Strategic competition between powerful countries is a reality and the issue has been discussed at many conferences and forums around the world, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh.
"In Southeast Asia, a region holding an important strategic position, ASEAN’s forum includes the mechanisms of the East Asia conference and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). The forum includes exchanges on strategic issues and discusses relations between countries related to the region and strategic competition between countries," he said at an online international press conference on the results of the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and related conferences, held in Hanoi and Jakarta (Indonesia) last weekend.
Chairing the press conference in Hanoi was Mr. Minh (center) and ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi in Jakarta.
On the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of ASEAN, ASEAN Foreign Ministers issued a statement on maintaining peace and stability in Southeast Asia. The statement clearly demonstrates ASEAN countries’ desire to build Southeast Asia as a region of peace and prosperity. All countries in the world as well as in the region play an active role in supporting and promoting the maintenance of peace and stability.
According to Mr. Minh, this is also the central role that ASEAN wants to create. "Of course, ASEAN and ASEAN member states do not want to get caught in competition between countries, affecting the peace and stability of the region. This has been discussed at ASEAN meetings and forums," Mr. Minh said.
Mr. Minh said that the Covid-19 epidemic affected all countries, including dialogue activities in ASEAN. With the ASEAN 2020 theme "Cohesion and proactive adaption", ASEAN countries, including the presidency of Vietnam, have actively adapted to the new situation by organizing online conferences.
“So far, many ASEAN online conferences have been held. It is the adaptation of the ASEAN chairman. For this 53rd AMM, Vietnam held the conference a little later than scheduled (early August), but it took place smoothly," he said. The online forum did not alter the conference content. All documents were drafted and approved quickly, with good and positive content, he said.
Regarding the East Sea issue, Mr. Minh said this issue has been always a highlight at any ASEAN meeting.
"The common spirit is to call for building the East Sea as a peaceful, stable, free-navigational area on the sea as well as in the sky; respect for international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The countries in their statement at the meeting also emphasized respect of international law, including the UNCLOS. Countries are members of the convention, including China, Vietnam and ASEAN countries. Compliance with the UNCLOS is compulsory for member states."
Mr. Minh said that AMM 53 and related conferences held online from 9-12 September were successful with the active participation of the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN member countries and partners.
In total, 19 ministerial conferences took place, where ministers continued to affirm their determination and strong commitment to fully and effectively implement the goals and prioritize cooperation in the spirit of "Coherence and Proactive Adaptation”.
The Ministers approved 42 documents, including the AMM-53 Joint Communique, the Hanoi Action Plan II of the ARF. .
Participating countries also agreed to many proposals made by Vietnam such as the issuance of the Hanoi Declaration to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the East Asia Summit (EAS) on the occasion of the 15th EAS Summit, and the organization of the EAS Expert Group meeting on Covid-19; the ASEAN + 3 Leaders’ Statement on strengthening ASEAN + 3 economic cooperation on economic and financial stability ...
Thanh Nam - Pham Hai