Jakarta: The 10th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held online on September 9 within the framework of the ongoing 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-53) and related meetings hosted by Viet Nam.
Chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, the video conference was attended by ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi, ASEAN foreign ministers, and representatives from EAS partners, namely Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia, and the US.
Acknowledging progress in implementing the Manila Action Plan 2018-2022, the EAS countries agreed to continue boosting cooperation in priority areas, including environment, energy, education, finance, health, disaster management, connectivity, economics, trade, food security, and marine cooperation.
"Amid the covid-19 and its complicated developments, EAS countries need to enhance practical cooperation, raise their capacity to respond to and minimise negative impact of the pandemic while promoting sustainable regional recovery," the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said in a press release on Thursday.
Participants welcomed Viet Nam's proposal to host an EAS inter-sectoral expert conference on covid-19 to strengthen response and recovery efforts in the region, slated for October 2020.
They also commended Vietnam's role as the 2020 ASEAN Chair for actively coordinating the covid-19 response efforts of ASEAN and partners, and supported ASEAN initiatives such as the Covid-19 Response Fund and the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies.
Participants exchanged views on regional and international situations of mutual interest, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea, Myanmar’s Rakhine state, and Hong Kong (China).
Regarding the situation in the South China Sea, they emphasised the importance of peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the region, which is a common interest of all countries.
The countries stressed the need to push up dialogues and intensify the building of trust; and to refrain from the acts that worsen tension and complicate the situation, from militarisation, and from the use of or threat to use force. The disputes must be settled by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
The meeting called on ASEAN and China to fully and effectively implement the Declaration of the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and work to soon complete the building of an effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC), consistent with international law and recognised by the international community.