EAS FM Meeting stresses stepping up global, regional cooperation in COVID-19 response

August 05, 2021 - 06:17

Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn attended the 11th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting via a videoconference on August 4, as part of the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings.


Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn at the event. — VNS/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn attended the 11th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting via a videoconference on August 4, as part of the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings.

Foreign Ministers of ASEAN member states and EAS’s partner countries, including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, India, Russia and the US, and ASEAN Secretary General attended the event.

Countries agreed to work closely together to actively realise results of the 15th EAS last year, especially the Hà Nội Declaration marking the EAS’s 15th founding anniversary.

They highlighted the need to further uphold the EAS's role and strategic value as well as improve its response to complex and uncertain difficulties and challenges in the region and the world.

Amid the complicated developments of COVID-19 pandemic, participants vowed to continue upholding multilateral approach, step up regional and global cooperation in effectively coping with the pandemic, and joining hands to promote comprehensive recovery towards sustainable development.

They vowed to complete the Manila Plan of Action for the 2018-2022 period and devise a new plan for the next period on the basis of priorities suitable with the new situation, making positive contributions to recovery and growth efforts.

EAS countries committed to assisting ASEAN in improving the capacity of preventive medicine, vaccine research and development, ensuring safe, effective and fair distribution of vaccines.

ASEAN suggested EAS nations back the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, make contributions to the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies and help the bloc implement the Comprehensive Recovery Framework.

Regarding the East Sea issue, they emphasised the need for coordination to ensure peace, stability, security and safety of navigation and aviation, build the waters into an area of peace, friendship and cooperation, and the settlement of disputes via peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 

The countries called on ASEAN and China to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and to build an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including the UNCLOS. The partners welcomed the role and efforts of ASEAN over the past time to promote dialogue, reconciliation in Myanmar and to support the nation to seek solutions to stabilise its situation.

Addressing the event, Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn underlined the EAS’s contributions to promoting peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region. Emphasising the need to focus on COVID-19 response, he called on EAS partners to support the equal supply of vaccines for ASEAN countries and raise vaccine self-sufficiency in the region.

Sharing opinions at the meeting, Minister Sơn affirmed the consistent principle stance of ASEAN and Việt Nam on the East Sea issue, emphasising the importance of dialogue, cooperation, trust-building, and self-restraint to take no actions that complicate the situation and do not harm the marine environment.

All disputes must be settled through peaceful means in accordance with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS, he said, calling on all parties to make efforts to finalise an efficient and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

The minister reaffirmed that the 1982 UNCLOS is the legal basis covering all activities in seas and oceans. He emphasised that the legitimate rights and interests of coastal states as stipulated in the Convention must be respected.

He pointed out that Việt Nam has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to assert its sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.

Brunei, Chairman of the EAS, will issue a Chairman's Statement on the outcome of the meeting. — VNS