Vietnam requests that countries absolutely not to use force against fishermen and others working at sea, Deputy Defence Minister Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh said at the ASEAN Defence Senior Officials’ Meeting Plus (ADSOM+) held in Brunei on April 4.
“As a country with a long coastline along the East Sea, Vietnam has always displayed concern and a high sense of responsibility in ensuring peace and stability in this region,” Vinh said, adding that Vietnam commits itself to and requests that all parties involved settle disputes through peaceful dialogue in a public and transparent manner and in accordance with international and regional treaties, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the East Sea (DOC), ASEAN’s six point principle on the East Sea adopted in 2012, and make joint efforts to achieve a Code of Conduct (COC) as early as possible.
|The Defence senior officials at the meeting. Photo: VNA|
The Deputy Defence Minister also affirmed that Vietnam has and will do its utmost to ensure international maritime freedom, safety and security in the waters and continental shelf area under the country’s control.
The statement of the Vietnamese delegation head was supported by many participants at the conference.
Delegates at the conference, which included deputy defence ministers and senior defence officials from 10 ASEAN countries and 8 ASEAN dialogue partners, held that while peace and stability remain the main trend in the Asia-Pacific, the region is facing various challenges from both conventional and non-conventional security issues. They underscored the tension on the Korean Peninsula , maritime security and safety as well as disputes related to sovereignty and resources on the sea, including those on the East Sea.
The delegates spoke highly of the results of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) cooperation since its establishment in Hanoi in 2010 and expressed hope that the cooperation process will continue to develop.
The conference adopted Vietnam’s initiative to establish a group of experts to overcome the consequences of unexploded ordnance and agreed that Vietnam and India will co-chair the implementation of the initiative.
Within the framework of the ADSOM+, Deputy Minister Vinh held several bilateral meetings with the head delegates of China, the US, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Brunei to discuss defence ties between Vietnam and the respective countries.-