Vietnam attends ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting
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Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh joined delegates from the nine other ASEAN member countries at the 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting, which opened in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on July 9.
Addressing the opening meeting, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that after 45 years, ASEAN has become a closely integrated political and economic entity, an influential player in Asia and an indispensable strategic partner of several major countries and global organisations.
| Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh |
ASEAN’s numerous achievements underline its members’ strong commitment and political will to continue working closely together in the spirit of unity, solidarity, friendship and cooperation, said PM Hun Sen.
That spirit is confirmed by the motto of the 2012 ASEAN Summit in April: ‘ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny,’ which was chosen by Cambodia as the current ASEAN Chair, he added.
However, he said, despite its achievements, ASEAN still faces a number of challenges both globally and regionally, such as impacts of the economic difficulties in major economies, the prolonged debt crisis in Europe, food and energy security, climate change, terrorism and trans-national crime.
He highlighted the significant role ASEAN foreign minister play in coordinating and shaping the ASEAN Community, especially settling issues related to security, political cooperation and the bloc’s external relationships.
PM Hun Sen took the occasion to call on ASEAN FMs to focus on realising the ASEAN Charter and ASEAN Community by 2015.
He said maintaining regional peace and security is essential for the bloc to prosper and develop. ASEAN needs to speed up negotiations and cooperate in security and political matters to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
It should use all its current mechanisms to ensure regional peace and security including the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia; the Southeast Asian Treaty on a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone; the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea; the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus.
PM Hun Sen underlined the necessity of implementing the DOC to finalise the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
At the retreat meeting after the opening ceremony, the ASEAN FMs will discuss accelerating the creation of an ASEAN Community by 2015; ASEAN-China talks on drafing the COC; and cooperation between ASEAN and its partners within the framework of the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone Treaty; as well as increased cooperation on ASEAN development issues to 2015 and a promoting a drug free ASEAN Community.