May 10, 2023
HÀ NỘI — Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn on Tuesday led the Vietnamese delegation to attend different conferences as part of the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo in Indonesia.
The conferences were chaired by Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Redno Marsudi.
The ministers reviewed all preparations for the 42nd ASEAN Summit, agreeing on the agenda and documents to be submitted to senior leaders.
The ministers also reviewed many important documents, including those with long-term orientations such as the ASEAN Community Vision after 2025, and practical cooperation such as developing an electric vehicle ecosystem and regional payment connection.
The ministers also spent a lot of time discussing priorities and common concerns of ASEAN.
During the ASEAN Ministers of Foreign Affairs’ conference, the ministers shared their views about international and regional situations.
The ASEAN countries agreed to strengthen ASEAN’s values and standards of conduct, thereby ensuring independence and self-reliance, being proactive and flexibly adapting to changes.
Regarding cooperation between ASEAN and partners, the countries considered many proposals applying to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), establishing and upgrading relations with ASEAN.
The ministers agreed that it is necessary to strengthen substantive cooperation, suggest the partners contribute constructively to the ASEAN Community, and jointly respond to common challenges for peace, stability, security and development.
At the 26th ASEAN Political-Security Community Council Conference, the ministers welcomed the positive results of the master plan of the ASEAN Political-Security Community 2025.
ASEAN’s standards of conduct are respected, substantive cooperation is promoted in the fields of defence, energy security, food security, maritime security and response to emerging challenges.
ASEAN’s principled stance on the South China Sea (called East Sea by Việt Nam) continues to be consolidated, including fully and strictly implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
Sharing challenges in the region, the ministers emphasised that ASEAN needed to maintain solidarity, improve its proactiveness and flexibility to adapt to strategic movements, and consolidate its central role in regional security.
Then, at the 33rd ASEAN Coordinating Council Conference, the ministers assessed the overall progress of implementing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, and the ASEAN integration initiative on narrowing the development gap.
They proposed timely implementation of those plans, creating a solid foundation for ASEAN’s cooperation in the next development phase.
On the basis of the senior leadership’s direction on Timor Leste’s application to join ASEAN, the ministers discussed and completed Timor Leste’s roadmap to become an ASEAN member.
This document will create a premise for the preparation and supporting Timor Leste to officially join ASEAN.
Speaking at the conferences, Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn assessed the rapid movements in the regional and global strategic environment, which pose both opportunities and challenges for the bloc.
In that context, ASEAN needed to strongly promote its strength of solidarity, unity, and its central role with the support and respect of partners, affirming its mission of maintaining peace, stability and development in the region.
Facing the increase of non-traditional security challenges, Sơn proposed to promote stronger and more effective cooperation in the fields of marine affairs, response to environmental pollution, transnational crime and epidemics.
The Minister expressed his support for Indonesia’s initiative to publish the ASEAN annual document on maritime cooperation.
Discussing the international and regional situation, Minister Sơn reaffirmed ASEAN’s principled stance on the East Sea, emphasising the sense of responsibility of each country to build the East Sea into a peaceful and safe sea.
Việt Nam, ASEAN and China commit to fully and effectively comply with the DOC. — VNS