ASEAN foreign ministers meet on sidelines of UNGA’s 73rd session
Updated : Sunday, September 30, 2018 10:36 AM (GMT+0700)

Foreignministers (FMs) of member countries of the Association of Southeast AsianNations (ASEAN) convened an unofficial annual meeting on the sidelines of the73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 28.

Scene at the unofficial annual meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers on the sidelines of
the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 28 - Photo: VNA

Singapore, which currentlyholds the rotating ASEAN chair, updated the participants on its preparationsfor hosting the upcoming 33rd ASEAN Summit, high-level meetings withpartners and the 13th East Asia Summit (EAS) scheduled to take placefrom November 13-15.

The FMs discussed ASEANnations supporting each other’s bids for posts at the UN and at otherinternational organisations, saying that it is demonstration of solidarity anda step toward the building and promotion of the ASEAN Community globally. Theyagreed to frequently get updated on the candidacy of bloc member nations.

Deliberating internationaland regional issues of common concern, the officials affirmed cooperation inthe region aims at ensuring peace and stability, with dialogue andcollaboration being major tools in international relations. 

They recommended ASEAN maintainsolidarity and balanced approach based on multilateralism and free trade amidglobal complicated developments. 

The meeting reached anagreement on the building of ASEAN’s common stance on the regionalarchitecture, particularly in the bloc’s processing of ideas, initiatives andstrategies freshly raised in the region.

The FMs also exchangedopinions on Myanmar’s situation, expressing their hope that the MyanmarGovernment will soon have a specific plan to tackle issues in Rakhine state forthe sake of local people as well as the ASEAN Community and SoutheastAsian.   

Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy,Deputy FM and Head of the Vietnamese Permanent Mission to the UN, highlightedASEAN’s central role in the region and noted that solidarity and unity in thebloc is the key to ensuring peace and stability in the region. 

He suggested the bloc takethe lead in maintaining dialogue and cooperation among countries byprioritising basic principles, like self-restraint, avoidance of unilateralacts that could complicate the situation, respect for international law, andbuilding a rule-based regional architecture.

Regarding the East Seaissue, Quy reiterated ASEAN’s common stance and asked the concerned parties tofully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC)and accelerate negotiations toward the adoption of a Code of Conduct (COC) inthe East Sea.

He underscored that theprocess requires self-restraint and avoidance of unilateral acts, as well asthe creation of favorable conditions for COC negotiation.

The same day, the FMsattended the ASEAN-UN Ministerial Meeting (AUMM), which affirmed the sides’commitments to reinforcing the comprehensive strategic partnership toward therealisation of the ASEAN Vision 2025 and the UN Agenda 2030 for SustainableDevelopment. 

Lauding the fruitfuloutcomes of bilateral cooperation based on the ASEAN-UN action plan for 2016 –2020, the two sides agreed to increase activities that foster links between theUN Agenda 2030 and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

The officials also agreed toboost collaboration in preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping, cross-border crimeprevention, implementation of UN sustainable development goals (SDGs), climatechange adaptation, environmental protection and women empowerment.

They highlighted the supportfor multilateralism and regional connectivity processes. They emphasized therule of law and the importance of respecting international law, including the1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in peacefullysettling disputes, preventing conflicts, and maintaining peace in the regionand the world.

Speaking at the event,Ambassador Quy affirmed Vietnam’s support for increasing ASEAN-UN cooperationin peacekeeping, preventive diplomacy, and law enforcement in the region.

He expected that the UNwould continue helping ASEAN build its community and realise the SDGs.

The diplomat informed theparticipants that Vietnam will work with the UN and the ASEAN Institute forPeace and Reconciliation to hold the ASEAN-UN Regional Dialogue on peace and reconciliationlater this year.


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