ASEAN pledges to coordinate with China to soon complete talks for Code of Conduct in South China Sea (Bien Dong Sea)
|The ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting was held online on October 7 under the chair of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of Vietnam’s ASEAN SOM Nguyen Quoc Dung. Photo: Vietnamnet|
ASEAN member countries on October 7 pledged to coordinate with China in order to soon complete negotiations for a result-oriented Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (known as Bien Dong Sea in Vietnam) in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
During the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting, held online under the chair of Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of Vietnam’s ASEAN SOM Nguyen Quoc Dung, the ASEAN states consented to fully and effectively enforce the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC).
The officials reiterated the grouping’s stance stated at the 36th ASEAN Summit and the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which affirms the significance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, and the safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the South China Sea.
|The meeting drew the participation of the heads of SOMs of ASEAN member states and a deputy secretary general of the ASEAN. Photo: Vietnamnet|
Highlighting achievements in ASEAN cooperation so far this year, they said under the lead of Vietnam - ASEAN Chair in 2020- the ASEAN Community building has been implemented on schedule.
Sub-regional development plays a crucial role in ASEAN Community building, they said, suggesting ASEAN coordinate cooperative activities in sub-regions.
The meeting also approved the Terms of Reference (TOR) on the establishment of an ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies (RRMS) and an ASEAN COVID-19 response fund.
|Photo: ASEAN SAS|
The officials urged ASEAN medical officials to soon establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Public Health Emergencies Response. They also exchanged views on a draft ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and expressed support for a plan to build a travel corridor between ASEAN countries amid the complex developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The countries stressed the importance of ASEAN’s central role and backed Vietnam’s proposal to issue an ASEAN Plus 3 declaration on economic and financial self-reliance to respond to newly-emerging challenges.
|Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Head of Vietnam’s ASEAN SOM Nguyen Quoc Dung. Photo: Vietnamnet|
At the meeting, Dung spoke highly of cooperation between Vietnam and other ASEAN member states, and called for stronger coordination to complete the existing initiatives in 2020 as well as those in response to the pandemic.
As ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnam has made all-out efforts to prepare for the 37th ASEAN Summit, slated for November, he said./.
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