue their cooperation programmes in education and training and high-quality human resource developing such as the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) program, while enhancing cooperation in sustainable development and innovation achievement application.

Regarding regional and international situation, participants underlined the significance of maintaining peace, security and stability in the region, especially amid the current difficult circumstances.

Canada supports the ASEAN in promoting its role in strengthening cooperation, dialogue and trust-building in the region, upholding international law, building a law-based regional architecture, settling disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and completing the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

On Myanmar issue, Canada welcomed the outcomes of the ASEAN leaders’ meeting on April 24 and backed the role of ASEAN in encouraging dialogue and reconciliation, and assisting Myanmar in seeking solutions to stabilise the situation.

Representatives of Vietnam underlined that in the current challenging period, all countries should further strengthen cooperation, thus effectively responding to challenges and difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as strategic instabilities, thus promoting sustainable recovery and ensuring peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Vietnam re-affirmed the consistent principled stance of the ASEAN on the East Sea issue, stressing that ASEAN and Canada should work closely together to protect a regional environment of peace and stability, uphold international law, strengthen trust, encourage restraint and avoidance of militarization as well as the settlement of disputes on the foundation of international law, including the UNCLOS 1982.

Vietnam also underlined the importance of the full and effective implementation of the DOC and the building of an effective and efficient COC./.