Before the event (Source: VNA)
 
Singapore (VNA) – Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh applauded positive progresses in the process of building the ASEAN Community at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Singapore on April 27.

He noted that ASEAN needs to improve rapid and effective response to emerging challenges, ensure the serious and full implementation of cooperation commitments, especially in economy and step up innovation-based and people-oriented development, as well as enhance the efficiency of cooperation mechanisms in ASEAN as well as with partners.

Minh stressed that ASEAN should promote its self-resilient and innovative capacity in implementing relations with partners, thus maintaining its solidarity, unity and central role.

He shared Vietnam’s stance on new initiatives in the region, affirming that ASEAN needs to take active and proactive approaches and welcome initiatives to contribute to regional peace, stability and cooperation on the basis of respecting the bloc’s central role and basic principles.

He took the occasion to thank ASEAN member nations for their contributions to the success of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi last January, marking an important milestone in the ASEAN-India partnership for which Vietnam serves as a coordinator.

The Deputy PM affirmed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, and peacefully settling disputes in respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Vietnam supports the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and early finalization of an effective and legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), he said.

At the meeting, the ministers of 10 ASEAN member states expressed their satisfaction with the construction of the ASEAN Community over the past years and positive results in implementing the master plan on three pillars to realise the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

Agreeing with the theme of “Self-Resilient and Innovative ASEAN” proposed by Singapore as ASEAN Chair, the ministers underscored the need to strengthen solidarity and unity and maintain ASEAN’s central role as a prerequisite requirement against external challenges and pressure.

They promised to tap new opportunities arising from the fourth industrial revolution to fuel innovation capacity, even and sustainable development to bring practical benefits to the people regarding response to natural disasters and climate change, and prevention of human trafficking and cybercrime.

Sharing views on ASEAN’s external relations, the ministers acknowledged the good outcomes of the recent ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit and the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, as well as positive development of the ASEAN-China relations through the building of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership Vision by 2030 and the launch of negotiations on the COC.

They agreed that ASEAN should maintain its central role in regional forums and promote relations with its partners on the basis of international law observance, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

Regarding the international and regional situation, the ministers welcomed positive progresses on Korean peninsula.

They said they expect important results of the coming Inter-Korean Summit and prospects of a meeting between the leaders of the US and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), towards seeking a peaceful and sustainable solution to denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula.

On the East Sea issue, they stressed that ASEAN needs to continue upholding the agreed stance and principles on ensuring maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the region, exercising self-restraint and taking no unilateral action to complicate the situation, peacefully settling disputes in respect of international law, diplomatic and legal processes, seriously implementing of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and working towards an effective and legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

The ministers shared the view that ASEAN and China need to accelerate the formulation of an effective and practical COC in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), towards a transparent and rules-based regional architecture and the East Sea of peace and stability.-VNA