Vietnam will actively contribute to ASEAN leading issues, especially in strengthening solidarity and building up the community as well as promoting ASEAN’s leading role in fostering peace, security, stability and cooperation in the region.

Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh laid out Vietnam ’s position while attending meetings in Phnom Penh on April 2 in preparation for the 20 th ASEAN Summit. The meetings included the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM), the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Meeting and the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) Meeting.

Vietnam and the other member countries aim to improve the region’s capacity to respond effectively to emerging challenges such as natural disasters, climate change, maritime security and safety, and trans-national issues, he said.

The Vietnamese diplomat confirmed that the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ), the Declaration of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) are the most effective tools for ensuring peace, stability and cooperation in the region.

Minh applauded the UK ’s upcoming participation in TAC, adding that Vietnam has already ratified Protocol III on amendments to TAC.

He said he hopes that the region’s countries will speed up the ratification so that the EU can join TAC in the near future.

He suggested that ASEAN members, along with other countries which have nuclear weapons, complete the necessary preparations for signing the SEANWFZ Protocol this year.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Minh stated that peace, stability and security in the East Sea , including maritime security and safety, are common aspirations and in the best interests of the region and its member countries.

All concerned parties should solve any disputes peacefully, by abiding by international laws and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as well as fully implementing the DOC so that a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea can be drawn up, Minh stressed.-VNA