The sixth Nha Trang-Khanh Hoa Sea Festival 2013 will include a range of activities towards Truong Sa island district in particular, and homeland’s sea and islands in general.
Khiem, who doubles as Minister of Foreign Affairs, made the comment on the threshold of the 17 th ASEAN Summit and related meetings scheduled to take place in Hanoi from October 28-30.
The deputy PM said the 17 th ASEAN Summit would serve as a forum for ASEAN to evaluate the yearly cooperation results within the bloc and with its partners, and put forward prioritised directions for the next period.
The summit would also be the only chance in 2010 for ASEAN leaders to hold a meeting with leaders from most of the group’s important partners, where they will discuss and recommend directions and measures to further step up and deepen comprehensive cooperation for mutual benefit and development, as well as for peace and stability in the region, he said.
On the agenda of the summit, Khiem said, following this year’s theme “Towards the ASEAN Community: From vision to action”, the 17 th ASEAN Summit will focus on three major issues that the bloc has set out since the beginning of the year.
First, stepping up concerted efforts to build the ASEAN Community, strengthening regional connectivity and effectively implementing the ASEAN Charter. Accordingly, ASEAN leaders will review the results achieved since the 16 th ASEAN Summit and identify jobs to be done to effectively perform the Roadmap for the ASEAN Community on all three pillars, and boost ASEAN connectivity.
The ASEAN leaders were expected to adopt an Overall Plan on ASEAN Connectivity to create a framework for the enhancement of regional connectivity in all aspects, especially infrastructure, to support the bloc in building its community and strengthen its links with a broader region – East Asia .
The ASEAN leaders will highlight the improvement of working methods and the effective implementation of their decisions, considering these a decisive factor to successfully build the ASEAN Community by 2015. In addition, the ASEAN leaders will also accelerate efforts to strengthen the apparatus and supplementary legal documents for the ASEAN Charter.
Second, based on recent progress in relations between ASEAN and its partners, the leaders will debate and reach agreement on important decisions to beef up and elevate relations with the partners to a new level. Many plans of action between ASEAN and its partners for the 2011-2015 period will be approved.
Leaders from ASEAN and partner nations will also exchange views on how to maintain and effectively uphold dialogue mechanisms such as ASEAN+1 and regional cooperation frameworks initiated by ASEAN, including ASEAN+3 and the East Asia Summit (EAS), to further strengthen the bloc’s central role and bolster endeavours towards a regional architecture in the future.
Khiem noted that, at the upcoming EAS, leaders of the EAS member nations were planning to officially invite Russia and the US to participate in the EAS as of 2011. The EAS was also scheduled to adopt an important declaration to reinforce its future development direction on its 5 th founding anniversary.
According to Deputy PM Khiem, at the upcoming meetings, to continue implementing decisions made during the 16 th ASEAN Summit, leaders of ASEAN countries and partners would discuss and work out cooperation measures to improve the capacity to cope with emerging challenges such as sustainable recovery and development after the crisis, and responses to climate change, natural disasters, epidemics and environmental degradation.
“ASEAN leaders will approve two important documents, including a declaration on human resource development and skills for economic recovery and sustainable development, and the Hanoi declaration on increasing social welfare and women and children’s development,” Khiem said.
He added that ASEAN and its partners would adopt a number of other important documents such as the ASEAN-China statement on sustainable development, the action programme for ASEAN-Republic of Korea strategic partnership, the ASEAN-India cooperation programme in the new period and ASEAN joint statements with Russia , New Zealand and the UN.
About ASEAN’s contributions to building a regional architecture of cooperation, the deputy PM noted that the formation of an effective and suitable architecture of cooperation in the region is not only an opportunity but also a challenge for ASEAN.
“ASEAN’s view is to focus on building the community and regional connectivity while creating conditions for partners’ more active involvement and contributions in addressing regional issues,” he said.
Therefore, ASEAN considers that a regional architecture must be based on the bloc’s central role and existing cooperation processes, especially those initiated by ASEAN such as ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3, the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and most recently the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+).
These forums help to create multi-level and mutually-supportive architecture of cooperation which aims to boost dialogue, cooperation and trust building in various fields for peace, security and stability in the region.
Regarding Vietnam ’s preparations for the upcoming 17 th ASEAN Summit, Khiem said that under the steering of the National Committee on ASEAN 2010, all preparations for the summit have been substantially completed with the participation and close coordination of relevant ministries and agencies and the Hanoi authorities.
“As the ASEAN Chair, Vietnam has been responsible for compiling draft documents of the summit, including the Chairman’s Statement and joint statements on the results of the 17 th ASEAN Summit and related meetings,” he said.
The country has also instructed the ASEAN Ad-Hoc Experts Group to complete a masterplan on ASEAN connectivity that is expected to be submitted to this summit for approval, he added.
Vietnam put forward several initiatives that won support from other ASEAN countries, including the ASEAN leaders’ declaration on human resource development and skills for economic recovery and sustainable development, the Hanoi declaration on increasing social welfare and women and children’s development.
Vietnam had also proposed that a declaration on cooperation in search and rescue for people and vessels in distress at sea would be approved by ASEAN foreign ministers, according to the deputy PM./.