|Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyễn Minh Vũ addresses the seventh Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) in Perth, Australia. — Photo from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
HÀ NỘI — Permanent Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyễn Minh Vũ has highlighted the need to build a common vision towards stability, sustainability and connectivity across seas and oceans, including the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea), while addressing the recent seventh Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) in Perth, Australia.
To realise the vision, Vũ proposed maintaining the rules-based order at sea, and ensuring respect for and compliance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); promoting the role of diplomacy in solving disputes and disagreements at sea by peaceful means based on international law, minimising risks of miscalculation and preventing conflicts; and enhancing effective and practical maritime cooperation, including in maritime security, maintaining freedom of navigation and aviation, protecting the environment and marine ecosystem, and promoting the blue economy.
He emphasised ASEAN's strong commitment to respecting international law, addressing disputes by peaceful means, not using or threatening to use force, and fully respecting legal and diplomatic processes, implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and building a substantive and effective Code of Conduct (COC) in accordance with the UNCLOS.
Co-chaired by Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong and her Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on February 9-10, the conference attracted the participation of leaders, senior officials, researchers and scholars from over 30 countries and international organisations inside and outside the region.
Delegates shared different perspectives on the regional and world context, in which they stressed the trend of increasing connectivity and interdependence between regions, seas and oceans including the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean and the East Sea; common traditional and non-traditional challenges such as climate change, transnational criminal activities, and territorial disputes that are threatening seas and oceans; and huge implications and consequences for economic development, the ecological environment, the operation of supply chains and conflict risks if countries fail to work together to deal with these challenges.
Within the framework of the event, the Vietnamese official had meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Madagascar, the UK Minister of State for Indo-Pacific, Deputy Foreign Ministers of Australia, Maldives and Japan, and the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council and representatives of some ASEAN countries.
At a meeting with Roger Cook, the premier of Western Australia state, Deputy Minister Vũ asked the premier to continue facilitating the integration of Vietnamese working and studying in the state, and proposed speedier visa granting procedures for Vietnamese businesspeople, skilled workers and students.
The two sides expressed satisfaction at the positive developments in relations between Vietnamese localities and Western Australia, particularly the opening of a direct air route between Hồ Chí Minh City and Perth in January 2024 and an Invest and Trade Representative Office of Western Australia in HCM City in March 2023. — VNS