ASEAN, UN pledge greater efforts to build rules-based international order.

ASEAN and the United Nations have re-affirmed their resolve to promote multilateral cooperation and build a rules-based international order.
October 23, 2020 | 06:57
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The ASEAN-UN meeting is attended by the President of the ongoing UN General Assembly session, the UN Secretary-General and ASEAN Foreign Ministers. Photo: VGP

ASEAN and the United Nations re-affirmed their resolve to promote multilateral cooperation and build a rules-based international order at a virtual meeting chaired by Vietnam on October 21.

The ASEAN-UN Ministerial Meeting also drew the attendance of ASEAN Foreign Ministers, the President of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General, and the Secretary-General of ASEAN.

It aimed to review progress of the ASEAN-UN comprehensive partnership and preparations for the 11th ASEAN-UN Summit slated for next month, VGP reported.

Both President of the UN General Assembly’s 75th session Volkan Bozkir and UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasised that ASEAN is an indispensable partner, and the UN supports the bloc’s central role.

They also affirmed continued support for ASEAN in community building, and that the UN highly values the effective leadership and coordination capacity of Vietnam as ASEAN Chair in 2020 in concurrently enhancing ties in COVID-19 control and promoting community building.

Talking about efforts to contain COVID-19, the UN officials pledged more assistance for ASEAN to minimise the pandemic’s socio-economic impacts via jointly boosting inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery and implementing the bloc’s comprehensive recovery framework.

The UN appreciates ASEAN’s contributions to ensuring regional and global peace and security, they noted, applauding contributions by Indonesia and Vietnam, which are ASEAN representatives at the UN Security Council.

Besides, they highlighted the UN’s recognition of ASEAN’s efforts to empower women and contribute to UN peacekeeping operations, with an increasing rate of servicewomen and female officers.

At the meeting, participants approved the ASEAN-UN plan of action for 2021-2025, stressing the importance of technical assistance and multi-sectoral cooperation.

They held that the effective implementation of the mutual assistance roadmap for implementing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will practically contribute to sustainable development, ensure no one is left behind, and improve the fight against epidemics and response to emerging challenges.

Discussing the regional and global situation, they reiterated the importance of peace, stability, and security in the region, especially when threats from the COVID-19 pandemic to countries still linger.

Officials once again underlined the goal of turning the Bien Dong Sea (South China Sea) into a sea area of peace, stability, security, and safety. They expressed the readiness to promote trust building and carry out preventive diplomacy in the region on the basis of the UN Charter, international law, and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The meeting called for the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), along with the early finalisation of an efficient and effective Code of Conduct (COC) that is in line with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS so that the COC will serve as a framework for all activities at sea, the Vietnam News Agency said.

Vietnam proposes UN support ASEAN’s initiatives on COVID-19 response

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Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh chairs the ASEAN-UN meeting on October 21. Photo: VGP

Speaking at the event, Deputy PM and FM Minh spoke highly of the role of the UN – the centre for coordinating countries’ joint actions and international efforts to ensure peace and promote sustainable development.

Today’s ASEAN-UN relations have become a model for cooperation between the UN and other regional organisations, he said.

Representing Vietnam – ASEAN Chair this year, he informed the UN officials about the bloc’s efforts in simultaneously building the community and curbing COVID-19 in the “Cohesive and Responsive” spirit.

On behalf of the bloc, Vietnam proposed the UN support ASEAN’s initiatives on COVID-19 response and comprehensive recovery, including an ASEAN fund for COVID-19 response, a stockpile of medical supplies, a regional centre for public health emergencies, and the ASEAN comprehensive recovery framework.

Minh lauded ASEAN and the UN’s resolve to ensure the supply of COVID-19 vaccines at reasonable prices for all people.

In terms of the Bien Dong Sea issue, the Deputy PM and FM repeated ASEAN’s consistent viewpoint that had been affirmed at the 36th ASEAN Summit in June and the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in September.

He emphasised the necessity for avoiding actions that may escalate tensions, no militarisation, settlement of disputes by peaceful measures in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, and commitment to fully and effectively carrying out the DOC and continuing efforts to reach an efficient and effective COC that matches international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.

At the meeting, Vietnam also informed participants about preparations for the 11th ASEAN-UN Summit this November and pledged to organise this event successfully./.

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