PSNews - Vietnam once again affirms its consistent position on the East Sea (South China Sea), emphasizing the importance of resolving disputes by peaceful means on the basis of respect for international law, including UNCLOS 1982, and diplomatic and legal processes.
The Senior Officials' Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (SOM ARF), hosted by the Philippines, took place in Manila on May 24 with the aim of discussing orientations for regional cooperation and preparing for the 24th ARF Foreign Ministerial Meeting in August 2017 in the Philippines.
Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, Head of the SOM ARF of Vietnam led a Vietnamese delegation to attend the meetings.
|Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, Head of the SOM ARF of Vietnam leads a Vietnamese delegation to attend the meetings.
The meeting recognized positive developments in the implementation of the Hanoi Plan of Action to realize the ARF 2020 Vision Statement and cooperation on priority areas, including maritime security, disaster relief, counterterrorism; transnational crime prevention; disarmament and nonproliferation.
The SOM ARF also reviewed new proposals for cooperation and agreed on a list of activities for the inter-session of 2017-2018, which will be submitted to the ministers for approval in August 2017.
In light of the rapid developments in the world and region and the emergence of complex, multi-dimensional security challenges, senior officials reaffirmed their determination to enhance the role of the ARF as an important security forum, aiming to promote dialogue, cooperation and building trust in the region.
Delegates emphasized the continued need to strengthen the basic principles of the Forum such as consultation, consensus, progressive development; and to accelerate the transition to preventive diplomacy in parallel with the vigorous deployment of confidence-building measures; to improve capacity in coping with emerging challenges in the region such as cyber security, piracy, terrorism and violent extremism, human trafficking, contributing to ensuring peace, development in the area.
|Delegates at the meeting.
Many countries at SOM ARF expressed concerns about the situation in the East Sea, especially in activities of accretion, embellishment and militarization, which seriously affect peace, security, maritime and aviation freedom and safety in the region.
In this context, SOM ARF delegates continued affirming the importance of resolving disputes by peaceful means on the basis of respect for international law, including UNCLOS 1982. Member nations also applauded efforts made by ASEAN and China in seriously and fully realizing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) as well as new progress in building the framework of a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea, laying a foundation for the completion of a practical, effective and legally binding COC.
Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung once again reaffirmed Viet Nam's consistent position on the East Sea, emphasizing the importance of resolving disputes by peaceful means on the basis of respect for international law, including UNCLOS 1982 and diplomatic and legal processes.
In the context of continuing concern about embellishing and militarizing activities in the East Sea, the Vietnamese delegation affirmed that countries should step up their self-control, build trust and prevent marine incidents.
In addition, the Deputy Minister also applauded the efforts made by ASEAN and China in seriously and fully realizing the DOC as well as new progress in building the framework of the COC, laying a foundation for the completion of a practical, effective and legally binding COC.
Participants also exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula, calling for Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to stop its missile and nuclear weapons tests.
Member nations also stressed the importance of reducing tension, resuming dialogues and settling disputes peacefully, in accordance with international law, respecting and fully implementing relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council.
A DPRK representative then claimed that the country is forced to take action to protect itself against external security threats.
Under the plan, Vietnam will co-chair the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security (ISM-MS) 2018-2020 together with its EU and Australian counterparts, and co-chair the ARF Experts and Eminent Persons (EEPs) 2018; and host the ARF Workshop on Strengthening Sea Legal Cooperation and Peacekeeping in 2017.By Phung Nguyen