ASEAN leaders support settlement of disputes based on int’l law
18:40 | 07/09/2016
VGP – ASEAN leaders discussed the bloc’s external relations and regional and international issues of common concern at the 29th ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Laos on Wednesday.

Leaders to the 29th ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Laos, September 7, 2016. Photo: VGP

Regarding external relations, the regional leaders highly appreciated the successes of the ASEAN-US Special Summit in February, 2016, the ASEAN-Russia Commemorative Summit held last May to mark the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership, as well as preparations for the ongoing ASEAN Summits with its partners.

ASEAN leaders also welcomed the upgrading of the relations between ASEAN and Germany and Switzerland; agreed to deepen ties with partners in such domains like trade, investment, sustainable development, connectivity, narrowing development gap, and response to global challenges.

The regional leaders also talked on regional and international challenges, including terrorism, extremism, cyber crime, climate change and diseases, especially Zika, and situations in the East Sea and Korean peninsula.

The bloc expressed their concern over terrorism risks in the region, especially in the context that terrorist groups are seeking ways to expand operation areas and build bases in Southeast Asia.

They also concerned about complicated cyber attacks, thus the member countries need to be more vigilant, increase resources to counter such kinds of attacks, and improve legal framework.

For regional level, the leaders stressed the need to share information and coordinate in effectively implementing relevant agreements and specialized cooperative mechanisms.

The leaders agreed to foster international cooperation in order to fruitfully realize international commitments, take advantage of resources and experience in coping with cross-border challenges like climate change and Zika disease.

The ASEAN leaders underlined the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the region; settling disputes peacefully on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully respecting diplomatic and legal processes, strictly observing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and working towards the conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

The 29th ASEAN Summit also gave prominence to maintaining solidarity and unity as well as the central role of ASEAN in relations with its partners, handling challenges and shaping a law-based architecture in the region.

ASEAN need to take an active and leading role and improve the effectiveness of ASEAN-led mechanisms in order to continue attracting the engagement and contributions of its partners./.

By Quang Minh

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