ASEAN urged to consider solidarity, unity as core priority
07:34 | 20/01/2019
VGP – Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh urged ASEAN to consider solidarity, unity and centrality as the core and consistent priority guiding all activities of the bloc.

Deputy PM, FM  Pham Binh Minh. Photo: VGP/Hai Minh

Minh stressed the point while delivering his remarks at the ASEAN Retreat that took place in Chiang Mai, Thailand on January 17-18.

He suggested the ASEAN member countries coordinate closely and support each other in accelerating innovation, startups and development of high-quality human resource development.

High valuing Thailand’s role as the current ASEAN Chair, Minh vowed to work with the country to successfully realize the bloc’s priorities in 2019.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Minh emphasized that the situation still remains complicated, especially rising militarization activities, thus he asked ASEAN to maintain solidarity and have common voice to contribute to ensuring peace, stability and security in the region based on their agreed principles, including self-restraint, non-militarization, full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and striving for conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea that is effective, efficient and in accordance with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

During the two-day meeting, the ASEAN FMs reviewed the process of building ASEAN Community and the implementation of the outcomes of the 33rd ASEAN Summit held in Singapore last November, discussing the regional cooperation priorities in 2019 and international issues of common concerns.

The FMs acknowledged that ASEAN has continued reaping achievements in building the ASEAN Community with more than 80% of action lines realized.

The regional economies are estimated to grow over 5% on average in 2018.

ASEAN commits to beefing up sustainable development and economic connectivity while enhancing the capacity to take advantages of the 4th industrial revolution.

ASEAN will also step up comprehensive cooperation with its partners and promote its centrality to build an open, transparent, inclusive and rule-based regional architecture.

For the East Sea issue, the regional FMs agreed that ASEAN needs to continue exchanges on the East Sea situation, acknowledging concerns over consolidation and expansion activities that have eroded trust, intensified tensions, and undermine peace and security in the region.

They reaffirmed ASEAN’s positions and agreed to boost talks on an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the East Sea./.

By Thuy Dung

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