|The plenary session of the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-56) in Jakarta, Indonesia, on July 11__Photo: VNA
Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son called peace, security, and stability the prerequisite for prosperity while addressing the plenary session of the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-56) in Jakarta, Indonesia, on July 11.
The plenum centered on the ASEAN Community building process, the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, the bloc’s external relations, and the regional architecture.
Sharing other officials’ view on an increasingly complex and unpredictable world, Minister Son stressed that it is hard for ASEAN to avoid challenges from both inside and outside. However, with what it has undergone for the last 56 years, the bloc has sufficient grounds to be proud and confident of a united and strong ASEAN Community.
He held that ASEAN remains a bright spot with an optimistic growth forecast of 4.7% for this year. Amid the pandemic’s existing impacts, it should place economic and trade cooperation at the center and make full use of growth drivers to restructure economies.
ASEAN should seize opportunities so as not to be left behind, he went on.
Son welcomed the ASEAN Chair 2023’s initiative to hold an ASEAN forum on the Indo-Pacific, focusing on infrastructure, sustainable development, and the innovation economy. He suggested the bloc pay more attention to other potential fields such as the circular economy, energy transition, and climate change response.
Affirming that peace, security, and stability form the prerequisite for prosperity, the Vietnamese official applauded ASEAN’s tradition of dialogue and cooperation, enhancing trust, ironing out differences, and building up consensus.
|Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son at the plenary session of the AMM-56 in Jakarta on July 11__Photo: VNA
In its relations with partners, ASEAN needs to maintain a balanced approach, consult partners about issues of common concern, and ensure the compliance with its fundamental principles, processes and procedures, he noted.
The minister also reaffirmed and asked partners to respect the bloc’s principled stance on the East Sea issue.
At the session, officials congratulated host Indonesia on its attainments, especially the impressive success of the recent ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo. They reiterated the support for efforts to implement the Chair’s priorities towards an “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth” as the theme of the 2023 ASEAN Chairmanship goes.
To realize that ambition, the ministers agreed to further consolidate ASEAN’s resilience and adaptability to every opportunity and challenge.
In a volatile strategic environment, the solidarity and centrality of ASEAN need to be affirmed more strongly, they noted, recommending the bloc take the lead in shaping an open, transparent, inclusive, and rules-based regional architecture with partners’ active participation and responsible contributions to regional peace, stability, and prosperity.
Cooperation in such fields as financial stability, supply chain resilience, health care, digital transformation, energy security, and food security should continue to be promoted via specialized channels of ASEAN, thus helping improve the bloc’s capacity, responsiveness, and resilience to current and future challenges, they added.
They also agreed to step up the effective implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and encourage partners’ concrete and substantive partnerships with ASEAN in priority areas, including connectivity, maritime cooperation, sustainable development, economy, and the Community building, thereby contributing to regional peace, stability, and prosperity.
The ASEAN foreign ministers are scheduled to attend an AMM-56 retreat on July 12 to discuss international and regional issues of common concern.- (VNA/VLLF)