ASEAN to develop all links

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VietnamNet English - 99 month(s) ago 5 readings

ASEAN to develop all links

Regional Foreign Ministers pose for a photo at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat which concluded yesterday in the central city of Da Nang, Viet Nam. (Photo: CT) Held in the central city of Da Nang, ministers stressed the need to prioritise connectivity on a wide range of issues including infrastructure, telecommunications, information technology, migration and trade.

VietNamNet Bridge – ASEAN member nations will focus on increasing the bloc's internal connectivity and deepening its linkages with external partners, concluded the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat yesterday, January 14.

Connectivity has been promoted as a way to help ASEAN nations cope better with global challenges like natural disasters, climate change and economic recovery. "These are also central issues for ASEAN moves over the next five years as the bloc pursues the goal of community building," said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem.

Measures were also agreed on to formulate concrete projects and mobilise resources to narrow development gaps in the lead-up to ASEAN integration.

Ministers endorsed the ASEAN Protocol on Dispute Settlement Mechanism in principle and urged the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights to develop a five-year plan. They affirmed that co-operation in responding to climate change remained a key priority of the bloc.

To expand the bloc's external relations, preparations were made for upcoming summits with the US, China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and India. It was also agreed that ASEAN's representation at the G-20 Summit would be promoted.

ASEAN accreditation was granted to Germany, Slovakia, Hungary, Switzerland, Pakistan and Morocco during the meeting.

In parallel with the Foreign Ministers' Retreat, the ASEAN Political Security Community Council Meeting was also held yesterday in Da Nang. Representatives agreed to improve information sharing and co-ordination among the council's sectoral members and tasked officials to effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

The meeting was briefed by Viet Nam which presented its plan to hold the first ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting with ASEAN's external partners. The representative from Viet Nam also proposed the establishment of a forum where ASEAN chiefs of public security could meet.

Ministers tasked ASEAN senior officials to finalise guidelines for accession and amend the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation in Southeast Asia to facilitate the European Union accession to the treaty. Officials were also urged to continue efforts to negotiate with nuclear-power states on their possible accession to the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty.

Khiem said he believed the meetings yesterday set an important precedence for ASEAN co-operation during 2010. "The country will make its best effort to closely co-operate with other ASEAN nations to successfully implement the goals set for the year."

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

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