ASEAN foreign ministers affirmed their resolve to complete remaining tasks toward the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the year-end at the 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM 48) which started in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on August 4.
|Southeast Asia's top diplomats at the opening ceremony of the 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Vietnamese Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh is fifth from right__Photo: laodong.com.vn|
The ministers focused on reviewing the progress of the AEC roadmap and discussing ways to strengthen external relations and the central role of the bloc as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern.
They emphasized the need to continue with efforts at both national and regional levels to implement the set plans, while accelerating the building of the ASEAN Beyond-2015 Vision to be submitted to the 27th ASEAN Summit for approval.
The ministers underlined the importance of enhancing the bloc's solidarity, particularly in addressing issues related to regional peace, stability, security and development.
They pointed to complicated developments in the regional and world situations and worsening hot spots and non-traditional security challenges that require increased cooperation and dialogue efforts.
Addressing the meeting, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh emphasized the need for ASEAN to encourage the parties involved to follow the agreed principles on restraint, not using or threatening to use force, and handling all disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), while working toward the formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
Minh said the AEC establishment is a strategic move to urgently enhance the group and regional connectivity to benefit peace, stability, development and the interests of peoples in the region.
He proposed ASEAN to intensify its extensive connectivity and promote central role in the region.-VNS/VLLF