Heads of delegations pose for a photo at the 18th ASEAN Political-Security Community Council Meeting in Singapore on November 13 (Photo: VNA)

Singapore (VNA) – The ASEAN Political-Security Community Council (APSC) and the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) convened their meetings in Singapore on November 13 to review the grouping’s cooperation, and complete reports and documents to be submitted to the leaders.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh led a Vietnamese delegation to the events.

In his opening speech, Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakishnan stressed that the regional and international situation continues to see rapid and profound changes, with increasing competition, political and economic instabilities. Therefore, ASEAN should maintain solidarity, strengthen cohesion and cooperation, and continue efforts to effectively realise the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 in parallel with dealing with emerging challenges.

Regarding political-security collaboration, the APSC acknowledged the positive outcomes in the implementation of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2015, with 255 out of 290 lines of actions fulfilled or 88 percent, he said.

Many cooperation areas have seen strong progress such as diplomacy, defence, justice, cyber security, and fight against terrorism and extreme violence, thus contributing to ensuring peace, security, stability and cooperation as well as building trust in the region, he added.

Notably, the countries also spoke highly of cooperation contents that bring practical benefits to residents, including consular support for ASEAN citizens in a third country and humanitarian assistance in case of natural disasters.

On the regional and global situation, the countries reaffirmed the importance of maintain and promoting peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, and maintaining solidarity and common voice of ASEAN, while boosting the full and effective implementation of the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Addressing these meetings, Deputy PM Minh acknowledged progress made in the building of the ASEAN Community and the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 over the past time. He proposed the ASEAN countries continue to enhance solidarity and self-resilience, as well as stay persevering with traditional principles and methods while being flexible and creative in dealing with arising challenges.

Minh also noted that ASEAN needs to focus on ensuring regional peace and security, and maintaining its central role, as well as continue to reform processes and procedures, improve capacity in responding to emergencies, and increase coordination among agencies.

The Vietnamese official stressed that ASEAN should persistently pursue agreed principles, make efforts to ensure peace, security and stability in the East Sea, abide by international law, exercise self-restraint, not militarise and take actions to complicate the situation, vow to address disputes via peaceful means on the basis of international law, fully and effectively implement the DOC and soon reach the more effective COC.

The APSC and ACC meetings are part of a series of events in preparation for the 33rd ASEAN Summit and related meetings, scheduled to open on November 13’s afternoon.-VNA