Remarks by Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh at 3rd Indian Ocean Conference
VGP – The following is the full opening remarks by Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh at the 3rd Indian Ocean Conference in Ha Noi on August 27.
BY H.E. MR PHAM BINH MINH, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, FOREIGN MINISTER OF VIET NAM
AT THE 3rd INDIAN OCEAN CONFERENCE
Ha Noi, 27 August 2018
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me, on behalf of the Government of Vietnam, warmly welcome you all to Hanoi for the 3rd Indian Ocean Conference under the theme of “Building Regional Architectures” to discuss strategic and economic issues pertinent to Asia’s security, peace and prosperity.
The Indian and Pacific Oceans are home to some of the greatest and most ancient civilizations in the world. They are connected, not only by their waters, but also by regular and strong interactions in many areas.
Today, these ties are stronger than ever. The heightened level of exchanges in economic, political and cultural areas are becoming new drivers to transform the Asian Century into an Indo-Asia-Pacific Century.
Indeed, the Indo-Asia-Pacific region is increasingly emerging as a unified entity. Your large presence at this conference is another testimony to this fact. We all are stakeholders in the emerging Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
However, it is undeniable that our region is facing multiple traditional and non-traditional challenges. Power politics, extreme nationalism, protectionism, anti-globalization are but to name a few.
Despite these challenges, aspirations for an Indo-Asia-Pacific of peace, stability and prosperity are becoming stronger. Against this backdrop, the question posed to us is: How do we envisage viable forms of regional architectures so as to bring about concrete security and developmental benefits for all of us?
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to offer my thoughts from the Vietnamese perspective on the matter of building the regional architectures.
To advance its own national interests, Viet Nam is simultaneously pursuing common interests of the region. Toward that end, we persistently pursue an independent and self-reliant foreign policy, diversify our international relations and actively engage in international integration.
As a responsible member of the international community, we uphold multilateralism and international law, especially the principles of peaceful settlement of disputes and respect for other countries sovereignty and legitimate interests.
We believe that constructing any Indo-Asia-Pacific regional architecture is a complex undertaking.
For them to be beneficial to peace, security and prosperity in the region, such architectures need to embody following fundamental elements:
First, regional architectures must be of inclusive nature. In today’s globalized world where the interests of nations increasingly inter-dependence, traditional and non-traditional security challenges have become ever more diverse and complex. They can only be addressed by regional architectures that are built upon the principles of openness, inclusivity, peace, cooperation, and development.
Second, the regional architectures must be based on the principles of international law that, among others, include freedom of navigation and unimpeded trade flow.
As a littoral state and party to UNCLOS, Viet Nam believes that full compliance with UNCLOS by all state parties is the cornerstone of the rules-based order at sea and indispensable for peaceful settlement of maritime disputes.
Third, we believe that ASEAN centrality is key to any regional architecture. The past 50 years have seen ASEAN growing into a strong regional organization, whose role and relevance are recognized internationally.
Earlier this month, ASEAN Foreign Ministers reiterated our commitment to uphold ASEAN’s centrality and solidarity in tackling regional issues.
And fourth, all cooperation and connectivity initiatives should be undertaken on the basis of respecting the independence, sovereignty of nations, conducive to confidence building as well as promoting mutual benefits.
We have recently seen a wide range of such initiatives as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), India’s Act East Policy, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the US and Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.
I believe that, in order to offer sustainable benefits, projects within these initiatives must be based on the supremacy of international law and respect for the self-determination of nations.
As for Viet Nam, our bilateral relationships with other countries always have a regional dimension. Our efforts to expand comprehensive cooperation with other countries in the region aim to contribute to the maintenance of peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.
I am confident that deeper integration and connectivity shall continue to be a new driver that brings relations between Vietnam and the countries in the Pacific and Indian Ocean to new heights.
Let me conclude by thanking the organizers for giving me the opportunity to speak to this special gathering of distinguished regional politicians, policy-makers, and scholars.
I hope you will have productive days of discussions where you openly and candidly exchange your ideas on these subject matters.
I wish the Third Indian Ocean Conference a great success.