A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem made important contributions to the success of the 44 th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM-44) held in Bali, Indonesia on July 19.

Vietnam ’s speeches and opinions delivered at the meeting were highly appreciated by participating countries, and focused on four main topics, namely the building of the ASEAN community and the implementation of the ASEAN Charter, ASEAN Community in the global community, regional architecture, and international and regional issues.

Deputy PM Khiem stressed that to reach the goal of building the Community in 2015, the bloc should be determined to implement commitments for each year fully and on time, from 2011 to 2015.

“The association needs to speed up the implementation of the Overall Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, continue consolidating and strengthening its apparatus and ensure the full and effective enforcement of the ASEAN Charter,” he said, adding that it should continue intensifying the popularisation of ASEAN and the community building process.

In that spirit, Vietnam supported an initiative for ASEAN countries to fly the ASEAN flag adjacent to their national flags at diplomatic agencies, starting from ASEAN Day on August 8, 2011.

The Vietnamese representative also proposed measures to further strengthen the role and contributions of ASEAN on international and regional forums and issues.

He said that ASEAN should strengthen coordination in both word and deed at international forums and organisations, including the United Nations, as well as promote the role of the ASEAN Committee to the UN, international organisations and third countries.

ASEAN needed to continue strengthening solidarity, promoting internal strength and giving the highest priority and resources to the Community building goal, as well as the region’s key issues, expanding the partnership and maintaining the central role of ASEAN in the evolving regional architecture, he said, adding that this was the foundation and inner strength for ASEAN to promote its role in the international arena.

Vietnam welcomed the drafting of an Action Declaration on the ASEAN Community in global countries by Indonesia as the current ASEAN Chair, which put forward many specific measures and actions, Khiem said.

Regarding the regional architecture, the Vietnamese Deputy PM noted that ASEAN should continue efforts to boost the formation of regional architecture through the central role of ASEAN.

Vietnam shared views that the East Asia Summit (EAS) continued to be a forum for regional leaders to engage in dialogue and cooperation on important strategic issues relating to peace, security and development in the region, he said, adding that ASEAN applauded the expansion and invitation of Russia and the US to join the EAS.

Regarding other international and regional issues, Khiem stressed that the East Asian region was witnessing rapid changes, at both micro and macro levels.

Together with this trend, ASEAN was changing comprehensively towards the building of the ASEAN Community in 2015 and promoting its key and active role in boosting cooperation for regional peace, stability and development as well as dealing with arising challenges, he said.

Mentioning non-traditional security challenges, the Vietnamese Deputy PM stated that the region should further strengthen cooperation to effective cope with challenges on natural disasters, climate change, maritime security, food and energy security, and transnational crime through forums such as ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3, EAS, ARF and ADMM+.

On the East Sea issue, he affirmed that peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea were a common concern, interest and ardent aspiration of the region as well as all countries.

He said that all countries should seriously respect the principles of the international law, especially the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

Vietnam applauded ASEAN’s efforts to complete the draft guidance on the implementation of the DOC as well as resume ASEAN-China senior officials’ meetings (SOMs) on the implementation of the DOC during these ministerial meetings.

He went on to say that ASEAN should further strengthen subregional cooperation frameworks, including the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), part of the process of Community building and ASEAN Connectivity.

The GMS should promote its sustainable development, harmoniously combine economic development demands with ensuring environmental sustainability as well as strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on transport infrastructure, trade, investment, service and tourism, Khiem said.

There should be a close cooperation and consensus among relevant countries to ensure the interests of populations and the sustainable development of all riverside countries, especially those located in the lower section of the Mekong River, he added./.