|Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung
Dung joined foreign officials of the 10 ASEAN countries at the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) in Singapore on June 5, which focused on cooperation between the association and partners as well as preparations for the upcoming events, including the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in August 2018.
The ASEAN SOM is the opening event for a string of meetings within the ASEAN, ASEAN Plus 3, East Asia Summit (EAS) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) that run from June 5-7.
Participants recognised the outcomes of the implementation of key and prioritised works, including the realization of an initiative to form an ASEAN Smart City Network, the implementation of ASEAN Law Academy training programme with an aim to enhance regional countries’ capacity and harmonise their legal systems, as well as coping with challenges such as terrorism, violence and extremism.
Alongside, ASEAN will continue implementing UN Sustainable Development Goals and integrate the goals with the association’s development programmes and plans. At the same time, with a hope to strengthen communications and improve people’s awareness, participants proposed the implementation of regulations in consular support for ASEAN citizens in a third country and set up an award to honour individuals and collectives with outstanding contributions to ASEAN growth.
On the occasion, they also considered proposals of some countries to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in East Asia (TAC).
They agreed on the need to continue fostering affiliation with partners, as well as ensure the effectiveness of existing action plans and programmes, taking advantages of contributions for peace, stability in the region and supports to the ASEAN Community building, together with measures to improve cooperation process and forms.
In the coming time, the countries will continue applying renovation in high-level meetings and the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with partners this year, thus optimizing the time and effectiveness of the events.
Participants also discussed the possibility of organising a high-level meeting between ASEAN and partners, including commemorative summits. They also considered the proposal of some countries outside the region on establishing partnership with ASEAN, as well as initiatives to reinforce the EAS.
On the table was the preparations for the 24th ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Meeting scheduled for June 8 and the 15th ASEAN-China Senior Officials’ Meeting on the implementation of Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (SOM-DOC) slated for June 27 in Hunan province, China.
The involved parties affirmed ASEAN’s reached principles on the East Sea issue, in which the ASEAN and China must make efforts to fully and effectively carry out the DOC, and will soon finalise a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
Speaking at the conference, Deputy FM Nguyen Quoc Dung lauded the cooperative achievements within the ASEAN bloc and between the ASEAN and its partners from the outset of the year.
He noticed recent developments in the East Sea, saying these violated the DOC and affected the progress of COC, and calling on ASEAN countries to enhance solidarity and contribute to maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.
The nations should be consistent in realising the agreed principles, including demilitarisation, and joining hands with China to implement the DOC and build a comprehensive COC in line with international regulations.
On the sidelines of the conference, Dung had bilateral meetings with deputy foreign ministers of the Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand, discussing issues of mutual interests.
The ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials’ Meeting and the East Asia Summit will be organised on June 6.