Regional FMs advocate theme, priorities of ASEAN Chairmanship 2020
18:26 | 17/01/2020
VGP – Foreign ministers from 10 ASEAN member States and Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi gathered in Nha Trang city of the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa on Friday for their very first meeting - the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat.

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and foreign ministers from ASEAN member countries and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi pose for family photo before the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat in Nha Trang city of the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa on January 17, 2020

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During the event, the foreign ministers discussed on the bloc’s 2020 major orientations on Community building, external relations, and an array of regional and global issues among others.

The regional foreign ministers voiced support for the theme and priorities initiated by Viet Nam for the ASEAN Chairmanship Year, according to the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry.

Accordingly, ASEAN will focus on consolidating ASEAN solidarity and unity, fostering intra economic connectivity, trade and investment as well as sub-region connectivity while actively adapting to opportunities and challenges amid a fast-changing world.

The foreign ministers agreed to step up cooperation in environmental protection, peace, security and gender equality.

Regarding ASEAN external relations, the foreign ministers underlined the importance of further expanding and deepening cooperation with its dialogue partners, including organization of the ASEAN-US Commemorative Summit in March and the ASEAN-New Zealand Summit right after the 36th ASEAN Summit in the central city of Da Nang.

For the East Sea issue, the foreign ministers acknowledged progress in the talks on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), expressing their concerns over the recent developments, including the acts that violated sovereignty of some ASEAN member countries, leading to erosion of trust and increased tensions.

They reaffirmed the need to strengthen trust, exercise self-restraint, avoid acts that may further complicate the situation, and settle disputes through peaceful measures on the basis of international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The foreign ministers also emphasized the need for full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) in order to create a trustful environment for pushing talks toward conclusion of an effective and efficient Code of Conduct that is in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The foreign ministers affirmed that ASEAN will continue backing any efforts that could help boost reconciliation and sustainable development in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy PM, FM Minh expressed thanks to the support from the ASEAN member countries, saying that it symbolizes the ASEAN solidarity and consensus.

He reiterated that Viet Nam will try its best to successfully fulfill the role as the ASEAN Chair this year by working with other member countries for a region of peace, stability and prosperity and for a cohesive and resilient ASEAN.

The same day, Deputy PM, FM Minh chaired a press briefing to announce the outcomes of the ASEN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat./.

Quang Minh

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