|Vietnamese Minister of National Defence General Phan Văn Giang addresses the event. – VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI – Vietnamese Minister of National Defence General Phan Văn Giang highlighted the role played by the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) over the last 15 years in strengthening trust and building common awareness on regional security issues, including the East Sea issue, through creating a framework for defence ministerial-level dialogue and consultation in the region.
Addressing the ADMM Retreat 2021 held online on Wednesday under the chair of Brunei’s Second Minister of Defence Major General (Retired) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Md Yussof, the Vietnamese officer said since the ADMM 2011 in Indonesia, the East Sea issue has been considered a common regional issue, and has been regularly discussed and included in joint statements by the ADMM.
Regarding challenges to ASEAN's central role in cooperation with its partners, Giang said in the context that big countries have formed more and more multilateral mechanisms and new strategies, ADMM has and will continue to make efforts to demonstrate its role and position towards ensuring a balance of interests inside and outside the bloc, and ensure that countries outside ASEAN have responsibility for common issues of the region.
Giang stressed that ASEAN needs to stick to its principled stance on the East Sea, settle disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982), strongly promote the commitment of countries to abide by international law, act responsibly, exercise self-restraint, refrain from actions that cause tension or complicate the situation, fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), promote the early completion of an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in accordance with international law and UNCLOS 1982.
At the retreat, Brunei said that the retreat focuses on how to further promote the role of ADMM in moving the ASEAN Community forward in the spirit of the ASEAN 2021 theme of “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”.
The ministers also exchanged views on the strategic direction of ADMM on the occasion of the 15th founding anniversary of ADMM. – VNS