Vietnam’s delegation to the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings in Myanmar made active and responsible contributions to enhancing ASEAN’s solidarity and common voice, said Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh.
interview granted to the press on the outcomes of the meetings, Deputy
FM Vinh said the delegation, led by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign
Minister Pham Binh Minh, made practical recommendations on promoting
cooperation focuses and priorities of ASEAN and the region, including
the building of the ASEAN Community, linkage and connectivity in
different fields, and ASEAN’s post-2015 development vision.
In the context of complicated regional and global developments, ASEAN’s leading task is to maintain an environment of peace, security and stability in the region to serve its community building and development goal, he said.
Vietnam used the occasion of the meetings to underline the need for ASEAN to enhance solidarity and promote its responsible and central role in the evolving regional architecture and in strategic issues related to peace, security, stability and cooperation in the region, including the East Sea issue, as well as in building a regional architecture based on existing cooperation processes that are in line with the region’s interests and characteristics.
In addition, Vietnam has closely coordinated with other ASEAN countries in building and fostering consensus on emerging issues in the region, including the East Sea issue, Vinh stated.
He noted that countries inside and outside ASEAN shared and concurred with Vietnam’s sound viewpoint on the East Sea issue, which was included in several documents, especially the Joint Communiqué of the AMM-47.
At the meetings, the Vietnamese delegation expressed deep concern about recent cases that resulted in tensions in the East Sea, particularly China’s illegal placement of its oil rig in Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, and stressed that ASEAN and countries should step up their joint efforts to not allow the repeat of such violations.
“We emphasised the full and effective implementation of the DOC, particularly Article 5 on exercising restraint and not complicating the situation; compliance with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); no use of or threat to use force, while striving for the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC),” he noted, adding that ASEAN Foreign Ministers agreed to task their Senior Officials to work out specific measures and mechanisms to ensure the serious implementation of Article 5.
Vietnam also backed the further expanding and deepening of relations between ASEAN and its partners, in order to create a favourable environment and mobilise resources for the community building process, while fostering cooperation in mutually beneficiary areas such as connectivity, economy-trade and narrowing the development gap.
As the coordinator for the ASEAN-EU dialogue partnership, Vietnam co-chaired the ASEAN-EU Foreign Ministers’ Meeting during which it proposed measures to lift bilateral ties towards a strategic partnership.
Vietnam encouraged the EU to play a more active role in promoting peace, security and trust building as well as to support ASEAN’s central role in the regional architecture. It also proposed the two sides continue efforts to effectively implement the 2013-2017 ASEAN-EU Action Plan, increase consultations at ministerial-level on economic cooperation, and organise an ASEAN-EU Business Summit.
The Vietnamese delegation’s contributions to the meeting were appreciated by the countries, he said, adding that on the sidelines of the events, the delegation had many bilateral meetings on measures to strengthen cooperation and issues of common concern.
Regarding the outcomes of the AMM-47 and related meetings, Deputy FM Vinh said that these were the most important meetings of ASEAN during the year, with the participation of all 10 partner of the bloc.
During more than 20 meetings held within the course of just over two days, the bloc and its partners outlined orientations for cooperation both inside the bloc and between the bloc and partners. They also discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern.
As one of the important results of the meetings, ASEAN continued affirming its determination to fulfill the Roadmap for the ASEAN Community on schedule and in an effective manner, while actively building a vision for the ASEAN Community’s development after 2015.
ASEAN and its partner countries confirmed the importance of maintaining an environment of peace, security, stability and cooperation in the region, especially in the context of recent complicated developments.
They discussed measures to further enhance cooperation frameworks and partnerships through existing action plans, as well as preparations for other plans for the next stage.
On the East Sea issue, the ministers expressed their serious concern about recent tensions in the East Sea, and stressed that such violations should not be allowed to repeat in the future.
Affirming the importance of peace, stability, security and safety of navigation in the Sea, the meetings urged the parties concerned to abide by international law and the 1982 UNCLOS; solve disputes by peaceful means, restrain themselves, not to use or threat to use force; and fully implement the DOC towards the early formation of the COC.