Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham BinhMinh on January 17 presided over a retreat of the foreign ministers of theASEAN countries (AMM Retreat), with the participation of the foreign ministersof other ASEAN members and the bloc’s Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (centre) and other officials
at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat in Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province, on
January 17 - Photo: VNA
This is the first meeting of the ASEAN top diplomats thisyear to discuss the priority orientations of the regional grouping this year,especially the building of the community, the bloc’s foreign relations, andinternational and regional issues.
The ministers expressed their support and held that thethemes and priority orientations tabled by Vietnam for ASEAN 2020 are suitableto the goal of the building of the ASEAN Community. ASEAN 2020 cooperation willfocus on the fortification of the grouping’s solidarity and unity, and others.The ministers also agreed to push up the cooperation for the protection of theenvironment, peace, security and gender equity.
Representatives of the countries agreed with Vietnam’sproposal on the action plan of the ASEAN this year, according to which the blocwill realise a number of initiatives.
Regarding foreign relations, they stressed the importance offurther broadening and deepening the ASEAN external ties. The ASEAN – NewZealand commemorative summit will be held on April 9 right after the 36thASEAN summit to be held in Da Nang. The foreign ministers agreed to proposeASEAN top leaders to accept the invitation from the US President to a specialsummit to mark the fifth anniversary of the ASEAN – US strategic partnership tobe held in the US in March, and accepted Vietnam’s proposal on sending theASEAN Secretary General to inform the UN Security Council of the ASEAN – UNcooperation.
The ministers devoted much time exchanging ideas on the situationin the East Sea. They noted the progress in the negotiations on the Code ofConduct (COC) and expressed concern on land reclamation at sea, especially onthe recent developments, including the serious incidents that violatesovereignty in the sea of a number of ASEAN members and intensify tension,erode trust and do not facilitate the COC negotiations.
The top diplomats reaffirmed the need to boost trust, refrainfrom and avoid actions that further complicate the situation, towards settlingdisputes by peaceful means, and to take international law, the UN Convention onthe Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as the basis for claims on sovereignty andsovereign right on the waters. They also stressed the need for the fullimplementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea(DOC) so as to create an environment of mutual trust.
The ministers affirmed ASEAN will continue supporting effortsaimed at bringing back peace, stability, respect to the law and acceleration ofreconciliation and concord among the communities, as well as ensuringsustainable development in Myanmar’s Rakhine state. They agreed to continuesupporting and facilitating the repatriation and sustainable development there.
Minh thanked the support from the countries, describing it asa manifestation of the ASEAN solidarity and unity. He stressed that Vietnamwill do all what it can to accomplish the tasks of the ASEAN 2020 Chair andcooperate with the countries for a region of peace, stability and prosperity,for a cohesive and responsive ASEAN.
In the afternoon the same day, Minh presided over aninternational press conference making known the outcomes of the AMMRetreat.