ASEAN to deliberate maritime security and safety in East Sea

ASEAN countries will expound on how best to ensure peace and stability in the region at the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM-47) in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar from August 8-10.

This year the AMM-47, and ancillary meetings, take on an added dimension of importance with ASEAN key partners according to Head of SOM Vietnam, Pham Quang Vinh.

Pham Quang Vinh, who is attending the ASEAN Senior Officials (ASEAN SOM) from August 5-7, talks about the importance of the AMM-47 and related meetings.

ASEAN, Vietnam, East Sea, Pham Quang Vinh 

What major issues will be discussed at the AMM-47 and related meetings?

There will be approximately 20 meetings, 10 between ASEAN and its partners, and 5 sideline meetings related to the Mekong Sub-region.

The focus of the meetings will be on building the ASEAN Community in 2015 and the ASEAN Vision after 2015 given the context of the current situation and developments over the past year. The past year saw complicated events unfold with large countries putting forward their own demands and strategic adjustments in cooperation with the regional grouping.

In that context, it is imperative for ASEAN to maintain solidarity and demonstrate its central role in bolstering regional cooperation.

The region is currently facing numerous non-traditional challenges in security, climate change, natural disasters and maritime disputes which require ASEAN to enhance its active role in insuring regional peace, stability and maritime security and safety.

The regional bloc will dilate on how to ensure the strict implementation of international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and refrain from complicating the situation in the East Sea to work towards building a Code of Conduct in the East Sea in the near future.

ASEAN will also review activities and cooperation programmes over the past year and devise orientations for increasing its cooperation with key partners.

The East Sea issue will be touched upon at the AMM-47. What is the main content for discussion?

The question of how to ensure peace, stability, security and safety of navigation in the East Sea is a major concern of ASEAN and its partners. Therefore, the regional bloc will give proposals on how to ensure a better environment for peace and stability in the region.

First it is imperative to build a standard framework and cooperation mechanisms aiming to ease tensions in the East Sea, secondly, the mechanism must be fully and properly implemented in accordance with international law, especially the UNCLOS and DOC.

ASEAN and China have agreed to work together on formulating a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC). To reach this goal, combined efforts should be made to achieve a COC to create legally binding obligations for concerned parties to ensure regional peace and stability.

What is Vietnam’s role and contributions at the meeting?

For priority objectives of ASEAN closely linked to regional interests, Vietnam will continue joining hands with ASEAN to well perform the central role in building a strong and united community on schedule and intensifying wider cooperation with large countries to effectively cope with ongoing challenges.

In relations with partners, Vietnam is assigned to coordinate ASEAN-EU relations shown by its strengthened role as coordinator and efforts to transform important decisions issued at the 20th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting in Brussels into a joint action programme of the ASEAN and EU.


ASEAN, Vietnam, East Sea, Pham Quang Vinh