|ASEAN Foreign Ministers discuss 2014 priorities|
ASEAN FOREIGN MINISTERS DISCUSS 2014 PRIORITIES, REAFFIRM ASEAN CENTRALITY
IN ADDRESSING REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES
(Based on the Press Release agreed upon by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers
after the conclusion of their Retreat on 17 January 2014)
19 January 2014 - Union Minister for Foreign Affairs, U Wunna Maung Lwin, as Chair of ASEAN for 2014, presided over the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat last January 17 in Bagan, Myanmar.
The Retreat is the first in the series of ASEAN Foreign Ministers' meetings under Myanmar's ASEAN Chairmanship in 2014 under the theme "Moving forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community."
During the Retreat, ASEAN Foreign Ministers discussed the priorities of ASEAN for 2014. The issues include ASEAN's efforts to speed up community building and ASEAN integration and to move forward to the realization of the Master Plan for ASEAN Community.
The ASEAN Ministers also discussed to develop ASEAN Vision for Post 2015 ASEAN Community as guided by ASEAN Leaders' Statement at the 23rd ASEAN Summit and explored ways to strengthen ASEAN's external relations.
On the regional and international issues, the Foreign Ministers stressed the importance of upholding ASEAN's centrality in the evolving regional architecture in addressing the issues of common interest of ASEAN. The Ministers also discussed ways to further contribute to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and beyond.
The Foreign Ministers expressed their concerns on the recent developments in the South China Sea. They further reaffirmed ASEAN's Six-Point Principles on the South China Sea and the importance of the maintenance of peace and stability, maritime security, freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea.They called on all Parties concerned to resolve their disputes by peaceful means in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and urged continued self-restraint in the conduct of activities. They called on all Parties to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) to undertake the full and effective implementation of the DOC in order to build an environment of mutual trust and confidence. They emphasized the need to expeditiously work towards the early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).