VN frankly expresses concerns at AMM-53 over serious incidents in East Sea
21:27 | 09/09/2020
VGP - ASEAN Foreign Ministers reiterated their strong commitment to maintain the Southeast Asia region of peace, stability, security and neutrality amidst rising global uncertainties, during their 53rd virtual meeting on Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh chairs the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in virtual format on September 9, 2020. Photo: VGP

The ministers approved Five-Year Work Plan 2021-2025 of the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and its Priority Program for 2021.

Regarding the bloc’s external relations, the regional ministers agreed on the need to organize ASEAN-Australia Summit annually and granted development partner status to Italy and France.

They also adopted measures to improve operating prodecures of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

For regional and international issues of common concern, the ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.

In the face of recent complex developments, the foreign ministers agreed that ASEAN needs to consistently hold onto its principled position, urging for self-restraint, non-militarization, and peaceful settlement of disputes.

They called for further upholding international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The ministers reaffirmed the importance of full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and continued effforts in formulating an effective and practical Code of Conduct in the East Sea in accordance with international law and the  UNCLOS.

In addition, ASEAN committed to continue offering assistance to Myanmar to handle humanitarian situation in the Rakhine state and reiterating their position of supporting a peaceful, stable and nuclear-free Korean peninsula.

The member countries applauded Viet Nam, as the current ASEAN Chair, for having putting forward initiatives to promote coordination in COVID-19 fight, ASEAN Community building process, and consolidation of the ASEAN centrality.

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh called for strengthening ASEAN solidarity and coordinated voices and actions, taking actions on the basis of reached principles, including those enshrined in the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement on importance of maintaining peace and stability in Southeast Asia issued on August 8, 2020.

Minh frankly expressed concerns over recent complex developments and serious incidents in the East Sea, which have gone contrary to international law and the UNCLOS, violated the legitimate rights and interests of littoral countries, intensified tensions, and undermined peace and security in the East Sea.

The same day, Deputy PM, FM Minh chaired the Meeting of the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone Commission (SEANWFZ), the 27th meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council, and special session of the ASEAN Coordinating Council on Sub-regional Development./.

By Thuy Dung

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