Themove aims to contribute to tackling regional security challenges and tighteningconnectivity in the region, the official said at the 18th ASEAN 3Foreign Ministers Meeting and the seventh EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting inManila, the Philippines, on August 7. The events took place as part of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings.
Applaudingprogress the ten-member group and its partners have made, FM Minh called on thepartners to continue helping ASEAN achieve goals towards building the ASEANCommunity 2025.
Regardingfuture cooperation, he suggested ASEAN 3 focus on trade, finance andintensifying capacity and regional connectivity, prioritising the developmentof micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
At theEAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, Minh said ASEAN should carry forward itscentral role and consider maritime affiliation a new cooperation priority ofthe EAS.
At the18th ASEAN 3 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the delegates said ASEAN 3has become a dynamic and effective cooperation framework, contributing topeace, stability and development in East Asia.
Theylauded ASEAN 3’s recent fruitful collaboration, especially in implementing theASEAN Working Plan for 2013-2017 and action plans on the recommendations of theEast Asia Vision Group II.
Participatingcountries underlined the significance of cooperation in stabilising regionalfinance and showed their support for free and equal trade, mentioning negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the enhancement of therole of the Chiang Mai Initiative MultilateralisationAgreement in the regional financial network.
The FMs agreed to step up partnerships in coping with globalchallenges such as food security, energy, climate change, natural disastermanagement and diseases, while implementing initiatives in connectivity,sustainable development, narrowing development gaps and tourism cooperation.
They approved the Working Plan for 2018-2022, which will dictateASEAN 3 cooperation for the next five years, and discussed preparations for asummit marking the 20th anniversary of ASEAN 3 scheduled forNovember 2017.
At the seventh EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the ministersreiterated the role played by the EAS as a forum for leaders to debatestrategic issues and promote cooperation in maintaining peace, stability,security and development in the region.
They praised the EAS’s efforts in implementing the sixpriority areas of energy, education, finance, health care, natural disastersmanagement and connectivity, as well as measures to strengthen the EAS set inthe Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the EAS.
They also commented on the outcomes of decisions from the 11th EAS in September 2016 and the action plan on implementing the Phnom PenhInitiatives for 2015-2017.
The participants agreed to foster affiliation in the sixpriority areas, set forth a new action plan and consider expanding prioritycooperation areas in maritime issues, terrorism combat and non-proliferation ofnuclear weapons.
On the occasion, the FMs candidly discussed regional andinternational issues of shared concern, which have directly affected peace,security and stability in the region, with the most noteworthy being thesituation in the East Sea and the Korean Peninsula, and new security challengeslike terrorism and cyber security.
Peace and security are prerequisite conditions forcooperation, development and prosperity in and outside the region, they said.
Regarding the East Sea, they expressed concern over recentdevelopments in the sea, including unilateral activities such as militarisationand construction on disputed islands.
Stressing the importance of maintaining peace, stability,navigation and overflight security and safety in the East Sea, the FMs calledon relevant parties to deal with disputes peacefully, exercise restraint, notto use force, respect international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Lawof the Sea, and fully and effectively realise the Declaration on the Conduct ofParties in the East.
They welcomed the draft Codeof Conduct in the East Sea (COC) reached by ASEAN and China, which servesas a foundation to accelerate negotiations of COC.-VNA
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