East Sea issue-key topic of ASEAN meetings
22:00 | 11/05/2014
VGP –The theme of this year’s ASEAN meetings is closely linked to the current situation, especially the recent developments in the East Sea, according to Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh.

The Deputy PM, FM told reporters after the 24th ASEAN Summit wrapped up in Myanmar on Sunday.

Regarding the major outcomes of the Summit, Deputy PM, FM Minh said ASEAN leaders focused discussions on both internal issues and external relations of the bloc.

Noticeably, the themeMoving Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community” of the Summit is closely linked to the current situation, especially the recent developments in the East Sea, which require ASEAN’s greater solidarity to maintain peace and stability in the region and promote its central role.

Deputy PM, FM Minh said that East Sea issue was a key topic of the 24th ASEAN Summit during which ASEAN leaders voiced their deep concern over China’s installation of the drilling rig and deployment of ships in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of an ASEAN member state, saying this dangerous act violates the international law, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) to which China is a signatory.

The China’s move seriously undermines maritime security and safety in the East Sea as well as peace and stability in the region.

Accordingly, ASEAN leaders agreed on the necessity to show a common stance on the current situation in the East Sea, ask relevant parties to exercise restraint, without using or threatening to use force, settle disputes peacefully, comply with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and work towards early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea in order to ensure a peaceful and stable environment and prevent escalating tensions in the region.

The above concerns can be found in the Nay Pyi Taw Statement on building ASEAN Community in 2015 and the Chairman’s Statement of the 24th ASEAN Summit. At the same time, ASEAN Foreign Ministers agreed on issuing a Statement on the current developments in the East Sea.

This reflects the solidarity, high consensus, active role and responsibility of ASEAN for peace, stability and security in the East Sea in particular and in the region as a whole; strongly affirms the principles of international law and of ASEAN. This is also the first time since 1995, ASEAN issued a specific Statement on a complicated situation threatening peace, maritime security and safety in the East Sea.

Besides, ASEAN leaders discussed on measures to beef up the process of building ASEAN Community and post-2015 development orientations, ASEAN’s external relations, promotion of ASEAN’s central role in the regional architecture. They also talked on other regional and international issues of common concern.

For Viet Nam’s contributions, Deputy PM, FM Minh said Viet Nam has made active and responsible contributions to the Summit.

Firstly, PM Nguyen Tan Dung had a keynote speech which mentions the implementation of the ASEAN Community building roadmap, ASEAN’s future, and the bloc’s orientations of external relations.

Especially, PM Dung conveyed a clear message of Viet Nam regarding the current serious developments in the East Sea, affirming Viet Nam’s consistent stance and constructive proposals for settling this issue.

Secondly, Viet Nam contributed to enhancing solidarity and promoting the central role of ASEAN over the region’s issues. Viet Nam and other ASEAN member states maintained common consensus and a responsible voice over the East Sea issue. Enhancing ASEAN’s solidarity and unity is of significant importance as it is the impulse for ASEAN to settle many other complicated issues.

Thirdly, Viet Nam made active and important contributions to the documents released during the Summit so that these documents reflect ASEAN’s priorities and future orientations, especially ASEAN’s solidarity and central role to ensure peace, security, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world./.

By Hai Minh

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