ASEAN foreign ministers pose for a group photo at their 52nd meeting in Thailand
The ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the full and effective implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the importance of maintaining ASEAN centrality and unity in community-building efforts.
They highlighted efforts to effectively prevent and counter terrorism, the rise of radicalisation and violent extremism in all forms and manifestations that lead to terrorism. The joint communiqué reaffirmed commitment to promoting sustainable security in the region by reinforcing strategic trust and mutual confidence within ASEAN and in the wider Asia-Pacific region.
Regarding East Sea issues, the ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the East Sea and recognised the benefits of having the East Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity. They underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) in its entirety.
The ASEAN ministers warmly welcomed the continued improving cooperation between ASEAN and China, and were encouraged by the progress of the substantive negotiations towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) within a mutually-agreed timeline. They emphasised the need to maintain and promote an environment conducive to the COC negotiations, and thus welcomed practical measures that could reduce tensions and the risk of accidents, misunderstandings and miscalculation. The joint communiqué stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures to enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties; and we reaffirmed the importance of upholding international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
The joint communiqué said ministers discussed the situation in the East Sea, during which concerns were expressed by some Ministers on the land reclamations, activities and serious incidents in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region. They emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states, including those mentioned in the DOC that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the East Sea.