Vietnam and the EU are poised to sign an agreement to allow the Southeast Asian country to join the grouping’s crisis management operations, which include peacekeeping and conflict prevention missions, after they have finished its negotiations.
General Ngo Xuan Lich, Vietnam’s Minister of National Defense, and Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, announced in a joint press release issued on Monday that “both sides welcome the conclusion of the negotiations of an agreement establishing a framework for the participation of Vietnam in European Union crisis management operations (FPA).”
“The path is now clear towards completing the internal procedures leading to the signature, ratification and full implementation of the agreement,” the two added in the press release sent to the media after their meeting in Hanoi the same day.
Vietnam and the EU will step up cooperation in UN peacekeeping operations, including capacity building and education through participation in training programs.
The FPA will be the second of its kind to be signed under the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) with an Asian nation after the Republic of Korea, according to an article published on July 19 by Nhan Dan (People) Online, which is the central organ of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
CSDP enables the EU to take a leading role in peacekeeping operations, conflict prevention and strengthening international security, the EU's diplomatic service says on its website.
“It is an integral part of the EU's comprehensive approach towards crisis management, drawing on civilian and military assets,” it adds.
During the meeting in the Vietnamese capital, the two sides commended the efforts to build a partnership that benefits the socioeconomic development of Vietnam and the EU since the establishment of their diplomatic relations in 1990.
These efforts have resulted in the entering into force of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation in 2016 as well as the signature of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) in June 2019, all of which confirm a shared commitment to beefing up efforts in promoting peace and the rule of law through cooperative and multilateral approaches, including in the field of defense and security.
The minister and the high representative discussed the development of a defense and security cooperation partnership based on international law and a shared commitment, to be done through continued promotion of cooperative mechanisms and frameworks that contribute to global peace, regional stability and development and support the effective implementation of both Vietnam’s international integration strategy and the EU’s global strategy.
This defense and security cooperation partnership will promote and protect the fundamental principles and rights as enshrined in the UN Charter and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, helping uphold an international rules-based system in compliance with international humanitarian law, to which Vietnam, the EU and its member states are party; promoting effective multilateralism; contributing to regional stability; and spurring the peaceful and lasting resolution of conflicts.
Minister Lich and Mogherini were commited to working together to achieve tangible results in addressing shared security challenges, both in Asia and elsewhere, including through the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.
Both sides will reinforce their engagement in maintaining freedom of navigation, overflight and responding to traditional and non-traditional challenges such as search and rescue, the fight against piracy and armed robbery against ships, organized crime and illegal trafficking in compliance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Cooperation in the field of cybersecurity will drive forward global, open, free, stable and secure cyberspace.
Both sides will share experience in cybersecurity, including the Budapest Convention, the application of international law in cyberspace, and implementing norms of responsible state behavior.
Cooperation in the field of defense and security will also be aimed at increasing mutual understanding and awareness, supporting the ASEAN-led regional security architecture and other forms of multilateral security cooperation in Asia, and complementing ongoing regional capacity building, training programs and collaboration in crisis management.
The Vietnamese Ministry of National Defense supports the EU's ambition to join the Asia-Pacific defence-security architecture.
The EU looks forward to Vietnam's continued contributions to upholding regional peace, stability and development when the country takes the Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2020.
In the framework of the Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, both sides will establish regular consultations on defense and security to ensure the effective implementation of their defense and security cooperation partnership.