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VN seeks int'l backing at maritime gathering

Update: August, 29/2014 - 08:39
The forum has 10 members states as well as eight ASEAN partners - China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and the United States.— VNA/VNS Photo Tran Le Lam

DA NANG (VNS) — Viet Nam has appealed to countries within the region and beyond to join ASEAN's efforts in promoting the common interests of peace, stability, and maritime security, safety, and freedom.

Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh made the request at the third Extended ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF-3), which was opened yesterday in the central city of Da Nang.

The forum has 10 members states as well as eight ASEAN partners - China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, and the United States.

"Peace, stability, maritime security and freedom of navigation are our shared interests," Deputy FM Vinh said.

"We hope we will continue to work together to enhance confidence and mutual trust, elaborate measures to prevent risks and recurrences of incidents, manage disputes, and expand areas of co-operation."

He emphasised a need for the countries to work together to foster trust and find ways to avoid risks and manage disputes, while expanding their maritime partnership to bring about the common interests of peace and stability in the region.

Vinh said EAMF-3 should focus on discussing current levels of co-operation and possibilities to enhance ASEAN's responses to disasters and collisions at sea, particularly the coordination of humanitarian aid, search and rescue missions, and the establishment of emergency hotlines.

He added that ASEAN and its partners should discuss ways to build trust; share their practical experiences made during two decades of implementing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and make further recommendations.

He also suggested that participants share their opinions on the future orientation of the forum.

ASEAN Chairman Aung Lynn spoke highly of the partners' participation in the forum, saying that the event was a good opportunity for ASEAN and its partners to develop initiatives in maritime co-operation.

He said he hoped that through the forum many effective measures would be implemented to avoid disputes and manage the region's seas.

During the event, participants reviewed the results of regional co-operation in previous years, and evaluated the efficiency of initiatives implemented, as well as making plans for the future.

They also touched on a number of issues relating to maritime research, joint security at sea, the protection of marine ecosystems, and search and rescue efforts.

The event aims to promote the central role of ASEAN in boosting maritime co-operation and fostering trust, particularly in ensuring peace, and maritime security and safety in the East Sea in accordance with international law.

The event is an important dialogue platform for participants to discuss measures to enhance maritime co-operation with the aim of ensuring maritime security and safety in the East Sea in accordance with UNCLOS. The forum also supports the development of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

As the host of the EAMF-3, Viet Nam actively consulted all member countries and proposed the agenda for the event. — VNS

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