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ASEAN confirms East Sea related commitments

(VNA - 20/7/2012)

Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong announced ASEAN’s six-point principles on the East Sea at a press briefing in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on July 20.

According to Hor Nam Hong, after discussions, ASEAN’s Foreign Ministers reaffirmed the commitments made by ASEAN’s member states to
1. the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (2002);
2. the Guidelines for the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (2011);
3. the early conclusion of a Regional Code of Conduct in the East Sea ;
4. the full respect of the universally recognised principles of International Law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS);
5. the continued exercise of self-restraint and non-use of force by all parties; and
6. the peaceful resolution of disputes, in accordance with universally recognised principles of International Law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers resolve to intensify ASEAN consultations in the advancement of the above principles, consistent with the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (1976) and the ASEAN Charter (2008).

This was announced after the 45 th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that concluded in Phnom Penh on July 13 failed to issue a joint communique due to differences on the mention of the dispute in the East Sea . The host country Cambodia refused to include in the document the fact that the Philippines and Vietnam raised the issue at the meetings.

Hor Namhong said this was the outcome of consultations between ASEAN’s Foreign Ministers after Indonesian FM Marty Natalegawa held diplomatic activities with his ASEAN counterparts, including direct meetings with the foreign ministers of Vietnam, the Philippines and Cambodia, to reach a consensus on their common positions on this issue.