Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung at the teleconferenced EAS Senior Officials' Meeting on June 24 (Photo: VNA)
– Vietnamese Deputy Minister of
Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung attended the East Asia Summit (EAS) Senior
Officials’ Meeting, held virtually on June 24.
The meeting gathered officials of the 10 ASEAN
countries and the EAS partners of China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Russia,
the US, India, Australia, and New Zealand.
They recognised the progress in the EAS cooperation in
the recent past despite challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially
in the implementation of the Manila Plan of Action to Advance the Phnom Penh
Declaration on the EAS Development Initiative (2018 - 2022).
Applauding the outcomes of the 15th EAS in
2020, they emphasised the need for coordination to actively realise the
outcomes and joint statements of this summit, including the Hanoi Declaration
on the 15th Anniversary of the EAS, and further enhance the EAS’s
role and strategic value in the new development period.
The participating countries agreed to maintain the
current EAS cooperation trend, invest resources in implementing the Manila Plan
of Action for 2018 - 2022, and prepare to build a plan of action for the next
period on the basis of the priorities matching the new context.
In the face of the complex COVID-19 situation in the
region, the partner countries pledged to give high priority to assisting the ASEAN
nations to improve the preventive medicine, develop vaccines, and ensure the
safe, effective, and even distribution of vaccines.
The ASEAN countries asked the partners to support
the bloc’s COVID-19 response initiatives such as the ASEAN COVID-19 response
fund, the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies for Public Health Emergencies, and the ASEAN
Comprehensive Recovery Framework.
At the meeting, participants agreed to maintain
economic connectivity and regional and global supply chains, promote recovery
and green growth, work towards sustainable development, apply innovative
achievements, and boost cooperation in such new areas as digital economy,
e-commerce, and renewable energy.
They concurred in working together to prepare for the
EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting this August and the 16th EAS in late
Some participants in the EAS Senior Officials' Meeting on June 24 (Photo: VNA)
Talking about the emerging challenges and latent risks
to regional peace, security, and stability, including the Korean Peninsula,
East Sea, and Myanmar issues, officials affirmed that continuing to guarantee
peace, security, and stability is the common benefit, particularly amid the
fact that countries are applying themselves to coping with the pandemic and
The EAS needs to further bring into play its important
role and actively contribute to these efforts, they noted.
Regarding the East Sea, an arterial shipping route of the world, the countries
stressed the necessity for coordination to ensure peace, stability, security,
and safety of navigation and overflight, and to turn this body of water into an
area of peace, friendship and cooperation.
They called on the relevant parties to refrain from
any action that escalates tensions or complicates the situation; not to conduct militarisation
or use and threat to use force; and resolve disputes by peaceful means on the
basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the
Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
They also appealed to ASEAN and China to fully and
effectively carry out the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea
(DOC) and build an efficient and effective Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters
in line with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
Officials also lauded the outcomes of the ASEAN Leaders’
Meeting on April 24 this year, affirming the support for the bloc’s role in
promoting dialogue and reconciliation in Myanmar and helping this country seek
solutions to stabilise the situation.
the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung asked the countries to
continue highly prioritising coordination to help mitigate COVID-19 impacts,
protect people’s health, and recover the regional economy while assisting
efforts to narrow the development gap and ensure even and sustainable
development in the region, especially the Mekong sub-region.
He reiterated ASEAN’s viewpoint on the East Sea issue,
urging the parties concerned to enhance efforts to boost dialogue and
cooperation, build trust, effectively deal with emerging issues, improve their
sense of responsibility, and uphold the rules-based approach in countries’ relations.
He also called on them to respect law, exercise
self-restraint, not take action complicating the situation, not conduct militarisation,
peacefully settle disputes, keep fully and effectively implementing the DOC,
and exert efforts to overcome pandemic-caused difficulties to soon finalise an
efficient and effective COC that accords with international law and the 1982
UNCLOS, thereby helping to maintain peace, security, and stability in the East
Sea and the region./.