ASEAN countries welcome Vietnam’s initiatives to enhance cooperation hinh anh 1Senior officials of the ASEAN member states at the Prep-SOM on November 1 (Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Senior officials of the ASEAN member states expressed unanimity for Vietnam’s initiatives to promote political-security cooperation within the ASEAN bloc in 2020 at the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Preparatory Meeting (Prep-SOM) in Bangkok on November 1.

The initiatives include conducting a mid-term review of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025, consolidating the ASEAN Regional Forum, and enhancing the role of the ASEAN Maritime Forum in coordinating sea cooperative activities in the region.

The Prep-SOM, chaired by Permanent Secretary of the Thai Foreign Ministry Busaya Mathelin, aimed to review preparation for the 35th ASEAN Summit and related summits, comprising working programmes, agenda and more than 40 documents expected to be submitted to high-ranking leaders for approval.

On the occasion, Thailand looked back at the implementation of priorities and major initiatives during 2019, the year it holds the ASEAN Chair, such as an initiative to develop ASEAN human resources, and build Complementarities between the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Participants at the meeting discussed in particular issues related to the cooperation between ASEAN and its dialogue partners, such as preparation for the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit in November 2019, the possibility of organizing an annual ASEAN-Australia Summit since 2020, and promoting the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and negotiations for the Code of Conduct in the waters between ASEAN and China.

In the afternoon of the same day, the Preparatory Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting deliberated on the finalization of negotiations of the RCEP. This proposed free trade agreement comprises the ten ASEAN Member States and its six free trade agreement partners outside the region: China, Japan, India, Republic of Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.

The 35th ASEAN Summit and related Summits are taking place in Bangkok and Nonthaburi from November 2-4./.