VOV.VN - A Vietnamese delegation led by Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son attended the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Retreat (AMMR) which was held both in person and via videoconference in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on February 17
The meeting discussed issues such as COVID-19, economic recovery, and relations with dialogue partners.
Minister Son’s attendance came following an invitation made by Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn.
The event was chaired by Cambodian Minister Sokhonn and featured the participation of the foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Laos. In addition, the foreign ministers of Brunei, Thailand, and Vietnam attended the AMMR online, whilst Myanmar did not designate a representative for the event.
This marked the first in-person ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting following a hiatus of more than a year caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FMs discussed various ways and means in which to collectively build a more resilient, dynamic, peaceful, and prosperous ASEAN community. Regional and international issues of common concern were also discussed in the meeting.
In his speech, Minister Son highly appreciated the focus and priority of Cambodia, the host country, and affirmed full Vietnamese support in implementing agreed priorities and initiatives.
He went on to suggest that ASEAN continue to drastically carry out COVID-19 response initiatives such as the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF), the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework.
He also proposed mutual recognition of regional vaccine passports as a means of helping the early resumption of travel activities to facilitate a comprehensive recovery in the region, while also focusing on capacity building and technology transfer to prepare for any potential new emergencies similar to COVID-19.
Regarding the orientation for the building of the ASEAN Community Vision after 2025, Minister Son suggested that the bloc swiftly consolidate the High level Task Force (HLTF) Group. This should be done alongside carefully preparing so that the ASEAN Community can adapt and respond effectively to complicated challenges in the rapidly changing world and regional geopolitics. It remains essential to take consolidation of solidarity, unity, dialogue, and co-operation as the basis for a strong and resilient Community.
The Vietnamese diplomat went on to underline continuing to uphold ASEAN's central role, improve the effectiveness of ASEAN-led mechanisms, balance relations with partners, and contribute to peace, co-operation, and development in the region and throughout the world as a whole.
Regarding the East Sea, sharing concerns of other countries about the complicated nature of developments and unexpected incidents in the East Sea, Minister Son emphasized the importance of ensuring peace, security, maritime, and aviation safety and security in the region. This is along with the necessity of complying with international law, including the UNCLOS 1982, in order to maintain the East Sea as a sea of peace, stability, and co-operation.
He went on to underscore the need to fully and effectively implement the DOC, thereby quickly achieving a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including the UNCLOS 1982. The Minister also welcomed the proposal to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) together with the 40th anniversary of the UNCLOS this year.
With regard to Myanmar, Minister Son affirmed his willingness to work with other countries to support them in overcoming their current difficult period. He also voiced support for the continued effective implementation of the five-point consensus, including the work of the Special Envoy of ASEAN Chair on Myanmar, and humanitarian assistance provided to the people of Myanmar.
The FM went on to propose stepping up co-operation between the bloc and partners to deal with emerging non-traditional security challenges, such as cyber security, marine security, water security, climate change, and natural disaster mitigation, environmental pollution, as well as new security challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the end of the conference, Cambodia, the ASEAN Chair in 2022, issued a press release summarising the important contents discussed at the meeting.