Hanoi (VNA) – The regional security situation continues developing complicatedly, with competition between major powers occurring in all aspects, and new non-traditional security challenges emerging, Vietnamese Defence Minister Sen. Lieut. Gen. Phan Van Giang told the eighth ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) on June 16.
One of the most serious non-traditional security challenges is currently the COVID-19 pandemic, which requires international cooperation, especially from major countries with great scientific, technological, and resource potential, Giang said.
Highlighting the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and safety in the East Sea , Giang suggested all parties involved to work together to promote what they have agreed on, and come up with appropriate solutions to ensure the legitimate interests of all.
“Any issues related to the two countries should be resolved bilaterally, and those involving many countries should be settled multilaterally,” he stressed.
The Vietnamese representative proposed all relevant parties strictly abide by the principle of addressing disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and soon finalise an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
The countries’ maritime forces must exercise utmost restraint and avoid actions that increase tensions and complications in any form, he noted.
The continuous and full implementation of the Declaration on Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC) as well as the UNCLOS is crucial to all, along with the humane treatment for fishermen in any situation at sea, he added.
The head of the Vietnamese delegation appreciated the importance of ADMM as well as the contributions of ADMM and ADMM+ to regional peace and stability. He expressed his belief that, with the spirit of friendship and sincerity through dialogue and substantive cooperation, the cooperation mechanisms will maintain the driving force for peace and stability in the region.
The eighth ADMM+, held virtually, attracted the participation of defence ministers of 10 ASEAN member states and eight partner countries.
Delegates discussed the security situation in the world and the region, especially traditional and non-traditional security challenges that directly affect the region, and evaluate the results of cooperation within the ADMM + framework over the past time.
They adopted the Bander Seri Begawan Joint Declaration on promoting an ASEAN ready for a peaceful and prosperous future.
In response to maritime security challenges as well as issues at sea in the region, ADMM+ countries emphasised the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity, and navigation and aviation safety and freedom, and the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint, avoid actions that further complicate the situation, and pursue measures to settle disputes in a peaceful and non-coercive manner, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)./.