Stronger coordination needed to promote ARF activities: official hinh anh 1

The ASEAN Regional Forum Senior Officials’ Meeting (ARF SOM) is held virtually on June 29.  (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung underlined the importance of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and called on other countries to closely coordinate to find ways to further enhance the effectiveness of ARF's activities in the face of emerging challenges.

He made the statement at the ARF Senior Officials’ Meeting (ARF SOM) which was held virtually on June 29.

Dung, who is the head of SOM ASEAN Vietnam and SOM ARF Vietnam, thanked countries for having worked closely with Vietnam, Chair of ARF 2020, to successfully set up the orientation for the forum development in 2020-2025 as well as systematise and standardise all working rules, process and procedures in the ARF for the first time.

Referring to the results of the ASEAN-China Special Foreign Ministers Meeting in June 2021 in Chongqing, China, the Deputy Minister welcomed the efforts of ASEAN and China to resume negotiations on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

In the context that countries must continue to focus their resources on the fight against COVID-19 and post-pandemic recovery, Dung emphasised that the parties need to continue to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), while exercising restraint, avoiding unilateral actions that erode trust, and complying with international laws and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea ( UNCLOS 1982).

Disputes should be settled through peaceful means to maintain a favourable environment for the COC negotiation process, he said.
Stronger coordination needed to promote ARF activities: official hinh anh 2

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung at the event. (Photo: VNA)

Participants at the meeting highlighted the role of cooperation and dialogue in the context of complicated international and regional situations.

They also highly appreciated the effectiveness of the ARF in promoting cooperation in building trust and preventive diplomacy between countries, especially at a time when many activities are limited due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The participants also discussed the progress of the Hanoi Action Plan II for the ARF (2020-2025). They exchanged and agreed to submit to ARF-28 the working orientation of priority cooperation groups on maritime security, information technology security and disaster relief in the new period.

Upholding the goal of maintaining peace, prosperity and development in the region, they stated that priority should be given to cooperation in the prevention, control and post-COVID-19 recovery. 

The meeting stressed the significance of fair and equal access to vaccines, demonstrating their commitment to supporting each other in this process.

Regarding the situation in the East Sea, the delegates reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea. They emphasised the principles of restraint, peaceful settlement of disputes, and respect for international laws including the UNCLOS 1982. 

The countries welcomed the efforts of ASEAN and China to resume negotiations on the COC in the East Sea. after a period of disruption due to COVID-19. Accordingly, they called for the COC to be substantive and efficient in accordance with international laws and UNCLOS 1982. 

They took note of some unilateral actions that continue to negatively affect efforts of the sides, and emphasised the full and effective implementation of the Declaration of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

The participants at the meeting welcomed ASEAN's efforts to support Myanmar to end violence and push forward negotiations among relevant parties for peace and stability./.