ARF urged to continue trust building measures, preventive diplomacy

(VOVWORLD) - The 25th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) took place in Singapore on Saturday with the participation of foreign ministers from 26 countries and the European Union (EU)’s representative.
ARF urged to continue trust building measures, preventive diplomacy - ảnh 1

The ministers shared the view that after 25 years of development, the ARF has continued to affirm its role as one of the key forums for dialogue and cooperation in politics-security, building trust, and implementing preventive diplomacy in the region.

The ministers welcomed the recent progress in regional issues and called on relevant parties to fully and seriously implement the reached agreements to ensure sustainable peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

The ministers also voiced concerns about trade protectionism and emerging security challenges, including terrorism, trans-national crimes, marine security, cybersecurity, and natural disasters. They agreed to strengthen cooperation within the framework of the ARF and other regional mechanisms to better cope with these challenges.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the ministers reaffirmed the significance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea. Many of them voiced concerns over activities which have eroded trust, including militarization, increased tension and may undermine peace, security, and stability in the region. Thus, the ministers laid stress on the restraint and settlement of disputes based on international laws and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) as well as respect of the diplomatic progress and legal procedures. They said that concerned parties must not use or threaten to use force, and not carry out militarization activities, while fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), towards reaching an effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

At the forum, the ministers agreed to adopt the ARF statement on disaster relief cooperation, the list of the ARF’s activities in 2018 and 2019, and the ARF’s work plans on maritime security and disaster relief in 2018-2020.

In his address, Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh lauded the ARF’s role and contributions in the past time, including the promotion of dialogues, and cooperation to build trust and respond to security challenges. He informed Vietnam’s initiatives to host an ARF workshop on enhancing cooperation among law enforcement forces at sea, and another seminar on applying the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and international legal tools to cope with marine challenges.