ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting Reflects Bloc’s Determination to Handle Emerging Vital Issues
20:00 | 26/04/2021

VGP – The ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting, held in Jakarta, Indonesia on April 24, indicates the bloc’s determination to handle emerging vital issues in the region, said Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung

Nguyen said the meeting took place amid complicated evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in several regional member States.

Building on the newly-established position in 2020 when Viet Nam assumed the ASEAN Chair, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s participation in the meeting demonstrated Viet Nam’s constant wish to make proactive and responsible contributions to the bloc.

In remarks at the meeting, PM Pham mentioned a range of matters commonly concerned by the regional countries, such as COVID-19 containment, economic recovery, and the East Sea among others.

Pham suggested the member countries should pay greater attention to narrow development gap between sub-regions within ASEAN in order to ensure no one left behind.

To sustain ASEAN centrality in the current changing strategic environment, Pham, who took office on April 5, 2021, emphasized that trust and goodwill should be translated into concrete actions not aimed at intensifying tensions or complicating the situation.

Pham underlined that ASEAN must stick to its principled positions on the East Sea issue, including those pertaining to maintenance of peace, stability, security, and safety of navigation and aviation and observation of international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

He also called for serious implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and for early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

On Myanmar situation, PM Pham affirmed Viet Nam respects the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries but he suggested ASEAN send its representatives to Myanmar to meet with parties concerned and accelerate dialogues in order to seek peaceful solutions while enhancing humanitarian assistance to Myanmar people.

As the current UNSC non-permanent member, he urged Myanmar and other member countries to coordinate closely with Viet Nam to rally support from the bloc’s partners for ASEAN to work out proper, feasible and practical solutions to the Myanmar issue.

Regarding PM Pham’s bilateral meetings with ASEAN leaders, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen said these meetings offered Pham opportunities to reaffirm Viet Nam’s foreign policy adopted at the 13th National Party Congress and establish working relations with the regional counterparts.

During these meetings, the leaders discussed and shaped major cooperation orientations as well as specific measures to boost cooperation with each of the regional countries.

The leaders also discussed regional and international security and strategic issues of shared concerns and agreed to further enhance coordination and mutual support at international forums./.

By Thuy Ha

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