Vietnam appealed to countries within the region and beyond to join ASEAN’s efforts in promoting the common interests of peace, stability, and maritime security, safety, and freedom.

Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh made his request at the third Extended ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF-3), which was opened on August 28 in the central city of Da Nang and counted ten members states amongst its participants, as well as eight ASEAN partners - China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and the US.

He emphasised the need for the countries to work together to foster trust and find ways to avoid risks and manage disputes, whilst expanding their maritime partnership to bring about the common interests of peace and stability in the region.

EAMF-3 should focus on discussing current levels of cooperation and possibilities to enhance ASEAN’s coordinated responses to disasters and collisions at sea, particularly regarding the coordination of humanitarian aid, search and rescue missions, and emergency hotlines, he said.

ASEAN and its partners should discuss ways to build trust; share their practical experiences made during two decades of implementing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and make further recommendations, Deputy FM Vinh said.

He also suggested that participants share their opinions on the future orientation of the forum.

Meanwhile, ASEAN Chairman Aung Lynn spoke highly of the partners’ participation in the forum, saying that the event is a good opportunity for ASEAN and its partners to develop initiatives in maritime cooperation.

He said he hoped that through the forum many effective measures would be implemented to avoid disputes and manage the region’s seas.

During the event, participants reviewed the results of regional cooperation in previous years, and evaluated the efficiency of initiatives implemented, as well as making plans for the future.

They also touched on a number of issues relating to maritime research, joint security at sea, the protection of marine ecosystems, and search and rescue efforts.

The event aimed to promote the central role of ASEAN in boosting maritime cooperation and fostering trust, particularly in regards to ensuring peace, and maritime security and safety in the East Sea in accordance with international law.

This event represents an important dialogue platform for participants to discuss measures to enhance sea cooperation with the aim of ensuring maritime security and safety in the East Sea in accordance with UNCLOS. The forum also aims to support the development of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

As the host of the EAMF-3, Vietnam actively consulted all member countries and proposed the agenda for the event.-VNA