Ambassador Tran Duc Binh, head of the Vietnamese
permanent mission to ASEAN, chaired the event, the first of its kind under
Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2020, aimed to review cooperation
activities within the framework of the EAS.
He highlighted the theme of a “Cohesive and
Responsive ASEAN” and priorities Vietnam has set as Chair to promote the
development of the ASEAN Community and step up relations with ASEAN partners
for peace and sustainable development, as well as increase the constructive
role of ASEAN in the international community.
EAS countries welcomed this year’s theme and
affirmed their support for Vietnam’s priorities, saying they are ready to
back ASEAN and Vietnam in implementing these priorities along with
initiatives and activities proposed by Vietnam.
The meeting acknowledged and appreciated the
positive results of cooperation activities to implement decisions made by
senior leaders since 2005 and the Manila action plan for 2018-2022 to
prevent terrorism and cross-border crime, intensifying ASEAN connectivity,
marine cooperation, and collaboration in information technology and
communications, energy, the environment and natural disaster management.
Countries also emphasised the need to cooperate in
potential fields such as finance, education, climate change adaptation,
plastic waste treatment at sea, and health care.
Given the complicated developments of the
coronavirus disease (COVID-19), participating nations expressed their
support for the Chinese government’s efforts to prevent the disease spread
while stressing the importance of sharing information and experience to cope
with the virus.
Regarding the East Sea, participants said ASEAN and
China should reach an effective code of conduct in the East Sea (COC) in
line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of
the Sea (UNCLOS).
They emphasised the principles of self-restraint,
non-militarisation, settlement of disputes based on international law and
UNCLOS, while avoiding actions that could increase tensions, undermine
trust, and affect the process of negotiating the COC.
Established in 2005, the EAS now has 18 member
countries, including the 10 ASEAN states and their eight partners –
Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia
and the US./.