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Vietnam supports ASEAN’s cooperation priorities for 2023: ambassador

By VNA 03/07/2023 09:44 |

Jakarta, March 7 (VNA) – Ambassador Vu Ho has affirmed Vietnam’s support for and readiness to realise the cooperation priorities for 2023 set by Chair Indonesia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Ho, who is acting head of the ASEAN Senior Official Meetings (SOM) delegation of Vietnam, made the remarks while attending the SOM and the 15th meeting of the ASEAN Coordinating Council Working Group (ACCWG) on Timor-Leste’s application for ASEAN membership (ACCWG-TL) held in Jakarta on March 6.

The events, held by ASEAN Chair in 2023 Indonesia, aimed to prepare for the 42nd ASEAN Summit and the foreign ministers’ meetings in May.

At the SOM, participants discussed and basically agreed on orientations for implementing the bloc’s priorities this year, including promoting growth and recovery; improving institutional capacity and effectiveness of ASEAN; and responding to non-traditional security challenges, especially those related to food security, energy security, cyber security, transnational crimes, healthcare system resilience, and financial and economic stability.

Talking about ASEAN’s external relations, they reviewed and discussed measures for enhancing result-oriented and mutually beneficial cooperation between ASEAN and dialogue partners on the basis of upholding the boc’s centrality and the ASEAN-led mechanisms’ values, particularly promoting the culture of consultation and dialogue and the evolution of an open, transparent, inclusive, and rules-based regional architecture.

They also considered approaches to some partners and regional organisations’ new proposals for cooperation with ASEAN.

Regarding international and regional issues, the member countries underlined the need to maintain the bloc’s solidarity and unity and promote its role and responsible voice, especially amid fast, complex, and unpredictable developments in the region and the world.

They agreed to continue bringing into play ASEAN’s role in assisting Myanmar to seek a feasible and durable solution to the current crisis through stepping up the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus; uphold the bloc’s principled stance on the East Sea issue, and show the determination to turn the East Sea into a sea of peace, cooperation, and development.

Also on March 6, the 15th ACCWG-TL meeting took place with the attendance of senior officials in charge of the three pillars of the ASEAN Community.

The participating countries concurred in continuing to help Timor-Leste improve its capacity to gradually meet the ASEAN membership criteria, and encouraging Timor-Leste to actively engage in the bloc’s existing capacity building programmes and activities.

Addressing the meetings, Ambassador Ho proposed ASEAN maintain an objective and balanced approach as well as strategic self-reliance to harmoniously and effectively deal with issues in its relations with partners, along with complex international and regional issues that may affect the bloc’s cooperation process and common development as well as regional peace, security, and stability.

He also called on ASEAN to build a practical and appropriate roadmap to assist Timor-Leste to thoroughly prepare for its admission into the bloc, adding that Vietnam is ready to work with other countries to help Timor-Leste improve the capacity of fulfilling the duties of an ASEAN member.

In terms of the East Sea issue, he reaffirmed ASEAN’s principled stance and particularly stressed the importance of complying with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). He highlighted Vietnam’s support of the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and for the promotion of negotiations to build an effective and substantive Code of Conduct (COC) that matches international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

The diplomat also pointed out the need for countries to devise a new approach suitable for the current situation during the COC drafting process.

On March 7 and 8, ASEAN senior officials will attend meetings with partners, including the ASEAN+3 SOM, the East Asia Summit SOM, the 35th ASEAN - US Dialogue, and the 25th ASEAN - India SOM./.