ASEAN defence chiefs emphasise peace in East Sea hinh anh 1Heads of delegations signed a joint statement of ACDFIM-13 (Photo: VNA)
Vientiane (VNA)ASEAN defence chiefs stressed the need for building a peaceful environment in the East Sea to promote stability, economic growth and prosperity in the region at the closing ceremony of the 13th ASEAN Chiefs of Defence Forces Informal Meeting (ACDFIM – 13) in Vientiane, Laos, on March 14.

Participants said non-traditional security challenges such as natural disasters, climate change, cross-border crime, human and drug trafficking, cyber and navigation security, and terrorism have continued to threaten regional peace, stability, security and prosperity.

To deal with them, it is necessary to enhance defence cooperation among ASEAN member states in the principle of respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country.

The defence chiefs called on the involved parties to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and quickly reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Speaking at the function, General Do Ba Ty, Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army and Deputy Defence Minister, said ASEAN is facing a number of challenges such as terrorism, racial conflicts, natural disasters, and illegal actions against international law - including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

He proposed countries further exchange information and experience to cope with the challenges, stressing that Vietnam condemns terror attacks under any form and it is willing to cooperate with other nations to deal the issue based on the respect for one another’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The head of the Vietnamese delegation also suggested increasing activities to build trust between law enforcement forces at sea and abiding by international law, especially the UNCLOS 1982 and the DOC.

He asked these forces to support fishermen in distress and offer humanitarian treatment for them on the ground of international law and friendship between countries.

The Vietnam People’s Army has actively and proactively engaged in ASEAN’s activities such as sending forces to join peacekeeping operations and humanitarian mine clearance in India, and participating in the exercise of humanitarian aid and natural disaster relief within the ASEAN Regional Forum in Malaysia and the International Fleet Review in India, Ty said.

He noted that Vietnam will dispatch forces to attend “Komodo”, the multilateral naval exercise in Indonesia, and also attend a navigation security and an anti-corruption exercise in Brunei and Singapore.

At the end of the conference, heads of delegations signed a joint statement of ACDFIM-13, which mentions numerous regional security issues, including the necessity of implementing fully and effectively the DOC and the early completion of the COC to maintain peace in the East Sea.-VNA