At the APSC meeting, ASEAN ministers were delighted at the fact that 82 percent of the workload in the APSC plan in realization of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 has been undertaken.

They agreed to increase all-round cooperation in the fight against terrorism, trans-border crime and drug trafficking, ensuring maritime and cyber security, nuclear security and safety, and disaster relief.

They highlighted the necessity of monitoring and assessment in boosting intra-bloc cooperation and noted ASEAN needs to improve its central role in pushing for dialogue, cooperation and trust building in the region. They said they support efforts made by the bloc and China in negotiating an effective and legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC). 

Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh (fifth from left) and delegates the 17th ASEAN Political-Security Community Council (APSC) Meeting.

At the ACC meeting, the ministers reviewed all preparation work for the 32nd ASEAN Summit.

They underscored the need to increase inter-sector and inter-pillar coordination in ASEAN, which includes improving capacity of the ASEAN Secretariat and coordinating function of the ASEAN Joint Consultative Meeting.

Participating ASEAN members said it is necessary to boost connectivity and narrow development gaps in ASEAN via the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and Work Plan III of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration.

The ACC voted Kung Phoak, a Cambodian national, to be Vice President of the ASEAN Secretariat overseeing the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

Speaking at the two functions, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh underscored the designing of cooperation mechanisms to build trust and the fortification of solidarity, self-resilience and central role of ASEAN based on international law and the bloc’s basic regulations in a bid to build a peaceful, safe, and rules-based community.

He also talked about communications activities to raise public awareness of the ASEAN community, which Vietnam is undertaking via a national plan for 2017 – 2020.

Minh said available resources of the ASEAN Secretariat should be utilized, while its role be promoted.

The official praised Singapore’s initiative of building the ASEAN network of smart cities toward an innovative and people-centered ASEAN community.

Source: VNA