NDO/VNA – The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have reviewed the bloc’s achievement recorded over the past 50 years and put forth major development orientations for the ASEAN Community in the times ahead.
The ministers are gathering at the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 50) that opened in Manila, the Philippines, on August 5.
The ministers shared their view that the greatest attainment ASEAN has gained is the building of a favourable condition for peace and stability, helping bring nations in the region closer to create collective strength as well as a dialogue culture and cooperation for their growth.
They assessed the materialisation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and master plans on politics-security, economy, culture and social affairs.
In an effort to practically benefit ASEAN citizens, the ministers consented to promote programmes on economic development cooperation and narrow development gaps, increase connectivity, especially through the implementation of the third phase of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) and aims to ensure social welfare.
Applauding the initiative to combine the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the officials considered this one of the priorities and agreed to roll out a roadmap to boost the reciprocation of the two documents.
Regarding ASEAN’s external affairs, they extoled strides made in relations between the group and its partners and appreciated contributions of the partners to the formation of the ASEAN Community. They, therefore, agreed to deepen the partnerships in a more pragmatic fashion.
Solidarity and unity have helped ASEAN overcome various difficulties and challenges, they stated, stressing the need to carry on with such values to reap more success and further grow.
ASEAN should display its common stance on regional issues in order to contribute to peace, stability and development in the region, the FMs stated, agreeing to promote the formation of a law-based regional structure on the basis of current ASEAN-led forums and mechanisms.
They expressed common concern over traditional and non-traditional challenges facing regional security, including the increase of terrorism and piracy, and the situation in the Korean Peninsula and the East Sea.
Mentioning the East Sea issue, the participating countries shared viewpoints on maintaining peace, stability, navigation and aviation security and safety in the East Sea.
He listed stagnant intra-bloc trade, negative impacts of the anti-globalisation movement and the slow application of outcomes of the fourth industrial revolution as challenges to the group.
Against the background, the official suggested upholding efficiency of the ASEAN Community through the effectuation of measures and policies aiming to facilitate the development of all enterprises of all sizes, and combining initiatives in ASEAN cooperation with those of ASEAN partners.
He also stressed the need to enhance education and training, establish a network of agencies and institutes for scientific and technological research, and accelerate the materialisation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration, particularly in the areas of education and training.
At the same time, efforts should be made to fast-track the reform of administrative procedures and operation of the ASEAN apparatus, set common standards for ASEAN meetings and intensify the role of the common coordination mechanism in instructing inter-sectoral issues, he stated.
He also reiterated Vietnam’s consistent stance on the significance of peace, stability, navigation and aviation security in the East Sea to regional peace and stability.
Disputes should be resolved peacefully in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and respect for legal and diplomatic processes, he stated, stressing the need for concerned parties to back efforts to build trust and prevent conflicts.
He noted that developing a suitable approach to the East Sea issue constitutes ASEAN’s practical contribution to long-term peace and stability in the region and also proves its competence, efficiency and central role in regional and international matters.
On the topic of non-traditional security challenges, Minh pointed out adverse impacts of terrorism and piracy on security and social order in the region.
He also added that Vietnam will work together with other ASEAN members to strengthen comprehensive cooperation within regional mechanisms and frameworks in order to cope with the problems.
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