Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang called upon Asian and African countries to enhance their connectivity for global peace and stability on the basis of respecting international law during his speech at the first plenary session of the Asian-African Conference, also known as the Bandung Conference, in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta on April 22.

The leader shared the difficulties and challenges currently facing many Asian and African countries, especially terrorism; armed conflicts; sovereignty disputes; intimidation; poverty; disease; climate change; energy, food and water security; and economic inequality.

He stated that Vietnam strongly supports the theme of this year’s conference “Strengthening South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prosperity”.

He appealed to the two continents to bolster cooperation to ensure peace and security as prerequisites for sustainable development. All countries need to adhere to the Ten Principles of Bandung, particularly “respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations”, “refraining from acts or threats of aggression or the use of force”, and “settlement of all international disputes by peaceful means in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations”.

He asked for the intensification of Asian-African sustainable connectivity, particularly in economics, through South-South cooperation in trade, investment, agriculture, telecommunications, labour, healthcare and education.

President Truong Tan Sang also emphasised the necessity of boosting connectivity in navigation and aviation between the continents and the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

He underlined that Vietnam continually prioritises deepening the friendship, solidarity and cooperation with Asian and African countries and thanked them for their material and spiritual support during the fight for national independence in the past and current development.

In his speech, the leader said his country is joining other ASEAN members in creating an ASEAN community by the end of this year, adding that they are striving to maintain peace, stability and maritime security, safety and freedom in the East Sea – the artery connecting the bloc with other regions, including Africa.

Vietnam consistently pursues peaceful settlement of disputes with respect to international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, seriously and fully complies with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and promotes the completion of a code of conduct in the waters, the President said.

The country has been engaging in global policy making mechanisms in a proactive and responsible manner, he noted, adding that it is taking part in UN peacekeeping activities in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

Vietnam will participate in other similar activities in the future, especially in Africa, he said.

The event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Asian-African Conference (the Bandung conference) and the 10 th anniversary of the New Strategic Asian-African Partnership brought together leaders from 47 Asian countries and 44 African countries.-VNA