32ND ASEAN Ministerial Meeting is successful

Ha Noi, July 28 (VNA) -- The 32nd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM-32) and the 6th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF-6) held recently in Singapore were successful in an intensified atmosphere and frank and cooperative spirit, said the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, Ms. Phan Thuy Thanh.

The spokesperson affirmed fine results of AMM-32 while answering Viet Nam-based Kyodo correspondent's question about the Vietnamese Government's assessment on AMM-32 and ARF-6 in Ha Noi today, July 28.

Thanh further said that this was the first time an annual ASEAN ministerial meeting was attended by all ten Southeast Asian countries since Cambodia was admitted in the ASEAN group in Ha Noi in April this year.

"The above-mentioned meetings constitute a new important step of development of the spirit of cooperation and mutual trust to together cope with challenges in complicated political and economic situation in the region and the world as a whole," Thanh stressed.

She noted that at AMM-32, ASEAN foreign ministers considered and agreed upon a series of important issues relating to ASEAN cooperation and activities in many fields covering economic restoration, development orientation of ASEAN in the future, issues concerned by ASEAN and its dialogue partners, ARF process, the implementation of agreements reached by the 6th ASEAN Summit in Ha Noi, and economic, political and security cooperation and others.

"AMM-32 also considered and agreed on several regional and international issues such as the East Sea issue with the assignment to a working group to draft a regional code of conduct in the East Sea under a decision of the 6th ASEAN Summit in Ha Noi, the issues of a nuclear weapon free zone, the Kosovo crisis, non-alignement, and the situation in South Asia, and affirmed its stance on 'One China' policy," Thanh added.

She further said: "The conference stressed that despite difficulties, ASEAN has maintained its value and role as it was when the grouping was set up 30 years ago. It also displayed the member countries' strong resolve to further consolidate the grouping's unity and strength, thus firmly advancing towards the new millenium. The conference reached a consensus on speeding up the implementation of the Ha Noi Programme of Action, including the development of the Mekong Sub- region and the East-West Corridor, as well as other issues concerning cooperation in sciences and technology, human resources development, environmental protection, prevention of and fight against international crimes, and settlements of the regional financial crisis' social impacts.

"The sixth ASEAN Regional Forum, ARF, comprising 22 states, is the Asia and Pacific region's only platform on security and politics. The forum highly valued commitments made by concerned governments to settle disputes related to the East Sea accordingly the principles of International Law and the UN Convention on Marine Law. In this regard, the forum took notes that ASEAN has embarked on compiling a code of conduct in the East Sea. Among other issues, the forum raised concern over the tension on the Korean peninsular, advocated "One China" policy, recognizing the People's Republic of China as the sole, legitimate government, and stressed the significant importance of maintaining peace, stability and security in the region for the development and prosperity of each country and the whole region as well.

"The conference also affirmed that ARF would continue developing at a pace suitable to every participant country on the basis of mutual agreement with ASEAN remaining the core stimulus as agreed upon before.

"In the spirit of cooperation, equality, mutual benefits and respect each others, Viet Nam has actively contributed to the success of the 32nd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and the sixth ASEAN Regional Forum. We, Viet Nam, are greatly satisfied with the outcome of these events," Ms. Thanh said in conclusion.--VNA