Vietnam will co-chair the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)'s activities to combat terrorism and transnational crimes, as well as chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological terrorism, heard attendees at the 30th ARF held in Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday.
The participating countries underlined the importance of the ARF, saying that it is an indispensable part in the regional architecture with ASEAN being at the center.
Given the global and regional uncertainties, foreign ministers agreed to facilitate the forum’s operations by joining hands to maintain cooperation in maritime security, disaster relief, cybersecurity, the fight against terrorism and transnational crimes, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and disarmament, national defense, and peacekeeping.
The participants also passed a list of activities for the 2023-24 period.
According to the list, Vietnam will co-chair the ARF’s implementation of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in addition to the activities to fight against terrorism, transnational crimes, and chemical, biological, nuclear, and radiological terrorism mentioned above.
|Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son attends the 30th ASEAN Regional Forum held in Indonesia, July 14, 2023. Photo: Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
Addressing the event, Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son announced that Vietnam will co-chair the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief for the 2024-26 term with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
“Aside from pledging to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Vietnam Sea, ASEAN and China are jointly working toward an effective and legally binding Code of Conduct (COC) for the East Vietnam Sea in line with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS,” Minister Son said.
The ARF was established in 1994 to foster constructive dialogue and consultation on political and security issues of common interest and concern, and to make contributions to efforts toward confidence-building and preventive diplomacy in the Asia - Pacific region.
The ARF includes 10 ASEAN member states, 10 ASEAN dialogue partners (Australia, Canada, China, the EU, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, the U.S.), and seven other Asian nations.
The meeting was part of the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-56), which took place between Monday and Friday in Indonesia.
|An overview of the 13th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Indonesia, July 14, 2023. Photo: Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
In related news, ASEAN foreign ministers and their dialogue partners on Friday attended the 13th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the ASEAN - U.S. Post Ministerial Conference, which were also part of the AMM-56.
The EAS has 18 members, including 10 ASEAN member states and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, and the U.S.
The participating countries at the EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting were committed to further enhancing the EAS role, including adopting sincere dialogue, reliable consultation, and practical cooperation as the main tool in exchange.
The EAS Action Plan for the 2024-28 period was also passed at the event, incorporating 16 areas of cooperation, such as sustainable development, maritime ties, trade promotion, connectivity, education, food security, and women empowerment.
In addition, ASEAN and the U.S. at the ASEAN - U.S. Post Ministerial Conference agreed to beef up their cooperation in energy transition, science and technology, innovation, sustainable infrastructure development, environmental protection, and climate change response.
ASEAN lauded the U.S. proposal to take part in the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.
Speaking at the meeting, Minister Son suggested the partners continue to support and make responsible contributions to ASEAN-led efforts to ensure peace, security, and stability in the East Vietnam Sea, and develop an effective COC on a par with international law.