The two sides shared views on the positive progress in ASEAN-New Zealand cooperation over the past 45 years since their dialogue relationship, especially in five years from the formation of their strategic partnership.
ASEAN foreign ministers spoke highly of New Zealand maintaining regular high-level visits and ASEAN-New Zealand dialogue as well as the country’s support and cooperation for ASEAN’s peace and security. Both sides emphasised their commitment to further strengthening partnership cooperation for full and effective implementation of the ASEAN-New Zealand Action Plan 2016-2020 and the two key strategies of "The people" and "Prosperity".
ASEAN continues working closely with New Zealand as well as the international community in the overall post-COVID-19 recovery plan, while getting ready for future public health crises.
ASEAN foreign ministers appreciated New Zealand's support for the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund. They also welcome New Zealand for contributing NZD37 million to the Global Partnership Project to enhance access to COVID -19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, and NZD7 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), thereby supporting fair and transparent distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Addressing the event, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung highly valued New Zealand's efforts in curbing the COVID-19 pandemic, expressing his hope the country will share its experience and practical lessons in fighting the disease and support ASEAN in its post-pandemic recovery plan.
ASEAN's highest priority now is economic stability, Dung said, emphasising ASEAN and New Zealand need to strengthen cooperation and upgrade the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, towards the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Dung also praised New Zealand for granting NZD6 million to the initiative on building capacity for the Mekong Research Institute and NZD5.5 million to dam safety in Vietnam, thus improving disaster risk management.
Regarding international and regional situation, Dung thanked New Zealand for supporting ASEAN's efforts in maintaining and promoting peace, stability, maritime security and safety, and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea. ASEAN's principled stance is clear and consistent, Dung underlined, requesting the parties to enhance trust, refrain from the acts that further complicate the situation and from militarisation, and settle disputes in line with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
ASEAN commits to fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and negotiating for the early finalisation of an effective and practical Code of Conduct in the East Sea.