ASEAN prioritises community building efforts

April 25, 2013 | 19:17
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PM Nguyen Tan Dung has emphasised the need to realise the vision of a united and resilient ASEAN community in order to expand its role in addressing regional challenges.

ASEAN leaders show their unity at the opening ceremony in Brunei (Photo:VGP)

The bloc needs to act proactively and with unity to maintain a regional environment of peace, security and development, and to effectively cope with challenges such as the global economic recession, natural disasters, climate change, maritime security and epidemics, Dung said at the 22nd ASEAN summit in Brunei on April 24-25.

To realise these goals, PM Dung urged ASEAN to take advantage of its current cooperative mechanisms, including the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting - Plus (ADMM+).

He called on ASEAN to increase interregional connectivity in terms of infrastructure, politics, and people, and broaden its cooperation with dialogue partners.

Dung and other ASEAN leaders spent time discussing the East Sea situation, an issue of common concern that all agreed ASEAN must respond to with consensus.

He asked the parties concerned to honour their signed commitments and agreements, including the six-point principle on the East Sea, the Declaration of Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on the 10th anniversary of the DOC.

He said disputes should be settled peacefully and with respect for international laws like the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Vietnamese government leader called on the parties to strengthen confidence building measures, and early negotiate the Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.

He voiced Vietnam’s support for Thailand’s active role in coordinating dialogues between ASEAN and China, and stressed that both sides need to work hard to speed up COC negotiations.

Community plan on the right track

ASEAN leaders acknowledged the targeted 2015 ASEAN Community’s blueprints for a political-security, economic, and socio-cultural community are being implemented as scheduled.

They agreed to intensify ASEAN community building efforts at national and regional levels in response to a rapidly evolving regional structure.

They welcomed dialogue partners’ cooperation and their contributions to peace, security, stability, trust, and development in the region, underlining the need to deepen these relations further.

The leaders assigned foreign ministers and senior officials representing select ASEAN member states to continue to work with China on advancing the progress of COC negotiations.


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