The 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit concluded in Brussels, Belgium on October 19 with the release of a Presidential Statement affirming determination of ASEM members in strengthening partnership between the two continents in coping with global challenges and sketching out orientations to enhance intra-bloc cooperation in the future.
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (front, centre) and other leaders pose for a photo at the 12th ASEM Summit in Brussels on October 19
Prior to the closing, leaders of ASEM member countries had a discussion on regional and international issues, focusing on matters related to peace, security, anti-terrorism, non- proliferation of mass destruction weapons and maritime security.
They also discussed the complicated situation in the Middle East – Northern Africa, the Korean Peninsula, Iran, and the migration crisis. Many countries showed their concern about developments affecting security environment in Asia, including the East Sea and East China Sea.
Participants affirmed their commitment to maintaining peace, stability, maritime and overflight security, safety and freedom on the basis of full implementation of international law, as well as peacefully settling disputes in line with international law, especially the UN Charter and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, refraining from using or threatening to use force, not conducting unilateral actions against international law, and implementing measures to build trust and ensure self-restraint.
Addressing the session, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stressed that peace, cooperation and development is the main trend of the era, but the international community is also witnessing strong changes and unprecedented challenges.
He proposed strengthening trade to maintain the recovery and ensure bright prospects of the global economy.
Vietnam supports efforts by the international community in line with the UN Charter and international law to seek peaceful and sustainable solutions to conflicts and disputes in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, he said.
The Vietnamese PM made clear that Vietnam and ASEAN members are working closely with the international community, including ASEM member countries, to maintain peace, stability, maritime and overflight security, safety and freedom, thus ensuring that freedom of trade is not hindered in the East Sea which is a big international sea route connecting trade between Asia and Europe as well as the whole world.
He underlined the need to persistently promote joint efforts, strengthen measures to build trust and preventive diplomacy, deal with disputed in a peaceful manner in conformity with international law including the UNCLOS, respect diplomatic and legal processes, and restrain from actions complicating the situation.
He also recognised initial progress in negotiation for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), highlighting Vietnam's proposal that all parties should continue practical negotiation to soon reach the document.
The success of the 12th ASEM Summit created new motivation for the close and dynamic partnership between Asia and Europe, thus continuing to affirming the significant role of ASEM in the shaping architecture.