ARF senior officials adopts over 20 initiatives for 2019-2020

The Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) endorsed more than 20 initiatives for 2019-2020 in Bangkok on May 31.

Delegates at the meeting pose for a group photo. (Photo: VNA)
Delegates at the meeting pose for a group photo. (Photo: VNA)

The initiatives focused on disaster relief, fighting terrorism and trans-national crime, sea security, cyber security, denuclearisation and disarmament, and peacekeeping.

The ARF SOM is part of a series of senior officials’ meetings ahead of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ gathering slated for August.

Participants at the event affirmed that the ARF continues to be the leading venue for talks on security cooperation in Asia-Pacific. With ASEAN at its centre, the ARF has become a main drive for trust building among countries in the region through diverse ideas on trust-building and preventive diplomacy.

The Vietnamese delegation to the SOM is led by Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, who is head of SOM Vietnam.

Looking into international and regional situations, participating countries emphasised the significance of dialogue and cooperation as well as trust building and preventive diplomatic to the maintenance of peace and stability in the region. They underlined the importance of peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea. Many countries took the occasion to highlight the principles of self-restraint, peaceful settlement of disputes and respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).