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20th ASEAN Summit wraps up in Phnom Penh

(VGP – 04/04/2012) - The 20th ASEAN Summit wrapped up on April 4 in Phnom Penh with the adoption of a joint declaration and other documents to push up the bloc’s cooperation in the coming time.

Photo: VGP

At the retreat session, leaders of ASEAN member states agreed that ASEAN should continue its efforts to ensure regional peace, security and development and play a central role in the region.

It is necessary for ASEAN to strengthen dialogues; build confidence; uphold cooperative instruments and meachanisms like the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ), the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting plus (ADMM+); and combat new emerging challenges in the region.

The ASEAN leaders agreed to reinforce dialogues within the frameworks of ASEAN + 1, ASEAN + 3, East Asia Summit (EAS), ARF and ADMM+ and encourage partners to make positive contribution to common goals of peace, security and development in the region and the building of ASEAN Community and its central role.

ASEAN should positively work with the partners to upgrade the dialogue relations and prepare for the upcoming anniversaries with India (20 years of dialogue ties), the US, the EU, Canada (35 years) and ASEAN+3 (15 years).

The Myanmar President took the occasion to brief other ASEAN leaders about the outcomes of his country’s parliamentary by-elections on April 1. The ASEAN leaders welcomed the election results and expressed hope that Myanmar would conduct the 7-Step Roadmap for national reconciliation, stability and development. They called for the lifting of economic sanctions against the country.

The delegates expressed concerns over the satellite launch plan of the Democatic People’s Republic of Korea, calling upon related sides to exercise self- restraint, resolve the disputes via dialogues and early resume the six-party talks.  

Regarding the East Sea issue, the ASEAN leaders highlighted the importance of peace, stability, security, marintime safety in respect for international laws, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the DOC and pointed to the need to agree upon the components of a Code of Conduct (COC).

At the retreat session, PM Nguyen Tan Dung made significant suggestions on the East Sea issue, sub-region cooperation especially Sub-Mekong Region, response to natural disasters, climate change, maritime security, water resource security, and ASEAN global dialogue./. 

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