ASEAN senior officials gathered in Bali, Indonesia, on July 18 for their ASEAN SOM and the meeting of the Commission for the Treaty on the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ).

Assistant to Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh led a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation to the meeting.

They discussed and agreed on contents in preparation for the 44th ASEAN Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 44), the 18th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF 18) and other related meetings, as well as solutions for the signing of SEANWFZ.

ASEAN senior officials also discussed and agreed with a series of important contents relating to the East Sea issue, progress on the building of the ASEAN Community on three pillars, ASEAN connectivity and the implementation of the ASEAN Charter, and the implementation of establishing the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation.

They reviewed developments in relations between ASEAN and partners and the ASEAN leaders’ draft Statement on the ASEAN Community in a Global Community of Nations, the comprehensive partnership between ASEAN and the European Union as well as contents for sixth East Asia Summit (EAS 6).

After exchanging views on the East Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), ASEAN officials agreed with the content guiding the execution of the DOC, to discuss with China the affirmation that the DOC was an important document for peace and stability on the East Sea.

Regarding SEANWFZ, participants agreed that ASEAN and five nuclear powers, namely the UK, China, France, Russia and the US, will resume unofficial direct talks scheduled for next August in Geneva, Switzerland, after the process was interrupted for nearly a decade. One of the talks’ targets was to seek solutions for the US to sign to the SEANWFZ.

The SEANWFZ forces its members not to develop, produce, receive, possess or control any kind of nuclear weapons, as well as not allow the holding or transport of nuclear weapons in any form./.