Officials talk priorities for ASEAN in 2018
Updated : Monday, January 15, 2018 10:09 AM (GMT+0700)

TheASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) Retreat took place in Singapore onJanuary 12, discussing priorities for 2018 and the preparation for some of thegrouping’s major activities in the time ahead.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung led the Vietnamese delegation to the
ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting Retreat in Singapore on January 12 - Photo: VNA

This was also the bloc’sfirst meeting in 2018 when Singapore holds the ASEAN Chair.

Participants welcomed theSingapore-proposed theme of building a resilient and innovative ASEAN thisyear, which illustrates the member countries’ resolve to stand firm in front ofchallenges, enhance cooperation, and together grasp opportunities to develop.

The ASEAN countries agreedto continue maintaining the bloc’s solidarity and central role, build laworder, ensure peace and security, and promote cooperation to cope with suchchallenges as terrorism, natural disasters and climate change. They agreed tomake use of opportunities brought about by scientific-technological developmentto grow more rapidly through initiatives relating to e-commerce, smart city,and cooperation in aviation, tourism and youth.

The meeting looked intopreparations for the summit commemorating ASEAN-India relations in New Delhi onJanuary 24-25, the ASEAN-Australia special summit in Sydney on March 17-18, the15th anniversary of the ASEAN-China strategic partnership and theASEAN-China Year of Innovation this year.

Officials also scrutinisedthe full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct ofParties in the East Sea (DOC) and the building of a code of conduct in the waters.

Facing developments in theinternational and regional situation, the member countries shared the view thatASEAN need to keep solidarity and unanimity and consolidate existing mechanismsand forums so as to continue connecting the countries in dialogue andcontribute to regional peace, security and development.

Addressing the event, DeputyForeign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of Vietnam’s ASEAN SOM delegation, saidto have a resilient and innovative ASEAN, the grouping needs to continuerespecting the basic principles in order to maintain its solidarity and centralrole, bring into play its key role in resolving regional issues, and improvethe capacity of dealing with challenges.

To build an innovativeASEAN, the member nations should also gear up to grasp technology and promoteinnovative development, he added.

Regarding swift changes inthe international and regional situation, Deputy Minister Dung asked ASEAN tokeep close consultation and enhance the role and value of regional mechanismsand forums launched and led by ASEAN, thereby maintaining a framework for allpartners to continue engaging in and contributing to peace, stability andcommon development.

On this occasion, heannounced that Vietnam will host the 23rd meeting of the ASEAN-Chinaworking group on the DOC implementation on March 1 and 2.

Later on January 12,officials participated in a ceremony launching the ASEAN Year 2018 under thechair of Singapore.


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