Addressing the 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM FMM13) in Myanmar’s capital city of Nay Pyi Taw on November 21, Minh highlighted impacts of traditional and non-traditional challenges, plus threats caused by terrorism and extremism. 

Efforts to disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, have failed to reach expectations, he said. 

Given this, ASEM members should work together to make the Asia-Europe partnership stronger and more dynamic, while maintaining ASEM’s core values and principles of  equality and mutual respect and benefits. 

At the opening ceremony 
Minh emphasised that Vietnam backs all efforts made by the international community to seek peaceful and sustainable solutions to conflicts and disputes in the Middle East, Africa and Asia in line with the UN Charter and international law. 

Specifically, member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have expressed their deep concern over developments on the Korean Peninsula, including recent ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests, he said. 

The official reiterated Vietnam’s support for non- nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula as well as the country’s appeal to relevant parties to exercise self-restraint and resume dialogues to ease tensions and promote peace and stability on the peninsula and in the Asia-Pacific region.

Vietnam and other ASEAN member nations are coordinating closely with the international community, including ASEM members, to ensure peace, stability, navigation and aviation security and safety in the East Sea, as well as the smooth trade routes inside and outside the region, he stated. 

It is necessary to intensify joint efforts and commitments to addressing disputes peacefully on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), respect for diplomatic and legal processes and exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could complicate the situation, he said. 

Vietnam welcomes the adoption of a framework of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) by ASEAN and China, as well as the official launch of negotiations for a more pragmatic and effective COC, Minh affirmed. 

As an active member, Vietnam will continue its coordination with other ASEM members to contribute to maintaining peace, security and stability in Asia-Pacific and the world at large, he pledged. 

Minh’s views were shared by other ministers at the meeting. 

During the meeting, the ministers approved 15 new initiatives, including Vietnam’s initiative on the ASEM conference on climate action to achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). 

The 12th ASEM Summit is scheduled to take place in Brussels, Belgium, in October 2018 and the 14th ASEM FMM will be hosted by Spain in 2019.

Source: VNA