Vietnam has made great contributions to strengthening Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) cooperation as well as important contents of the 10 th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Hungary on June 6-7.

The statement was made by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem, head of the Vietnamese delegation to the meeting, while answering reporters on Vietnam ’s contributions to the event, themed “Working together on non-traditional security challenges.”

As the host country of the previous meeting, Vietnam was one of the members invited to deliver speeches at the opening ceremony and many discussions of this meeting, he said.

“ Vietnam , together with other ASEAN members, further affirmed ASEAN’s central role in the shaping regional structure, which is reflected in its strong efforts in building the ASEAN Community in 2015 and deepening ties with partners,” Khiem stressed.

Many ASEM members shared Vietnam ’s proposal on measures to consolidate peace, security and development in the region in the face of recent complex developments, including ensuring marine safety and security, he said.

Vietnam suggested ASEM strengthen cooperation in dealing with non-traditional security challenges, especially climate change forecasts and early warnings of natural disasters, rescue, mitigation of climate change impacts on agriculture and the ecological environment, establishment of information networks, and coordination in ensuring marine safety and security, as well as support for regional and subregional cooperation among ASEM members, particularly programmes on sustainable development, poverty reduction and development gap narrowing.

“Many ASEM members highly valued Vietnam’s proposal on strengthening cooperation and sharing experience in the sustainable management, exploitation and use of rivers running through many territories such as Danube and Mekong in the principle of ensuring equality among nations in accessing water resources, boosting mutual cooperation for economic development, addressing social issues and preventing diseases for riverside people,” the Deputy PM said.

The meeting applauded and supported Vietnam ’s hosting of the fourth ASEM Labour and Employment Ministers’ Conference in 2012, he added.

During the meeting, the Vietnamese delegation had exchanges with many heads of the ASEM members’ delegations, including the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Belgium and foreign ministers of host Hungary , Japan , Indonesia and Singapore .

According to Khiem, the exchanges focused on measures to boost bilateral relations and coordination in international and regional issues of common concern.

The ASEM members expressed their pleasure with the rapid development in the friendship and cooperation with Vietnam and highly valued the country’s role and contributions as ASEAN Chair in 2010 and the host country of the 9 th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in 2009, he said.

The ASEM members agreed to strengthen high-ranking visits and exchanges, speed up the implementation of the signed agreements and ODA projects, he said, adding that they also agreed to make continued efforts for the early signing of the Vietnam-EU comprehensive partnership and cooperation agreement, actively prepare for negotiations on the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) as well as expand cooperation in various fields.

The sides agreed to continue closer coordination at regional and international forums, and shared concerns on recent developments in the East Sea , said the Deputy PM.

These above results have actively contributed to consolidating the long-term and mutually beneficiary cooperation between Vietnam and ASEM partners, he concluded.

According to the Vietnamese representative, the year 2011 marks 15 years of foundation and development of ASEM, which serves as an unique and irreplaceable bridge in the Asia-Europe partnership with its increasing appeal and vitality.

As the world in general and ASEM in particular are dealing with a series of complicated and inserted traditional and non-traditional security challenges, the 10 th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting focused discussions on regional and international issues as well as ASEM cooperation, he said.

With the adoption of the Statement of the Chair, which sets out big orientations on cooperation policies, the meeting reached important results, he added./.