ASEAN Regional Forum members prioritise cooperation in counter-terrorism and defence
The ARF members discussed many regional and international issues, especially those with complicated developments such as in the South China Sea, Myanmar, Ukraine, Korean Peninsula and Taiwan Strait in the spirit of frank and substantive dialogue.
PHNOM PENH — Members of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) convened on Friday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, agreeing to give priority to cooperation in the areas of disaster relief, counter-terrorism, transnational crime, maritime security, defence cooperation, as well as nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
During the 29th ARF held within the framework of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the delegates discussed many regional and international issues, especially those with complicated developments such as in the South China Sea, Myanmar, Ukraine, Korean Peninsula and Taiwan Strait in the spirit of frank and substantive dialogue.
Vietnamese Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn emphasised the importance of goodwill dialogue and cooperation, and responsible contributions for the common goal of peace, security, stability and development.
Affirming ASEAN's principled stance on the South China Sea issue, the minister stressed the importance of ensuring peace, security, stability, safety, freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea, calling for building the South China Sea into a sea of peace, stability and cooperation.
ASEAN and China continue to make efforts to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and soon implement the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea in accordance with international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.
Following recent developments in the region, the minister reiterated the stances of ASEAN and Việt Nam, calling on all parties to exercise restraint, avoid complicating the situation, and resolve disagreements and disputes by peaceful means and compliance with international law, the Charter of the United Nations and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).
The minister also said that ASEAN will maintain its engagement with Myanmar, promote the implementation of the ASEAN leaders' Five-Point Consensus for the benefit of the people of Myanmar and for peace, stability and development in the region.
During the event, participating countries adopted the ARF declarations on promoting peace and stability through confidence-building measures and preventive diplomacy, maintaining a nuclear-weapon-free Southeast Asia region, and the ARF framework document on inclusive processes for conflict prevention and resolution diplomacy.
Established in 1994, the ARF is an important platform for security dialogue in the Indo-Pacific.
Characterised by consensus-based decision-making and frank dialogue, the forum comprises 27 members: the 10 ASEAN member states (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Việt Nam); 10 ASEAN Dialogue Partners, including Australia, Canada, China, the European Union (EU), India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia and the United States; Bangladesh, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste. — VNS
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