BANGKOK — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc gathered with other top regional leaders at the 35th Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Bangkok today.
The leaders spoke highly of progress in building the ASEAN Community and stressed that the bloc must maintain its role as the core force in pushing peace, stability, dialogue and co-operation in the region.
They also agreed to continue enhancing ties between ASEAN and its partners, accelerating the sustainable development of the ASEAN, in line with objectives of the United Nations’ agenda 2030 on sustainable development goals.
PM Phúc highlighted the solidarity of ASEAN and stressed the importance of building a regional architecture which is open, transparent and working on the basis of laws. He asked ASEAN countries to support Viet Nam in its role as ASEAN Chair in 2020, building the ASEAN Community of sustainable development and having intensive and extensive relations with partners.
He said in the complicated regional and world situation, the countries needed a common voice, building a regional structure which is open, transparent and based on the law, and making contributions to peace and stability in the region and the world.
Regarding the East Sea issue, PM Phúc said that to have peace and stability, respect for international law must come first. Recently, there had been serious violations of international law in the sea of the region and Viet Nam.
He said the incidents left profound lessons for ASEAN and highlighted that security and stability in the East Sea is very fragile and would require serious pledges from all the countries in the region to ensure similar incidents are not repeated. "Viet Nam is determined and persistent in protecting international law in the East Sea," he said.
In that context, the leader said ASEAN had maintained solidarity and unity, manifested through the stance raised at the 52nd foreign ministerial meeting, upholding the importance of peace, stability, respect for international law, ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation, aviation, stressing restraint from acts that complicate the situation, implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of the parties in the East Sea (DOC) and building a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
On Saturday, PM Phúc had separate meetings with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
At the meeting with the UN leader, PM Phúc said Việt Nam supported multilateralism and was determined to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 and the Paris climate treaty, as well as support his efforts in the reform of the UN development system.
For his part, the UN chief said Việt Nam was a vanguard in many fields and hoped Việt Nam would make more contributions to the UN’s peacekeeping efforts.
The two agreed to intensify co-operation between the ASEAN and the UN during Việt Nam’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2020 and its term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020-2021. On the East Sea situation, they agreed on the need to ensure peace, stability, freedom and security of navigation and aviation, reaching the COC at an early date in the spirit of ensuring respect for the international law and the UNCLOS 1982. PM Phúc invited Guterres to visit Việt Nam on the occasion of the ASEAN Summit in 2020, and the invitation was accepted.
At a meeting with the Thai PM, PM Phúc expressed his belief his Thai counterpart would lead the country to achieve sustainable development and accomplish the role of ASEAN Chair for 2019. He expressed his hope that the two countries would co-ordinate to boost the bilateral strategic partnership, and asked the Thai leader to facilitate the distribution of Vietnamese goods in the Thai market and to support the life of the people of Vietnamese origin in Thailand.
The Thai leader proposed the two countries intensify co-ordination in dealing with issues that impact on ASEAN, and agreed to look for ways to improve trade revenue and investment scale.
The two leaders agreed to boost co-ordination to achieve the common goals of building the ASEAN Community, strengthening the central role of the ASEAN, promoting the relationship with the partners, and dealing with security issues in the region, including the East Sea issue.
The same day, PM Phúc attended the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between ASEAN and FIFA. — VNS