Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh called on ASEAN to take a proactive approach and uphold its sense of responsibility in dealing with the East Sea issue while attending the 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM 48) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 4.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers at the meeting (Photo: vietnam+)
Addressing the meeting’s sessions, Minh emphasised the need for ASEAN to encourage the parties involved to follow the common agreed-upon principles, particularly the principles on restraint, not using or threatening to use force, and handling all disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law—especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) – particularly Article 5, while working towards the formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
Regarding the ASEAN Community, the Deputy PM said the establishment of the community is a strategic move to urgently enhance ASEAN and regional connectivity to benefit peace, stability, development and the interests of peoples in the region.
He made it clear that both opportunities and challenges will face the group during the community building process, stressing that ASEAN should intensify its extensive connectivity and promote its central role in the region.
The Vietnamese official requested each member nation invest more efforts and resources in carrying out remaining tasks towards building the community and implementing the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and the second phase of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration.
They were also asked to tighten relations with partners to strengthen the central role of ASEAN, especially in ensuring peace and stability in the region and effectively tackling both traditional and non-traditional security challenges, including the complex situation in the East Sea, while continuing to strengthen the bloc’s unity and solidarity as well as its capacity and operation efficiency and intensifying communications to raise public awareness of the group.
Minh welcomed the normalisation of relations between Cuba and the US and called for the US’s early removal of its embargo against Cuba. He requested the inclusion of the issue in the AMM 48 joint statement.