EAS Foreign Ministers Meeting agrees to reinforce marine cooperation

The 8th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which was held in Singapore on August 4, agreed that maritime cooperation will be one of the focuses the EAS nations are going to promote in the time ahead.

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Foreign ministers pose for a photo at the 8th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on August 4 (Photo: AFP/VNA)
The event saw the presence of foreign ministers of 10 ASEAN nations, along with the US, India, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh led the Vietnamese delegation to the meeting.

The ministers agreed to strengthen marine cooperation, including dealing with waste at sea.

They voiced concerns about the recent militarisation activities and complex developments in the East Sea, and asked the involved parties to increase dialogue and cooperation on the basis of respecting international law.

The ministers also affirmed support for peace, stability and denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula and welcomed the positive outcomes of the Inter-Korean and US-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea summits.

Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakishnan emphasised the EAS’s important role in promoting dialogue on strategic political and economic issues, which has brought recognised benefits to peace, stability and cooperation in the region.

The ministers highly valued the encouraging initial outcomes of and pledged to invest appropriate resources in the implementation of the EAS’s Manila Plan of Action 2018-2022.

They agreed to continue fostering partnerships in the prioritised fields of the Manila Plan of Action. They also put forth concrete cooperation proposals in such areas as sea-related issues, health care, education, environment, natural disaster response, innovation, energy and e-commerce.

To prepare for the 13th EAS slated for November, the ministers discussed and generally reached consensus on the documents to be submitted to the countries’ leaders. These documents are to enhance the EAS cooperation in developing smart cities, fighting terrorism, preventing plastic waste at sea, nuclear security, and IT security.

Addressing the meeting, Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh called on the EAS to promote the effectiveness of its activities, especially the cooperation in nine prioritised fields of the Manila Plan of Action 2018-2022. 

He also asked the countries to consider bolstering marine cooperation, including combating piracy, armed robbery and smuggling at sea, and ensure a sustainable marine environment for economic development and free passage through sea areas.

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