PM chairs 21st ASEAN-ROK Summit

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired the 21st ASEAN – Republic of Korea Summit in Hanoi on November 12.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairing the 21st ASEAN - ROK Summit (Photo: NDO/DUY LINH)
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairing the 21st ASEAN - ROK Summit (Photo: NDO/DUY LINH)

Addressing the opening ceremony, PM Phuc said as leading economic partners of each other, ASEAN and the ROK should continue enhancing coordination, especially adopting frameworks led by ASEAN, contributing to peace, stability and development in the region.

ROK President Moon Jae-in vowed to join hands with ASEAN to overcome challenges caused by COVID-19. He also announced a contribution of US$1 million to ASEAN COVID-19 response fund and a package of medical supplies worth US$5 million to the bloc.

He expressed his support for the regional comprehensive recovery framework and efforts to resume trade and investment cooperation via facilitating travelling between both sides.

Moon pledged to accelerate the implementation of the New Southern Policy and further deepen cooperation with the bloc.

On orientations to future cooperation, both sides agreed to work closely together to drive back the pandemic, ensure the public access to COVID-19 vaccine, improve the capacity of urgent public health system.

They promised to realise common initiatives on promoting ASEAN-ROK economic connectivity in response to COVID-19 pandemic, step up cooperation in digital economy, innovation, high-quality human resources development, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and start-ups, thus creating a strong driving force for their economies.

ASEAN proposed the ROK continue supporting the bloc’s pandemic prevention and control initiatives, including regional reserve of medical supplies and promoting recovery via the ASEAN comprehensive recovery framework recently announced at the 37th ASEAN Summit.

The two sides consented to bolster even development cooperation, support efforts to narrow development gap, sub-regional development coordination, improve the capacity of responding to emerging challenges such as climate change, disaster management, environment protection, sustainable forest protection and plastic waste reduction.

On regional and global issues of shared concern, leaders highlighted the importance of ensuring peace, security, stability, maritime and aviation freedom in the region, including the East Sea (South China Sea); as well as the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

PM Phuc also took the occasion to call for further increasing cooperation in COVID-19 research and production, stably maintain trade and investment, and step up green and sustainable development.

With the official upgrade of Mekong – ROK sub-regional cooperation to a summit level last year, the Vietnamese PM expected the ROK to continue supporting efforts to promote sub-regional sustainable development, including the Mekong Sub-region, and incorporate sub-regional development efforts into ASEAN Community’s common development strategy.

He also underlined the importance of serious implementation of the UN Security Council’s related resolutions and agreements among parties concerned for a Korean peninsula of peace, stability and denuclearisation.

In order to maintain peace, security and stability in the East Sea, the PM urged parties concerned to exercise self-restraint, avoid actions that could further complicate the situation and increase tension, erode trust and cause instability. Every dispute and difference should be settled peacefully in line with international law, the 1982 UNCLOS and legal framework on activities at sea.

Parties need to seriously and fully comply with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), build a practical and effective Code of Conduct in the East in accordance with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS, he said.

As a coordinator of ASEAN-ROK relations for the 2021-2024 period, Vietnam will work closely with the ROK and ASEAN member states to uphold existing foundations, as well as continue efforts of Brunei – the existing coordinator to develop bilateral strategic partnership for the sake of peace, stability, friendship and cooperation in the region, he said.