ASEAN defense chiefs stressed the need for building a peaceful environment in the East Sea to promote stability, growth and prosperity in the region, during the 13th ASEAN Chiefs of Defense Forces Informal Meeting (ACDFIM-13) held in Vientiane, Laos, on March 13-15.
ASEAN defense chiefs at the opening meeting of the ACDFIM-13 in Vientiane, Laos__Photo: VNA
They said non-traditional security challenges such as natural disasters, climate change, cross-border crime, human and drug trafficking, cyber and navigation security, and terrorism had threatened regional peace, stability, security and prosperity.
To deal with these challenges, the defense chiefs proposed enhancing defense cooperation among ASEAN member states on the principle of respecting for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country.
They called on the involved parties to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and quickly reach a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
General Đo Ba Ty, Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army and Deputy Minister of National Defense, said ASEAN was facing such challenges as terrorism, racial conflicts, natural disasters, and illegal actions against international law.
He suggested countries further exchange information and experience to cope with the challenges, stressing that Vietnam condemned terrorist attacks in any form and it was willing to cooperate with other nations to deal with the issue.
Ty also proposed increasing activities to build trust between law enforcement forces at sea, asking these forces to help fishermen in distress and offer them humanitarian treatment on the basis of international law and friendship between countries.
At the end of the conference, the heads of delegations signed a joint statement of ACDFIM-13, which deals with numerous regional security issues, including the necessity to fully and effectively implement the DOC and the completion of the COC to maintain peace in the East Sea.- (VNA/VLLF)