PM highlights key cooperation areas at 31st ASEAN Summit hinh anh 1Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (fourth from left) and heads of delegations (Source:VNA)
Manila (VNA)Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highlighted three key areas of ASEAN cooperation in his speech at the plenary session of the 31st ASEAN Summit held in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, on November 13. 

Accordingly, he called for determination to build a self-reliant ASEAN community that upholds common interests of citizens, develop the ASEAN Economic Community via economic connectivity and internal trade facilitation, and strengthen mutual support among member economies.

The PM suggested the bloc further uphold its central role and stature in international arena for the sake of peace, security and prosperity in the region.

Stressing the significance of ASEAN’s 50th founding anniversary, he said Vietnam is committed to building a strong ASEAN community.

On the East Sea issue, PM Phuc welcomed ministers’ consensus on stance on principles at the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM 50) held in Manila in August.

In such spirit, he asked for documents at the event to fully reflect the principles and stance featured at the joint statement of the AMM 50, including ensuring security, safety, maritime and aviation freedom in the East Sea; settling disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), fully respecting legal and diplomatic processes and seriously implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

The Vietnamese leader lauded ASEAN and China for ratifying the framework Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), adding that the effective and legally-binding COC should be negotiated in a practical and feasible way.

At the event, participating leaders agreed to sign a document, adopt 11 ones and take note of 11 others which cover issues of public concern such as workers’ rights and job opportunities, gender equality and improvement of women empowerment, youth, health matters like medicine resistance, malnutrition elimination, and business facilitation.

In the political-security pillar, they reaffirmed commitment to maintaining and promoting regional peace, security and stability as well as peacefully settling disputes, respect diplomatic and legal processes in line with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS and the DOC, towards reaching an effective COC.

In the economic pillar, they hailed member economies’ economic growth forecast of 5 percent this year, higher than 4.8 percent in 2016 and is likely to rise to 5.1 percent next year.

They stressed the need to continue boosting connectivity via facilitation of regional trade and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises amid the industrial revolution 4.0.

On social-cultural terms, member economies pledged to further promote specific actions to narrow development gap, increase connectivity, and reform administrative procedures.

About ASEAN’s ties with partners, they shared view that countries should further deepen ties with regional and global organisations, especially in trade, investment, sustainable development, connectivity, development gap narrowing and other inter-sectoral issues.

Turning to regional and global issues, leaders looked into ways to curb terrorism, extremism, trans-national crime and hotspots in the region, including the East Sea, Korean peninsula and Myanmar’s Rakhine situation.

They consented to urge support and participation of partners, particularly in mechanisms led by ASEAN such as the ASEAN 1, ASEAN 3, the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting Plus in order to deal with emerging challenges.

In the afternoon and evening the same day, they are due to attend the ASEAN-US 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit, and the ASEAN-China, ASEAN-Republic of Korea, ASEAN-Japan, ASEAN-United Nations and Mekong – Japan Summits.-VNA