It is anticipated that the 27th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) will be able to "unleash the knot" on common security issues and lead towards building a peaceful and prosperous region.
The 27th ARF, a leading security dialogue held between ASEAN member states and key partners within the Asia-Pacific region, took place via an online platform on September 12.
In his opening speech at the forum, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh extended his thanks to countries for their support of the nation in its role as ASEAN Chair 2020, in addition to their participation in the online ARF in the context of the current complicated situation both regionally and globally. This also shows the level of commitment of members to participate in the ARF dialogue mechanism.
After first being establishment in 1994, the ARF has developed into an important forum that covers a range of issues relating to regional peace, security, and stability. Through this co-operation mechanism, the forum has made remarkable progress in terms of facilitating dialogue partners in order to increase mutual trust and understanding whilst boosting co-operation in an effective and substantial manner, Deputy PM Minh said.
"This ARF forum took place amid the complicated and unpredictable situation regionally and globally. In such difficult times, our mission today is to continue to affirm the role of the ARF Forum, especially to promote effective dialogue and co-operation mechanisms, and to strengthen trust and understanding aimed at addressing differences to reduce security risks in the region. This should be done with consolidating confidence in strengthening preventive diplomacy, in order to maintain peace, security, stability, and prosperity in the region," the Vietnamese diplomat stressed.
"At the ARF 27, we reviewed the Hanoi Action Plan 2 for the 2020 to 2025 period and considered approving a number of statements, initiatives, and actions to further assert the role of the ARF in the current ever-changing context," Deputy PM Minh added.
The topic of developments in the East Sea are considered an issue of great interest at this ARF due to recent developments raising concerns regarding the possibility of escalating tensions that could potentially lead to mistaken schemes and unwarranted conflicts.
Despite this, during related meetings held within the framework of the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM 53) during the course of the previous days, ASEAN Foreign Ministers and partners such as the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and China all expressed their goodwill to settle ongoing disputes. All nations pledged to solve issues in the East Sea through peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
They also called on all related parties to refrain from taking actions that could undermine strategic trust and adversely affect the goal of maintaining peace, security, safety, along with freedom of navigation and overflight in the area, one of the most important maritime routes in the world.
The ARF brought together 27 countries with similar interest in security in the Asia-Pacific region. In July, 1994, the country was invited to attend the first meeting of the ARF, going on to become one of the founding members of the forum.
The ARF 27 is one of the related meetings held within the framework of the AMM 53 which has organised in the form of video conference from September 9 to September 12.
The AMM 53, along with other related meetings, are among the most important events taking place during the nation’s Year of ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020. They are taking place amid fierce strategic competition between powerful countries, heightened tension in several hot spots, as well as complicated developments relating to the novel coronavirus pandemic that has affected every aspect of the economy and society of ASEAN member states.