Vietnam supports Cambodia’s ASEAN chairmanship
ASEAN foreign ministers gathered in Phnom Penh on April 2 for the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) and the meetings of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Council (APSC) and the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC).
They discussed the implementation of the agreement reached at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting Retreat in Siem Reap in January, 2012 to basically finalize the documents for submission to the 20 th ASEAN Summit.
They agreed that ASEAN should be more active in contributing to peace, security, stability and cooperation in the region and enhancing the role of the political security cooperation tools such as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ), the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Asia, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+).
FMs spoke highly of the UK’s involvement in the TAC and urged member countries to complete the third Protocol to amend the TAC to facilitate the EU’s participation in the treaty as soon as possible.
FMs underlined the need for ASEAN to deepen relations with its partners, bring into full play its central role in the regional cooperation process and prepare for shifting the cycle of ASEAN Dialogue Relations Coordination as from July.
They praised the recent developments in Myanmar, including the implementation of the seven-point roadmap for national reconciliation, stability and development, and the results of supplementary election on April 1. They also expressed their willingness to support Myanmar in assuming its role as ASEAN Chair in 2014, and to strengthen relations with the international community and call for the lifting of embargo against Myanmar.
At the seventh APSC meeting, the FMs praised ASEAN’s progress in the performance of the master plan on building the APSC over the past year and asked the organization to implement effectively 14 priority areas with a focus on promoting peace, stability, confidence building and standards for code of conducts in the region.
ASEAN needs to improve cooperation tools and mechanisms for the sake of peace and security in the region and cope with emerging challenges such as marine security, natural disaster management and transnational crime, they said.
Regarding the East Sea issue, they stressed the importance of ensuring peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea and settling disputes by peaceful means in accordance with international laws, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards the building of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC). They applauded the results of the SOM ASEAN working group on the regional Code of Conduct in the East Sea which serves as a foundation for exchanges between ASEAN and China.
At the 10 th of the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC), the FMs checked for the last time preparations for the 20 th ASEAN Summit and the coordination of the three community pillars, and considered the ASEAN Secretary General’s report.
At these meetings, FM Pham Binh Minh shared Vietnam’s viewpoints on ASEAN’s priority areas to strengthen solidarity towards the building of a strong and united ASEAN community and enhance the bloc’s role in promoting peace, security, stability and cooperation in the region.
Mr Minh affirmed that the TAC along with the SEANWFZ, DOC and ARF continue to be used as effective tools to strengthen political security for the sake of peace, stability and cooperation in the region.
Vietnam has adopted the third Protocol to amend the TAC and hopes that other countries will accelerate the ratification of the TAC for the EU to become involved in the treaty soon. Vietnam asked ASEAN member countries and nuclear weapon nations to finalize necessary preparations for signing a protocol of the SEANWFZ this year, Mr Minh said.
The Vietnamese FM also reiterated that ensuring peace, stability and security in the East Sea including marine security and safety are in line with the aspiration and common interests of all countries. Concern parties need to settle disputes in a peaceful manner in accordance with international laws, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and fully implement the Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards the building of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
On the sidelines of the AMM, FM Binh Minh met with his ASEAN counterparts to compare notes on bilateral cooperation issues of common concern.