|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the plenary session of the 35th ASEAN Summit (Photo: VNA)
The countries reviewed the results of the implementation of the priorities under the theme of promoting the partnership for sustainability. They spoke highly of the progressed gained in the building of the ASEAN Community and stressed that the bloc need to maintain its role and significance as the core force in pushing up peace, stability, dialogue and cooperation in the region. The participants also agreed to continue broadening and deepening the relationship between the ASEAN and partners, accelerating the sustainable development of the ASEAN, in line with the objectives of the United Nations’ agenda 2030 on sustainable development goals.
PM Phuc highlighted the solidarity and consensus of the ASEAN and asked the ASEAN countries to bring into play the solidarity supporting Vietnam in accomplishing the tasks of the ASEAN Chair in 2020, building the ASEAN Community of sustainable development and having intensive and extensive relations with the partners.
Regarding the East Sea issue, PM Phuc stressed that the prerequisite to achieve peace and stability is to maintain an order that respect the international law. In the recent past, there were serious violations of the international law in the sea of the region and Vietnam. They just came to an end but have left profound lessons for ASEAN and this sheds more light on the fact that security and stability in the East Sea now is very fragile and requires serious pledges and responsibility of all the countries in the region to ensure that similar incidents will not be repeated. Vietnam is determined and persistent in protecting the international law in the international relations in general and in the East Sea issues in particular.
In that context, the leader affirmed ASEAN has maintained solidarity and unity, manifested through the stance raised at the 52nd foreign ministerial meeting, upholding the importance of peace, stability, respect to the international law, ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation, aviation, stressing restraint from acts that complicate the situation, fully implementing the Declaration on the Conducts of the parties in the East Sea (DOC) and building the Code of Conducts in the East Sea (COC). He also expressed Vietnam’s desire on building the East Sea into a sea of peace, stability and sustainable development.
The same day, PM Phuc had separate meetings with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
At the meeting with the UN leader, PM Phuc affirmed that Vietnam supports multilateralism and is determined to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030 and the Paris treaty on coping with climate change, as well as supports his efforts in the reform of the UN development system.
For his part, the UN chief said Vietnam is a vanguard in many fields, spoke highly of the country’s effective participation and hoped Vietnam will make more active contributions to the UN’s peace-keeping efforts.
The two agreed to intensify cooperation and connection activities between the ASEAN and the UN during Vietnam’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2020 and its term of a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2020-2021. On the East Sea situation, they shared the viewpoint on the need to ensure peace, stability, freedom and security of navigation and aviation, reaching the COC at an early in the spirit of ensuring respect for the international law and the UNCLOS 1982.
At the meeting with the Thai PM on Saturday evening, PM Phuc expressed his belief that his Thai counterpart will lead the country to achieve sustainable development and successfully accomplish the role of the ASEAN Chair for 2019. He expressed his hope that the two countries will closely coordinate to boost the bilateral strategic partnership, and asked the Thai leader to facilitate the distribution of Vietnamese goods in the Thai market and to support the life of the people of the Vietnamese origin in Thailand.
The two leaders agreed to boost close coordination to achieve the common goals of building the ASEAN Community, strengthen the central role of the ASEAN, promote the relationship with the partners, and dealing with security issues in the region, including the East Sea issue.
The same day, PM Phuc attended the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding between the ASEAN and the FIFA.