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ASEAN – Australia forum held in Melbourne

VGP - Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet, Head of the ASEAN Senior Official Meeting (SOM) delegation of Viet Nam, attended the 36th ASEAN – Australia Forum organised in Melbourne on February 6.

February 07, 2024 9:32 PM GMT+7
ASEAN – Australia forum held in Melbourne- Ảnh 1.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet (5th from L) and officials from other ASEAN member states and Australia to the 36th ASEAN – Australia Forum, Melbourne, Australia, February 6, 2024.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet, Head of the ASEAN Senior Official Meeting (SOM) delegation of Vietnam, attended the 36th ASEAN-Australia Forum organised in Melbourne on February 6.

In his speech, the Vietnamese diplomat laid stress on the significance of the cooperation to narrow the development and sub-regional development gap to building the ASEAN Community.

He spoke highly of the achievements that both sides have obtained in this field, especially Australia’s support for ASEAN member states to roll out the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), and for the development of the Mekong sub-region.

Regarding measures to bolster cooperation in these areas in the time ahead, Viet suggested Australia institutionalise cooperation mechanisms so as to improve the efficiency of cooperation between Australia and Mekong sub-regional countries.

At the forum, ASEAN and Australian officials expressed their delight at the progress in the bilateral relations over the past time, noting that all action lines of the ASEAN – Australia cooperation plan for the 2020-2024 period have been carried out, with many completed one year ahead of schedule.

They commended the implementation outcomes of the ASEAN – Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which was established in 2021, particularly activities held within the 204-million-AUD Aus4ASEAN Futures Initiative.

They also agreed to deepen the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in an effective and practical way for mutual benefit, and conduct early negotiations to develop an action plan for cooperation for the 2025-2029 period to submit to the foreign ministers for approval at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Laos in July. The action plan will prioritise collaboration in the fields of economy, trade, investment, education and training, management of natural disasters, climate change response, green economy and energy transition, among others.

Touching on regional and international issues of mutual concern, they voiced their concern over the escalating tensions, violence and conflicts across the globe, and underscored the need to work together to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.

 They also said that conflicts and disputes must be settled via peaceful means in accordance with the basic principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Do took this occasion to ask Australia for its continuing support for ASEAN’s central role in the regional structure as well as the bloc’s stance on the East Sea issue and efforts to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC), and promptly build a practical Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea in accordance with international law.

Officials of both sides also concurred to join hands to organise the ASEAN – Australia Special Summit in Melbourne in March to mark the 50th anniversary of their Dialogue Relations./.VNA