The 5th ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF-5) and the 3rd Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF-3) will be held in the central city of Da Nang from August 26-28.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh, head of SOM ASEAN Vietnam, will lead a Vietnamese delegation to these events.

The hosting of the events reflects Vietnam’s role, responsibility and contributions to ASEAN’s important and priority areas of maritime cooperation and ensuring security and safety of navigation in the region.

The forums are expected to bring together representatives from 10 ASEAN member states and eight East Asia Summit (EAS) partners, namely China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and the US.

They aim to promote the key role of ASEAN in fostering maritime cooperation and build trust in the region, especially in ensuring security and safety of navigation.

AMF-5 and EAMF-3 will also serve as channels for participants to discuss issues related to maritime collaboration, focusing on building trust and ensuring maritime security and safety in the East Sea on the basis of international law, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and working towards a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Through such events, ASEAN will boost intra-bloc solidarity and take advantage of partner countries’ support to realise its priorities.

At the forums, participating countries will discuss maritime situation and cooperation in the region, review the implementation of initiatives and set future orientations for the AMF and EAMF.

The fourth AMF and second EAMF took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in October 2013, during which countries backed the strengthening of cooperation in marine research, disaster response, maritime security connectivity, pirate prevention, eco-environment protection, search and rescue.

They emphasised the maintenance of constructive dialogue to ensure security, safety and freedom of navigation, solve disputes on the basis of international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

They also appreciated the role and contribution of AMF to coordinating maritime cooperation activities in the framework of ASEAN.

ASEAN is now operating 11 maritime cooperation mechanisms via such channels as defence, transnational crime prevention, transport, fisheries, tourism and environment.-VNA