Deputy PM attends 2016 ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat

by VTV27 February 2016 Last updated at 19:00 PM

VTV.vn - Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh is leading a Vietnamese delegation at the 2016 ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat that opened in Vientiane on February 27.

In his address, Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Thouloun Sisoulith said the establishment of the ASEAN Community resulted from ASEAN’s efforts to implement its cooperation programs over the last 5 decades.

The Vietnamese delegation at the event
The Vietnamese delegation at the event

He said that during 2016 ASEAN countries will focus on implementing the ASEAN 2025 vision and 3 master plans to maintain peace, stability and a vision beyond the ASEAN region, increase connectivity, and narrow the development gap between member nations. 

He noted that the countries will build on achievements attained to develop their Community and realise the ASEAN Vision 2025 and three Blueprints with the aim of maintaining and strengthening peace and stability, taking on a beyond ASEAN vision and achieving a broadly-integrated regional economy, accelerated connectivity and narrowed development gap. The Retreat offers an opportunity for ASEAN to seek to further solidarity and power of its Community and to discuss priorities that Laos should take during its ASEAN Chairmanship as well as regional and international issues of shared concern.

At the meeting, ministers consented to identify prioritised areas and measures in the short, middle and long terms, and increase supervision and coordination mechanisms at both national and regional levels in order to ensure the progress and quality of the work. They all raised their support for eight priorities initiated by Laos - ASEAN’s Chair in 2016. They were unanimous in enhancing cooperation and connectivity in the three pillars: the Political-Security Community, the Economic Community and the Socio-Cultural Community. 

The ministers also touched upon a string of regional and international issues of shared concerns such as situations in the Korean Peninsula and the East Sea, along with non-traditional challenges such as terrorism, cyber security, human trafficking, abnormal migration, climate change, natural disasters and diseases. Regarding the East Sea issue, the ministers expressed their deep concerns over the recent complicated developments in the sea, including reclamation activities, which, they said, have eroded trust between countries, raised tensions and threatened peace, security and stability in the region. They underscored the need to maintain peace, stability and maritime and aviation security and safety in the East Sea, pursue non-militarisation, exercise refrain and address disputes through peaceful measures and in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Under the theme “Turning vision into reality for a dynamic ASEAN Community,” the AMM Retreat is the first meeting of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers under Laos ’ chairmanship in 2016 and after the ASEAN Community was formed in December last year.

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