HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Thanh Sơn on Monday attended the 23rd ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Council Meeting as part of the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting (AMM-54).
The meeting reviewed the operations of specialised agencies in the political-security ‘pillar’ and the implementation of the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint 2025.
According to the ASEAN Secretary General’s report, despite a range of challenges, political and security cooperation in ASEAN has made significant achievements. Notably the implementation of recommendations on the Mid-term Review of the APSC.
He highlighted ASEAN collaboration in the battle to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control and recovery efforts, national defence, border management and responses to non-traditional challenges, as well as cooperation between ASEAN and its partners.
Given the complex challenges in the region, for example, overlapping claims to the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea) and the political turmoil in Myanmar, the meeting stressed the need for the group to strengthen its solidarity, trust, understanding and central role in the region, and to maintain dialogue and cooperation among members, for regional peace, security and stability.
In his remarks, Minister Sơn said an environment of peace, security and stability is necessary to cope with the pandemic, spur recovery and maintain regional growth.
Pointing to increasing strategic competition between powers, he suggested ASEAN should have a comprehensive approach to its relationship with its current partners as well as potential new partners.
He also proposed cautiously reviewing the operational procedures of ASEAN-led mechanisms to maintain their goals, values and role, while promoting the engagement and dialogue of partners.
Inter-sectoral and inter-pillar coordination requires a creative approach amidst challenges regarding the security of navigation, COVID-19 and humanitarian aid, the Vietnamese diplomat said.
The minister also suggested adding emerging issues to the APSC Blueprint 2025, saying more attention should be given to gender equality, peace and security.
Earlier, ASEAN Foreign Ministers witnessed an online award ceremony for the ASEAN Prize 2020, which was handed over to the Singapore-based ASEAN Studies Centre of ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute. — VNS
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