|Ministers at the 30th ASEAN Regional Forum in Jakarta on July 14. Photo baoquocte.vn|
JAKARTA – Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn reaffirmed Việt Nam’s approach in which dialogue, consultation and trust building have been taken as the main tools in settling disagreements and differences while addressing the 30th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Jakarta, Indonesia, on July 14.
The process of building ASEAN's common stance on the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea) issue demonstrated consultation efforts and achievements, and affirmed and promoted fundamental principles such as peaceful settlement of disputes, and respect for international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), Sơn said.
The minister emphasised the need to ensure ASEAN's centrality, uphold objectives and principles of the ARF, form substantive agendas, promote the responsibility of member nations, and maintain a balanced and inclusive approach.
The culture of dialogue and consultation should be maintained and enhanced with ASEAN at the centre, thereby contributing to peace, security, stability, and prosperity in the region, he continued.
Sơn noted that over the past 30 years, through consultation, ASEAN had successfully built a common stance on the East Sea, with principles such as restraint, peaceful resolution of disputes, and respect for international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.
While committing to fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), ASEAN and China were working together towards a substantive, effective, and legally binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law, including the UNCLOS, he said.
At the meeting, the participating countries reviewed the ARF’s operation in 2022-2023, and orientations in the time ahead, and exchanged views on regional and international issues of shared concern.
They affirmed the importance of the ARF as the leading forum in the region in promoting dialogue and cooperation in political-security issues, contributing to joint efforts in building trust and preventive diplomacy.
Given the complex, unpredictable situation, the minister agreed to step up the forum’s operation, and carry forward its values, vitality and adaptability to both opportunities and challenges at present and in the future.
The countries agreed to maintain cooperation in maritime security, disaster relief, cybersecurity, the fight against terrorism and transnational crimes, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and disarmament, national defence, and peacekeeping.
They also approved a list of activities for 2023-2024. Việt Nam will co-chair several ARF activities regarding the implementation of the 1982 UNCLOS, and the fight against terrorism, transnational crimes, and chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological terrorism.
On this occasion, Sơn announced that Việt Nam would co-chair the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief for the 2024-2026 term with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The meeting adopted a joint statement commemorating the 30th anniversary of the ARF, with Indonesia, Việt Nam, China, Australia, and Canada as co-sponsors. The documents reaffirmed the leading role of ASEAN in the regional architecture, and commitments to promoting constructive dialogues, enhancing cooperation, and ensuring the active and full participation and contributions of member countries to the forum’s development.
The meeting took place within the framework of the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-56). At the end of AMM-56 and related meetings, foreign ministers approved nearly 40 documents, including the AMM-56 joint communique. VNA/VNS