At the ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) hosted online by Cambodia, ASEAN 2022 Chair, the member states reviewed preparation for the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting slated to be held from July 30 to August 6.
The delegates also highlighted their commitment to maintaining cooperation to realise the priorities and initiatives of ASEAN 2022 while expressing their determination to complete the development of the ASEAN Community and Post-2025 Vision.
They also discussed measures to narrow the development gap and recognise vaccine passports among the member states.
ASEAN countries also updated the progress in cooperation between the bloc and its partners and agreed to continue to expand the relationship with partners.
Amid a complex geopolitical context, delegates highlighted the need to maintain solidarity and unity and promote the central role in the regional security structure.
Discussing international and regional issues, the countries emphasised that ASEAN should continue to promote its role in assisting Myanmar to find a possible solution to the current crisis by promoting the effective implementation of the 5-point consensus.
Regarding the situation in Ukraine, the countries expressed concern about the continued military tension and negative consequences of the conflict on peace, security, stability and common development of the world and the region.
They expressed their support for the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the United Nations Charter and international law.
Regarding the East Sea/South China Sea, the countries reaffirmed ASEAN's principled stance. They agreed to conduct activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and the 40th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS) in 2022.
Ambassador Vu Ho, acting Head of ASEAN SOM Vietnam, emphasised that ASEAN needed to have a holistic approach to ensure a unified, objective and balanced voice in the context that ASEAN has to deal with many complicated international and regional issues such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Myanmar, the Korean Peninsula and the East Sea.
The meeting of the Executive Committee of the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Commission was held on the same day.
ASEAN countries reaffirmed the importance of the SEANWFZ Treaty, considering it a key document, demonstrating ASEAN's commitment and common stance in maintaining non-nuclear weapons Southeast Asia region.
At the meeting, the delegates also reviewed the implementation of the Treaty Action Plan for 2018-22 and prepared for the SEANWFZ Committee Meeting in early August.