Vietnam vows to contribute to ASEAN-EU strategic partnership

Thursday, 2021-07-08 22:07:46
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Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of SOM ASEAN Vietnam (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
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NDO/VNA – Vietnam treasures and will make positive contributions to the ASEAN-EU strategic partnership, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, head of SOM ASEAN Vietnam, said at the annual ASEAN-EU Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) that was held online on July 8.

The event aimed to review and discuss regional and global issues of shared concern and make preparations for the ASEAN – EU Post Ministerial Conference scheduled for August.

The Vietnamese official suggested the EU help to ensure ASEAN’s timely and even access to vaccines, offer assistance in technological transfer and increase vaccine production in the region while coordinating to step up economic recovery and growth, green and sustainable development.

He asked the EU to continue its involvement and making constructive contributions to ASEAN’s efforts to cope with challenges to regional security and stability.

Reaffirming ASEAN’s principled stance on the East Sea issue, deputy minister Dung proposed the EU continue supporting ASEAN’s efforts to maintain peace, security and safety in the East Sea/South China Sea, fully and effectively realise the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and soon complete negotiations on an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Countries welcomed ASEAN and EU’s official upgrade of ties to strategic partnership level and affirmed the importance of the “partnership in connectivity” between the two blocs. They pledged to enhance multilateral cooperation and coordination, and promote free and equitable trade on the basis of sharing common values and benefits about a rules-based world order.

Head of the SOM EU Gunnar Wiegan emphasised that EU wants to further promote the strategic partnership with ASEAN and affirmed EU's support for ASEAN’s central role in the regional architecture.

The EU representative vowed to continue strengthening solidarity with ASEAN to effectively cope with COVID-19 pandemic together.

ASEAN member states suggested the EU support ASEAN’s initiatives regarding COVID-19 prevention and control as well as coordinate with ASEAN to ensure fair access to vaccine, and safe and effective research and development of vaccine.

Both sides agreed to work closely together to fight COVID-19, promote comprehensive and sustainable recovery and successfully realise the ASEAN-EU Plan of Action for 2018-2022.

The EU proposed giving priority to economic recovery, trade, sustainable connectivity, climate change and green growth.

On the occasion, the EU suggested holding a commemorative summit marking the 45th anniversary of ASEAN-EU relations next year in Belgium.

On regional and global issues, both sides highlighted a need to ensure an environment of peace, security and safety in the region, thus creating favourable conditions for countries to cope with the pandemic.

They underscored the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, maritime and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea. They expressed support for dialogues, building trust, exercising self-restraint, refraining from actions that further complicate the situation or increase tension, avoiding militarisation, and settling disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.

The two sides expressed support for efforts to resume negotiations to reach an effective and efficient COC in accordance with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

The EU side affirmed its backing of ASEAN’s efforts on Myanmar situation and welcomed the Five-Point Consensus adopted at the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in April.

Concluding the event, Singapore, coordinator of the ASEAN-EU relations, and the EU issued the Co-Chairs’ Press Release on the outcomes of the meeting.