For an ASEAN of one Community, one Vision
Monday, July 09, 2012
(VOVworld) - Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh leads the Vietnamese delegation at this year’s 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting as well as the Post Ministerial Meeting, the East Asia Summit, and the 19th ASEAN Regional Forum in Phnompenh, Cambodia. Vietnam’s participation in these meetings aims to consolidate the bloc’s solidarity and cooperation, promote its responsibility for peace and security while boosting Vietnam’s role and position in the region.
The annual meeting of 27 foreign ministers reviews past cooperation within ASEAN and between ASEAN and its partners, explores ways to boost future cooperation, and debates international issues of mutual concern, especially those related to regional peace and security.
The 45th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting kicks off on July 9, 2012 in Phnompenh, Cambodia. (Photo: internet)
Amid complicated developments such as territorial conflicts, climate change, and economic crisis, ASEAN members all desire an environment of peace and stability in which to develop together. Foreign Minister Minh said ASEAN needs even greater solidarity and is determined to realize its plan to build an ASEAN Community. Minh said: "It’s necessary to improve the central role of ASEAN, enhance regional structures, and develop ASEAN’s role in regional issues. ASEAN is urged to further contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the region, improve the existing mechanisms of conducts and regulations such as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea towards the compilation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea."
Looking back at what has been done since the 44th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bali, Indonesia, Vietnam has spared no effort to realize its commitments to reach the goal of building an ASEAN Community. In addition to improving cooperation within the bloc, Vietnam has actively contributed to expanding ASEAN’s external relations with its partners. This month Vietnam became an official coordinator for dialogues between ASEAN and the European Union. Top priorities are implementing the ASEAN-EU Trade and Investment Work Programme and completing a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and ASEAN. Vietnam will increase consultations with both ASEAN and the EU to define their needs and bridge the two blocs, while encouraging the EU to make practical commitments to building the ASEAN-EU relationship.
Vietnam has made significant contributions to improving ASEAN’s relationship with its partners. For example, since last November, as a coordinator of ASEAN-China relationship, Vietnam along with other ASEAN countries have carried out consultations on the compilation of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea to serve as a foundation for later consultations with China on this issue. The Code of Conduct was completed late last month. Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh says this Code of Conduct is based on the major points of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea signed between ASEAN and China in Phnompenh a decade ago. However, the Code of Conduct has legal-binding clauses on settling disputes among parties in the East Sea in accordance with international law, especially the UN Charter, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation signed by China and ASEAN. Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh said: "The DOC between ASEAN and China was signed 10 years ago. This declaration calls for international law and the Convention on the Law of the Sea to settle disputes peacefully, and regulate behaviors among related parties. Unfortunately, over the past decade, although the DOC has been considered the foundation for regulating the behavior of countries, it has provoked many thorny problems related to peace, stability, security, and safe navigation in the region. ASEAN countries agree that it’s time for the region to have another new tool- the COC- to ensure peace, stability, security, and safe navigation."