ASEAN needs to continue to unite and bring into full play its role to ensure peace, security and development in the region, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has said.

Speaking at the 22nd ASEAN Summit in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, Dung emphasised these efforts are also necessary to enhance cooperation to effectively cope with current challenges such as the global economic crisis, natural disasters, climate change, maritime security and epidemics.

In order to fulfil the targets, ASEAN should make the best use of cooperation tools and mechanisms such as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), the Declaration on the East Asia Summit on principles for mutually beneficial relations, the ASEAN Regional Forum and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, he said.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the PM proposed the ten-member association raise their united voice for peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea.

He noted the effective implementation of commitments and agreements such as the Declaration on Six-point Principles on the East Sea, and the ASEAN-China joint statement on the 10 th anniversary of the DOC signing, the settlement of disputes by peaceful measures, the respect of international law - especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) - and the early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Affirming Vietnam ’s support for Thailand as the coordinator in the ASEAN and China dialogue relations, Dung underlined that the two sides need to accelerate negotiations to finalise the COC on the occasion of the 10 th anniversary of the ASEAN-China partnership.

The leader praised Brunei as the 2013 ASEAN Chair and highlighted the group’s priorities, including the formation of the ASEAN Community by 2015 and the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community based on three pillars, namely ASEAN Political-Security, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Social-Cultural Community.

Dung’s views were shared by other ASEAN leaders, who agreed that the East Sea issue is a matter of concern of the entire association as it relates to peace and security in the region.

On this occasion, participating countries raised their concern over the tension in the Korean peninsula, and called on relevant parties to restrain for a peaceful, stable and nuclear-weapon-free peninsula.

They agreed to promote ASEAN’s central role in the evolving regional architecture and enhance cooperation with partners such as Japan, China, India, the US, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the EU.

The partners are encouraged to strengthen cooperation and contribute to peace, security, stability and trust building and development in the region.

Themed “Our People, Our Future Together”, the event is the first ASEAN summit this year under the chairmanship of Brunei.-VNA