FM Pham Binh Minh highlights ASEAN’s central role in New York hinh anh 1​FM Pham Binh Minh (centre, first line) attends a meeting between ASEAN FMs and the UN Secretary General and President of the UN General Assembly (Source: VNA) 
New York (VNA) – Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has underscored the need for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to strengthen its intra-bloc unity and central role in regional and international issues, especially those regarding peace, stability and development.

Addressing the Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (IAMM) which took place on the fringes of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 23, Minh stressed the significance of maintaining peace, stability, security, overflight and maritime security and safety in the East Sea to regional peace and stability.

He called on concerned parties to continue with principles of peaceful settlement of disputes, in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and full respect for diplomatic and legal processes.

ASEAN and China should make greater efforts to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and build a pragmatic and legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Minh’s views were shared by other ASEAN FMs who consented to propose the ASEAN-China Summit scheduled for November this year issue an official statement to begin negotiations of the COC.

The FMs talked about the development of the ASEAN Community and preparations for the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings slated for early November 2017 in the Philippines.

The ministers agreed to fast-track the realisation of commitments on the community’s three pillars of politics-security, economy, and culture-society.

They also expressed deep concern over the complex development on the Korean Peninsula as well as the escalating violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

ASEAN condemns and appeals to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to promptly stop its nuclear weapon tests and strictly abide by relevant resolutions issued by the UN Security Council, they said.

The ministers called on the DPRK to return to the negotiating table in order to seek long-term and inclusive solutions to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula.

The same day, the ASEAN FMs had a meeting with the UN Secretary General and the President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, where they agreed to enhance the ASEAN-UN cooperation in inter-sectoral areas, especially those relating to the realisation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the 2030 UN Agenda on Sustainable Development.

Earlier, Minh and the Colombian FM co-hosted a meeting between the ASEAN FMs and their counterparts from the Pacific Alliance.

Minh suggested the two sides step up their cooperation in economy, trade, investment, education, people-to-people exchange, science-technology and sustainable development, thus creating a momentum to boost their pragmatic ties.

Also on September 23, Deputy Prime Minister and FM Minh met with the Deputy PM and FM of Nepal and FMs of Venezuela and Ivory Coast to discuss measures to advance bilateral relations and increase coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums, especially the UN.-VNA