VietNamNet Bridge – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Vinh on November 23 discussed with the press the outcome of the recent 21st ASEAN Summit and the prospect of an ASEAN Community by 2015.
xThe goal of establishing an ASEAN Community by 2015 received great attention, he said, adding that ASEAN leaders are aware that this is the moment when extraordinary efforts are needed at both regional and national levels, in order to create breakthroughs towards fulfilling this goal.
“In the past, we planned to finish building the community by 2020. But from 2007, we saw that we need to speed up the process. In recent years, leaders of ASEAN have never set a date to finish.
“But this year, they agreed to set a deadline and December 31, 2015, was selected as the day. From now until that day, ASEAN will need to build up a set of criteria for members to achieve. It is also a symbolic image when ASEAN leaders can declare to the people and the world about a new ASEAN, as a united community, which will still continue to contribute to peace and sustainability of the region and the world,” the deputy Foreign Minister said.
Regarding the East Sea issue, Vinh said people have been aware of the importance of peace and security, especially maritime security, in the East Sea, to the whole region. Each member country wants to join hands to protect peace and security.
“What we need to do is to prevent such disputes from escalating. As a result, member countries have agreed that all parties must follow international laws as well as agreements,” Vinh said, adding that ASEAN members themselves have promoted the ASEAN's six-point principles on the East Sea.
Mentioning the fact that ASEAN and China have adopted an important declaration on the 10th celebration of the Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC), he said in making this new declaration, leaders of ASEAN and China strongly reaffirmed the DOC values as well as their commitments to fully implement DOC.
The deputy Foreign Minister highlighted the leaders’ reiteration of DOC’s fundamental principles, which require concerned parties to abide by international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation (TAC) in Southeast Asia . They also stressed the basic principles to adjust actions in resolving the East Sea issue, namely ensuring sustainability, security and peace in accordance with international law and solving disputes by peaceful measures, while strengthening mutual trust between each other.
According to Vinh, leaders of ASEAN and China have assigned their ministers and senior officials to carry out the declaration and regularly revise the implementation.
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