Lieutenant General Vu Chien Thang, Director of the Foreign Relations Department under the Ministry of National Defence (Photo: VNA)

Clark (VNA)
– Vietnam has actively partaken in the 11th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and the fourth ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) which freshly concluded in Clark city of the Philippines.

Lieutenant General Vu Chien Thang, Director of the Foreign Relations Department under the Ministry of National Defence, made the remark in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA)’s reporter.

Thang said the Vietnamese delegation led by Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich participated in all sessions within the meetings, where he delivered a speech highlighting the message of building and enhancing strategic trust.

In the speech, the minister affirmed that an environment is actually peaceful and stable only when it is built on strategic trust and desire for cooperation of involved parties. He called on countries to strengthen coordination via specific activities to increase mutual trust and understanding.

Gen. Lich also mentioned fishermen-related issues, stressing that in addition to seeking comprehensive legal measures for these matters, countries should provide humanitarian treatment and pay attention to education solutions without using violence or forces against fishermen.

As some ASEAN partners expressed their wish to join ADMM , Vietnam proposed study and put forth appropriate Concept Papers to admit new members, which are expected to make practical contributions to the development of ADMM as well as regional peace, stability and development.

Thang revealed that at ADMM, representatives of countries adopted 10 Concept Papers, including the ADMM work programme for the 2017-2019 period, focusing on enhancing defence-security cooperation in ASEAN and promoting the grouping’s collaboration with China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, the US, Russia, India, Australia and New Zealand.

The Concept Paper on Guidelines for Maritime Interaction aims to step up marine security efforts of ASEAN member countries and build measures to manage sea conflicts comprehensively based on trust building, preventive diplomacy and tensions management in a peaceful manner, he added.

The ASEAN countries also adopted a Joint Statement, reaffirming the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea in addition to addressing disputes via peaceful measures without complicating the situation and abiding by international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).

The Joint Statement also underlines the need to respect and fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and welcomes the adoption of a framework for the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), Thang said.

The ADMM is the highest defence consultative and cooperative mechanism in ASEAN whereas the ADMM is a platform for ASEAN defence ministers to engage their dialogue partners from Asia and the Pacific regions.

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA