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ASEAN Foreign Ministers issue Joint Communiqué

VGP – Foreign Ministers of 10 ASEAN member countries have issued a Joint Communiqué reaffirming that regionalism and multilateralism are important principles and frameworks of cooperation.

September 10, 2020 6:40 PM GMT+7

Participants to the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in virtual format on September 9, 2020. Photo: VGP

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The regional ministers believe that strength and value of regionalism and multilateralism lie in their inclusivity, rules-based nature, and emphasis on mutual benefit and respect. Regarding response to COVID-19, ASEAN noted with deep concern the continued human cost and suffering as well as profound socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.

The ministers underscored the need for ASEAN to expeditiously develop a comprehensive recovery framework to move forward ASEAN’s COVID-19 recovery efforts with a view to mitigating the profound and multidemensional impact of the pandemic, preserving supply chain connectivity, supporting economic recovery and improving stability and resilience of the region’s economy.

The ministers called for enhanced collaboration and sharing of experience with ASEAN’s partners in research, development and distribution of vaccines, proving access to medicines for COVID-19 and other diseases in future public health emergencies, and making them available and affordable to all as global public goods.

For East Sea issue, the regional ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety, and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the East Sea and recognized the benefits of having the East Sea as a sea of peace, stability, and prosperity.

They underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2020 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) in its entirety while emphasizing the need to maintain and promote an environment conducive to the COC negotiations, and thus welcomed practical measures that could reduce tensions and the risk of accidents, misunderstandings and miscalculation.

The ministers stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures to enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties; reaffirmed the importance of upholding international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.

“Concerns were expressed by some Ministers on the land reclamations, activities, and serious incidents in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions, and may undermine peace, security, and stability in the region”, read the Communiqué.

The foreign ministers reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes and affect peace and stability and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation.

They also further reaffirmed the need to pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.

The ministers emphasized the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states, including those mentioned in the DOC that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the East Sea./.

By Huong Giang