|A view of the event. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The 18th dialogue between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Canada has taken place virtually.
The meeting was conducted on July 13 and focused on sketching out future cooperation between the two sides, including regional and international issues of mutual concern. It also covered preparations for the ASEAN-Canada Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in this August.
ASEAN members and Canada agreed to coordinate closely and actively in implementing an Action Plan for the 2021-2025 period decided on by the two sides. This includes promoting and collaborating on economic, trade and investment opportunities, as well as maintaining supply chains and prioritising the launch of negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement in 2021.
Both sides will continue their joint programmes in education and training and high-quality human resource development. This includes the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) programme.
Participants also underlined the significance of maintaining peace, security and stability in the region, especially amid the current circumstances.
Canada supports ASEAN in its role in strengthening cooperation, dialogue and building trust in the region, and upholding international law. Canada also wants to see a law-based regional architecture, with disputes settled through peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and completing the building of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
On Myanmar, Canada backed the role of ASEAN in encouraging dialogue and reconciliation, and assisting Myanmar in seeking solutions to stabilise the country.
Representatives of Việt Nam underlined that all countries should further strengthen cooperation, thus effectively responding to challenges and difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as strategic instabilities. This would promote a sustainable recovery and ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
Việt Nam re-affirmed the consistent principled stance of ASEAN on the East Sea (internationally known as South China Sea), stressing that ASEAN and Canada should work closely together to protect a regional environment of peace and stability, uphold international law, strengthen trust, encourage restraint and avoid militarization. It also said disputes should be settled based on international law, including the UNCLOS.
Việt Nam also underlined the importance of the full and effective implementation of the DOC and the building of an effective and efficient COC. — VNS