|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at the meeting (Photo: VNA)
At the meeting, the ministers approved the report of the ASEAN Secretary-General on progress of the ASEAN Community building.
They lauded Thailand’s efforts in realizing initiatives concretizing the ASEAN Year 2019’s theme of "Advancing Partnership for Sustainability." They agreed to submit the Statement on Partnership for Sustainability to State leaders for approval.
They discussed measures to strengthen the partnership between ASEAN and its partners, while considering proposals of Peru and South Africa on their joining of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, and giving opinions on preparations for the ASEAN-RoK Commemorative Summit in 2019.
They underscored that the ASEAN should maintain solidarity, while completing and improving the efficiency of mechanisms formed and led by the association, thus coping with challenges and ensuring its central role in regional processes.
They also discussed measures to strengthen cooperation in anti-terrorism, extremism, trans-national criminals, cyber security, and ocean waste.
They pledged to work with Myanmar to seek solutions to Rakhai crisis.
The ministers recognised the progress of negotiations for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), while highlighting the significance of full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and the construction of the COC to suit international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.
They congratulated Vietnam on winning the non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council, showing their belief that the two ASEAN members in the council -- Vietnam and Indonesia -- will make more contributions to peace, stability, dialogue and cooperation in the world.
Addressing the event, FM Minh underlined the need for the ASEAN to maintain consensus and solidarity, which he described as the most valuable asseta of the association in the ASEAN Community building and maintaining its central role in the region.
Noting that the East Sea situation is developing complicatedly, he called on parties concerned to work harder to maintain dialogues and cooperation for peace, stability, maritime and aviation safety and security in the East Sea, while exercising self-restraint and avoiding unilateral actions, including the militarization of the East Sea which affects trust in the region.
ASEAN and China should collaborate more closely in building the COC by maintaining a favourable environment for the negotiation process to reap success.
He proposed the strengthening of cooperation within ASEAN frameworks to cope with challenges at sea such as illegal fishing and waste.
He took the chance to thank countries to support Vietnam’s UN Security Council non-permanent membership, vowing that Vietnam will work harder to contribute to efforts for peace and stability in the region and the world.
As the ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam will exert efforts to connect the UN Security Council and regional organisations, including the ASEAN.