ASEAN foreign ministers affirmed the resolve to complete remaining tasks towards the formation the ASEAN Community at the end of this year at the 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 48) which took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 4.
The ministers focused on reviewing the progress of the ASEAN Community roadmap an discussing ways to strengthen external relations and the central role of the grouping as well as regional and international issues of shared concern.
They emphasised the need to continue with efforts at both national and regional levels to implement set plans, while accelerating the building of the ASEAN Post 2015 Vision to be submitted to the 27th ASEAN Summit for approval.
The ministers agreed to push forward with deepening ties with ASEAN partners and considered a draft working plan on intensifying the central role of the bloc.
They underlined the importance of enhancing the bloc’s solidarity, particularly in addressing issues relating to regional peace, stability, security and development.
The ministers pointed to complicated developments in the regional and world situations and worsening hot spots and non-traditional security challenges that require increased cooperation and dialogue efforts.
As such, they welcomed the recent agreement between the P5+1 and Iran and the normalisation of relations between the US and Cuba, describing these as bright spots in the current complicated situation.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the ministers shared deep concerns over complicated developments in the sea, saying that recent actions have reduced trust and raised tensions, threatening peace, stability and security in the East Sea.
They emphasised the importance of ensuring peace, stability, maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom as well as of addressing disputes peacefully on the basis of international law, particularly the UNCLOS, exercising self-restraint, not using or threatening to use violence, fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) on the East Sea and working towards the early formation of a Code of Conduct (COC) on the East Sea.
They also agreed to enhance solidarity, the sense of responsibility and the role of ASEAN in handling the East Sea issue.
On August 5, a series of ASEAN foreign minister meetings with partners are scheduled to take place.