Deputy foreign minister Nguyễn Quốc Dũng chairs the online ASEAN Regional Forum on Tuesday. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam proposed the upcoming 27th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) issue a declaration on cooperation in contagious disease prevention and control to have concrete and effective preventive measures against pandemics like the COVID-19.
Deputy foreign minister Nguyễn Quốc Dũng made the suggestion while chairing the 26th AFR which was held online on Tuesday.
Amid rapid changes in the world and the region, Dũng said the ARF needed to continue to uphold its role as a key forum for countries to increase dialogue, solidarity and cooperation to cope with emerging challenges.
At the meeting, participants appreciated Việt Nam in the role of the ASEAN Chair for taking urgent measures to help maintain dialogue and cooperation within the ARF.
They agreed to build cooperation plans in the future to continue promoting cooperation in priority fields of search and rescue, fighting terrorism and trans-national crimes, maritime security, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, maintaining peace and new security challenges such as cybersecurity.
The meeting finalised the draft of the second Hà Nội Action Plan of ARF, putting forward cooperation orientation for the forum during the 2020-25 period.
They also agreed to continue to complete draft declarations about cooperation in contagious disease prevention and control, preventing terrorism organisations from recruiting children, preventing money laundry and terrorism financing to submit to ministers for approval.
They noted challenges facing the world and the region, including the COVID-19 pandemic, competition among big countries and non-traditional security issues such as extreme terrorism and violence, nuclear security, cyber safety, natural disasters and climate change.
Many ministers expressed their concerns over the recent developments in the East Sea, including a number of serious incidents in the region.
They continued to stress the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, as well as freedom of navigation and flight in the area, and spoke highly of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS 1982).
They called on parties involved to exercise restraint and refrain from militarisation as well as actions that could complicate the situation, and to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).
Deputy Foreign Minister Dũng said at the recent 36th ASEAN summit, ASEAN reaffirmed its stance in the East Sea issue, stressing the need for involved parties to exercise restraint and refrain from militarisation as well as actions that could complicate the situation, and to fully abide by international laws and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. — VNS