ASEAN member countries should show their strong political resolve and allocate necessary resources to realise the ASEAN Community, on schedule and based on all three pillars, said Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
|Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (2, L) at the plenary session of the 19th ASEAN Summit (Source:VNA)|
Addressing the plenary session of the 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali, Indonesia on Nov. 17, PM Dung acknowledged the group’s efforts in implementing the Master Plan to build the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) over the past two years and proposed to further enhance cooperation among ASEAN member countries and between the group and its partners in 14 prioritised areas.
He asked for a continuation of strengthening solidarity and unity in ASEAN, promoting tools and mechanisms on regional political-security cooperation such as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia, the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty, the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the planned Code of Conduct (COC), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) to ensure peace and security and promote cooperation in the region, as well as enhance ASEAN’s central role in the evolving regional architecture.
PM Dung also urged ASEAN to continue stepping up cooperation and investment in such fields as narrowing the development gap and energy and food security, as well as boosting cooperation to solve emerging challenges, including climate change, navigational security, environmental protection, exploitation and use of water resources on rivers, particularly the Mekong River, in an appropriate manner, contributing to promoting sustainable and equitable development in the region.
On ASEAN Connectivity, the PM stressed the significance of the full implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity in the process of building the ASEAN Community by 2015, saying that this continues to be the top priority in ASEAN cooperation as well as cooperation between ASEAN and its partner countries.
The group needs to efficiently implement agreements and commitments on trade liberalisation, facilitation of goods and services transactions, investment and people-to-people exchanges, an initial study on implementation of ASEAN Travel Cards for ASEAN citizens, as well as special immigration desks for regional citizens at international border gates of the member countries, the PM said.
Regarding ASEAN external relations, PM Dung proposed to continue developing the partnership and creating conditions for partners to participate in and make contributions to solving issues relating to peace, security and development in the region as well as supporting the goal of establishing the ASEAN Community.
ASEAN should efficiently carry out its programmes and plans of action with each partner and fulfil the study on ways to upgrade ties with partners, including the lifting of strategic partnership between ASEAN and the US, and between ASEAN and India, he said.
The PM emphasised that the region needs to promote its proactive role in building the framework of cooperation and codes of conducts in the region for peace; confidence building and development cooperation; continue promoting the role and value of forums and existing mechanisms for peace and security in the region.
Regarding East Sea issues, PM Dung affirmed Vietnam’s policy of peace and stability in the East Sea, including maritime security, safety and freedom, as the common interest of the region and all countries and concerned parties should settle disputes in the East Sea with peaceful measures in conformity with international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and in respect to full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards the Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (COC). The settlement of disputes issues relating only to two countries should be settled bilaterally and issues relating to many parties should be settled with concerned parties.
Regarding to the development in the Mekong Sub-region, PM Dung emphasised the demand to reasonably and efficiently tap and use Mekong river waters to ensure the interest of residents and the sustainable development of countries sharing the river, particularly sub-regional countries. It is necessary to maintain a close co-ordination between five Mekong Sub-region countries and China./.