Observance of int’l laws fundamental to security, peace: Defence Minister

Saturday, 2018-06-02 18:32:42
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Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich delivers the first remarks at the third plenary session themed “Shaping Asia’s Evolving Security Order” on the second day of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – Independence, self-reliance, the promotion of cooperation and observance of international laws are fundamental to security, peace and development, said Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich at the 17th Asia Security Summit or Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on June 2.

Defence Minister Lich made the statement while delivering the first remarks at the third plenary session themed “Shaping Asia’s Evolving Security Order.”

Traditional and non-traditional security threats, including territorial disputes and terrorism, are clearly visible, posing real and imminent risks to the stability of Asia-Pacific, he noted.

“The best way for the parties involved to settle their disputes is to employ peaceful means and diplomatic dialogues without the use of force, the threat to use force or unilateral actions.”

He suggested that, to resolve complex security issues, each nation must decide its own destiny but, at the same time, they also need fair-minded support from the international community, particularly major countries, towards their common benefits.

The states must develop mutual trust through consultation, exchange of information, high-level visits, and joint activities between their armed forces. Most importantly, each of them must promote policy transparency to demonstrate the goodwill and determination to fulfill their commitments and obligations.

Furthermore, each country should expand and diversify their dialogue mechanisms and regional and inter-regional cooperation in politics, defence and security, and economics, he emphasised.

They should study the development of a new mechanism to support the parties involved in the settlement of disputes and security issues, especially complicated matters such as those in the Korean Peninsula, the East China Sea and the East Sea, with respect for each nation’s sovereignty and international law and on the principle of non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs, the Vietnamese Defence Minister said.

He moved on to highlight ASEAN as a successful model for cooperation and connectivity between small and medium-sized countries in the regional security architecture. ASEAN has played a vital role in shaping the security structure and maintaining peace and stability in Asia-Pacific.

The official reiterated that Vietnam is consistent and supportive of a peaceful resolution of territorial disputes in the East Sea on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

He underlined the observance of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), alongside the conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), as crucial to building strategic trust between ASEAN and China, as well as showing their determination to develop a regional security order based on international law.

He stressed that Vietnam believes any act that violates another nation’s sovereignty or militarisation or military reinforcements are inconsistent with international law and run counter to regional commitments. Instead, the involved parties need to demonstrate their responsibility to obtain a maritime order so that the East Sea can truly be a water of peace, cooperation and friendship.

The 17th Shangri-La Dialogue – an important security forum in the Asia – Pacific opened in Singapore on June 1, gathering over 500 senior defence officials and scholars from more than 50 countries and territories.

The Vietnamese delegation to the event is led by Defence Minister General Ngo Xuan Lich and Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army Senior Lieutenant General Pham Ngoc Minh.