|Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc highlighted three key areas of ASEAN co-operation in his speech at the plenary session of the 31st ASEAN Summit held yesterday in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất|
MANILA – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc highlighted three key areas of ASEAN co-operation in his speech at the plenary session of the 31st ASEAN Summit held yesterday in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.
He called for commitment to building a self-reliant ASEAN community that upholds the common interests of citizens, developing the ASEAN Economic Community via economic connectivity and internal trade facilitation and strengthening mutual support among member economies.
The PM suggested the bloc further uphold its central role and stature in the international arena for the sake of peace, security and prosperity in the region. Stressing the significance of ASEAN’s 50th founding anniversary, he said Việt Nam is committed to building a strong ASEAN community.
On the East Sea issue, PM Phúc welcomed ministers’ consensus on principles at the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM 50) held in Manila in August. He asked for documents at the event to fully reflect the principles and stance featured at the joint statement of the AMM 50, including ensuring security, safety and maritime and aviation freedom in the East Sea; settling disputes by peaceful means in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); fully respecting legal and diplomatic processes and seriously implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC).
The Vietnamese leader lauded ASEAN and China for ratifying the framework Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), adding that the effective and legally binding COC should be negotiated in a practical and feasible way.
At the event, participating leaders agreed to sign a document, adopt 11 stances and take note of 11 others, which cover issues of public concern such as workers’ rights and job opportunities, gender equality and women’s empowerment, youth, health matters like medicine resistance, malnutrition elimination and business facilitation.
In the political-security pillar, they reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining and promoting regional peace, security and stability, as well as peacefully settling disputes and respecting diplomatic and legal processes in line with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS and the DOC, towards reaching an effective COC. In the economic pillar, they hailed member economies’ economic growth forecast of 5 percent this year, higher than 4.8 per cent in 2016. The forecast is likely to rise to 5.1 per cent next year.
They stressed the need to continue boosting connectivity via the facilitation of regional trade and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises amid the industrial revolution 4.0.
Member economies pledged to further promote specific actions to narrow the development gap, increase connectivity and reform administrative procedures.
Regarding ASEAN’s ties with partners, they shared the view that countries should further deepen ties with regional and global organisations, especially in trade, investment, sustainable development, narrowing the development gap and other inter-sectoral issues.
Turning to regional and global issues, leaders looked into ways to curb terrorism, extremism and trans-national crime and address hotspots in the region, including the East Sea, Korean peninsula and Myanmar’s Rakhine situation.
They consented to urge support and participation of partners, particularly in mechanisms led by ASEAN such as the ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3, the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting Plus in order to deal with emerging challenges.
In the afternoon and evening on the same day, they are due to attend the ASEAN-US 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit as well as the ASEAN-China, ASEAN-Republic of Korea, ASEAN-Japan, ASEAN-United Nations and Mekong – Japan Summits.— VNS