ASEAN Foreign Ministers have focused their discussions on the bloc’s priorities and highlighted the important role of the effective implementation of the ASEAN Connectivity Blueprint in the process of building the Community and creating a basis for expanding connectivity in East Asia.

At their 44 th meeting (AMM 44) in Bali, Indonesia, on July 19, the FMs discussed and agreed with many important issues relating to increasing connectivity, cooperation, solidarity and capacity of the group, advancing towards the goal of building up the ASEAN Community of peace, stability, thriving, for people and democracy by 2015.

They also discussed how to boost cooperation between ASEAN and its partners to ensure peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region and the world at large.

To raise awareness of ASEAN and the process of building the Community, the ministers agreed that ASEAN member countries will fly the ASEAN flag by their national flags at all their diplomatic representative agencies as of “ASEAN Day” on August 8, 2011.

They also agreed to accelerate the ASEAN integration on the basis of promoting the construction of the three pillars of politics-security, economics and socio-culture.

Discussing cooperation with partners and the evolving regional architecture, the ministers agreed that ASEAN needs to continue to push up the construction of the regional architecture with it playing the core role and basing on regional cooperation mechanism such as ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3, EAS, ARF, ADMM+ in order to make more efficient contributions to peace, stability, security and development in the region.

Regarding the East Sea, the ministers expressed their concern about recent complicated cases, stressing the importance of ensuring peace, stability, security and maritime safety, settling disputes between related parties by peaceful measures, and respecting principles of international laws, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) and the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the East Sea (DOC).

They affirmed the importance of booting an environment of peace, amity and concord on the East Sea between ASEAN and China to ensure peace, stability, economic growth and prosperity in the region.

They emphasised that DOC is an important collective commitment between ASEAN member countries and China to peacefully solve disputes in the region in accordance with the UNCLOS, and called all parties to respect the maritime and air freedom on the East Sea under regulations of principles admitted by international laws.

The Ministers also discussed the completion of guidance to implement DOC for the two sides to enter into a new stage, including fundamental contents of the Code of the Conduct on the East Sea (COC)./.