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ASEAN officials discuss measures to strengthen cooperation, Myanmar situation

The event, held on the sidelines of the ongoing 77th session of the UN General Assembly, reviewed preparations for the 40th and 41st ASEAN summits and related summits, slated for November 10-13 in Phnom Penh.

Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Hà Kim Ngọc attends the informal ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting (IAMM) taking place at the UN headquarters in New York. — Photo from the Voice of Việt Nam

HÀ NỘI — An informal ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting (IAMM) took place at the UN headquarters in New York on September 22 to discuss cooperation within the bloc and coordination in member countries’ candidacies for membership of UN bodies and international organisations.

The event, held on the sidelines of the ongoing 77th session of the UN General Assembly, reviewed preparations for the 40th and 41st ASEAN summits and related summits, slated for November 10-13 in Phnom Penh.

Participants affirmed that their countries will keep working closely with Cambodia, which holds the ASEAN Chairmanship this year, to ensure the summits’ success.

They also welcomed some countries’ proposals to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) while affirming the TAC’s principles and values in guiding relations among regional countries, as well as between regional countries with external partners.

Officials also discussed the Myanmar issue, especially measures for the bloc to effectively engage in and build a favourable environment for dialogue in this country.

They voiced their deep concern over the Myanmar situation, stressing the necessity to continue effectively implementing the ASEAN leaders’ Five-Point Consensus, particularly promoting the work by the ASEAN Chair’s Special Envoy on Myanmar to obtain more concrete progress.

They also affirmed the support for efforts by ASEAN Chair Cambodia and the Special Envoy, and agreed to increase humanitarian assistance for Myanmar.

Addressing the meeting, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Hà Kim Ngọc, authorised by Foreign Minister Bùi Thanh Sơn, thanked other ASEAN countries for their support to Việt Nam to successfully run for many important positions at UN agencies. He agreed on the continuation of the bloc’s normal practices, coordination, and mutual support in coming candidacies.

He emphasised that ASEAN needs to keep upholding and promoting the TAC’s principles and values, especially amid profound, fast, and complex changes in the region and the world that have multidimensional impacts on all countries.

Regarding the Myanmar issue, Ngọc held that ASEAN should be more persistent and active in helping the country overcome the crisis and seek solutions for the sake of its people.

The bloc should press on with implementing the consensus with concrete and realistic targets and clear results, he stressed, adding that Việt Nam and other ASEAN members strongly support Chair Cambodia, particularly the Special Envoy, to keep carrying out assigned tasks, thereby helping promote dialogue and reconciliation and work towards durable solutions for Myanmar and its people. — VNS


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