Stronger constructive cooperation is needed to turn the waters in the ASEAN region into an area of peace, security, safety and cooperation in the face of traditional and non-traditional challenges.

Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh made the emphasis at the fourth ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF) and the second Expanded AMF that took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from October 1-3.

Deputy FM Vinh said the move is part of efforts to successfully realise the ASEAN Community by 2015.

He noted regional countries’ stringent compliance of adopted principles and common agreements, such as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), as well as the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Sharing the same view with the Vietnamese official, many delegates voiced that maritime cooperation within the grouping and with its partners is crucial to building trust and a peaceful and stable environment, making it easier for regional economic development and trade activities.

According to them, constructive dialogues should go on to safeguard peace, navigation safety and freedom and peacefully settle disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They promised to enhance information sharing and coordination and work closely with maritime cooperation agencies of ASEAN.-VNA