AMM 50: Development orientations rolled out for ASEAN Community

Manila (VNA) – The foreign ministers
of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have reviewed the bloc’s achievements
recorded over the past 50 years and put forth major development orientations
for the ASEAN Community in the time ahead.

They are gathering at the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM
50) that opened in Manila, the Philippines, on August 5.

The
ministers shared the views that the greatest attainment ASEAN has gained is the
building of a favourable condition for peace and stability, helping bring nations
in the region closer to create collective strength as well as a dialogue
culture and cooperation for their growth.

They
assessed the materialisation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and master
plans on politics-security, economy, culture and social affairs.

In an
effort to practically benefit ASEAN citizens, the ministers consented to
promote programmes on economic development cooperation and narrow development
gaps, increase connectivity, especially through the implementation of the third
phase of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), the Master Plan on ASEAN
Connectivity (MPAC) and measures to ensure social welfare.

Applauding
the initiative to combine the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 with the UN’s 2030
Agenda for Sustainable Development, the officials considered this one of the
priorities and agreed to roll out a roadmap to boost the reciprocation of the
two documents.

Regarding ASEAN’s
external affairs, they lauded strides made in relations between the group and
its partners and appreciated contributions of the partners to the formation of
the ASEAN Community. They, therefore, agreed to deepen the partnerships in a
more pragmatic fashion. 

Solidarity
and unity have helped ASEAN overcome various difficulties and challenges, they
said, stressing the need to carry forward such values to reap more successes
and further develop.

ASEAN
should display its common stance and viewpoints on regional issues in order to
contribute to peace, stability and development in the region, the FMs said,
agreeing to promote the formation of a law-based regional structure on the
basis of current ASEAN-led forums and mechanisms.

They
expressed common concern over traditional and non-traditional challenges facing
regional security, including the increased terrorism and piracy, and the
situation in the Korean Peninsula and the East Sea.

Mentioning
the East Sea issue, the participating countries shared viewpoints on
maintaining peace, stability, navigation and aviation security and safety in
the East Sea.

Vietnamese
FM Pham Binh Minh, head of the Vietnamese delegation to the event, highlighted
the significance of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and the group’s
achievements.

He listed
stagnant intra-bloc trade, negative impacts of the anti-globalisation movement
and the slow application of outcomes of the fourth industrial revolution as
challenges to the group.

Against the
background, the official suggested upholding efficiency of the ASEAN Community
through the effectuation of measures and policies aiming to facilitate the
development of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and combining
initiatives in ASEAN cooperation with those of partners.

He also
stressed the need to enhance education and training, establish a network of
agencies and institutes for scientific and technological research, and
accelerate the materialisation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration,
particularly in education and training.

At the same
time, efforts should be made to fast-track the reform of administrative
procedures and operation of the ASEAN apparatus, set common standards for ASEAN
meetings and intensify the role of the common coordination mechanism in
instructing inter-sectoral issues, he said.

He also reiterated Vietnam’s consistent stance on the significance of peace,
stability, navigation and aviation security and safety in the East Sea to
regional peace and stability.

Disputes
should be resolved peacefully in accordance with international law, including
the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and respect for legal
and diplomatic processes, he said, stressing the need for concerned parties to
back efforts to build trust and prevent conflicts.

He noted
that developing a suitable and satisfactory approach to the East Sea issue
constitutes ASEAN’s practical contribution to long-term peace and stability in
the region and also proves its competence, efficiency and central role in
regional and international matters.  

Talking
about non-traditional security challenges, Minh pointed out adverse impacts of
terrorism and piracy on security and social order in the region.

Vietnam will work together with other ASEAN members to strengthen comprehensive
cooperation within regional mechanisms and frameworks in order to cope with the
problems, he stated.-VNA



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