|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính and other ASEAN delegates during the retreat meeting of the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia on May 11. VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
JAKARTA – Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, together with leaders of other ASEAN member states, discussed regional and global issues during a retreat session of the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, on Thursday.
He said that after more than half a century of formation and development, ASEAN has never been in such a good position as well as facing as many challenges as it does today. ASEAN is both the centre of a series of regional connectivity and integration initiatives and a key player in the fierce strategic competition among major powers.
The PM stressed that ASEAN needs to be dynamically adaptive and strengthen its self-reliance to assert its strategic value. ASEAN also needs to consolidate unity and solidarity, elevate the spirit of independence and self-reliance while strongly upholding its central role, maintaining a balanced strategic relationship with partners, establish and promote a culture of dialogue, cooperation, consultation and trust building.
ASEAN needs to maintain its principled stance on issues directly related to environment, security and development, as stated in foundational documents such as the ASEAN Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), especially by raising the banner of upholding international law, he said.
On regional and global issues, PM Chính shared his views on the increasingly intense strategic competition among major powers, saying that it is of utmost importance that ASEAN member countries stay united, uphold a sense of responsibility and collective spirit towards common goals, and harmonise national interests with those of the bloc.
Reiterating ASEAN's principled stance on regional and global issues of shared concern, he highlighted the protection of peace, stability, security, safety, freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea as they are both a shared interest and responsibility of all countries.
He suggested that ASEAN, despite difficulties, should persist with the goal of supporting Myanmar to fully implement the Five-Point Consensus for the sake of the Myanmar people, ASEAN unity, reputation and images, as well as the expectations of the global community. He said ASEAN should back Indonesia's Chairmanship and Special Envoy that play a pioneering role in leading ASEAN to achieve this goal.
ASEAN needs to maintain an objective, balanced, and responsible approach to the Russia-Ukraine issue, work with partners, mitigate the impact of conflicts on the region, and contribute to peace, stability, cooperation and development, he said.
Leaders at the event reaffirmed ASEAN's principled stance, emphasised the importance of peace, security, and stability in the East Sea, the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and striving to achieve a substantive, effective, and legally binding Code of Conduct (COC) that is consistent with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
They also expressed support for promoting ASEAN's role in assisting Myanmar and stepping up the effective implementation of the Five-Point Consensus while sharing concerns over the implications of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and stressing the adherence to the basic principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.
The session concluded the activities of the 42nd ASEAN Summit. Following the event, PM Chính and his entourage left Labuan Bajo for Việt Nam, successfully concluding their working trip to Indonesia. VNS