Complex developments in East Sea on agenda of top regional security forum
10:41 | 03/08/2019
VGP – Many of the Foreign Minsters to the 26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), held in Bangkok, Thailand on Auguts 2, expressed concerns over the recent complex developments, including serious incidents in the East Sea.

The ministers emphasized the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, upholding international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

They called for self-restraint, non-militarization,  avoidance of actions that may complicate the situation, and full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).

Acknowledging some progresses in the negotiations on a Code of Conduct (COC), the ministers agreed the the current situation in the East Sea requires an effective and practical COC in line with the international law.

Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at the 26th ASEAN Regional Forum in Bangkok, Thailand on August 2, 2019.

Speaking at the forum, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh appreciated the role of the ARF in enhancing dialogues and cooperation on political and security matters of common concern as well as in fostering cooperation in dealing with shared challenges in the region.

To promptly respond to fast security environment, Minh suggested establishment of a new vision for the ARF while innovating the working method of the forum, considering them as the targets that should be achieved in 2020.

Regarding the East Sea situation, Minh said grave concerns still remain due to ongoing unilateral actions and serious incidents in the East Sea, especially the actions that have seriously violated sovereign rights and jurisdiction of littoral countries.

He urged countries to uphold international law, including the rights and interests of littoral countries as defined by the provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and maintain an environment conducive to the talks process on an effective and practical Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Established in 1994, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is an important platform for security dialogue in the Indo-Pacific. It provides a setting in which members can discuss current security issues and develop cooperative measures to enhance peace and security in the region.

 It comprises 27 members: the 10 ASEAN member states (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam); the 10 ASEAN dialogue partners (Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States); Bangladesh, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste; and one ASEAN observer (Papua New Guinea)./.

By Thuy Dung

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