ASEAN foreign ministers vow to strengthen bloc's centrality, credibility

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ASEAN foreign ministers vow to strengthen bloc's centrality, credibility

In this July 8, 2012 file photo, a Cambodian police officer walks past the ASEAN logo in front of the Peace Palace during the 45th Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting AMM in Phnom Penh. According to an ASEAN foreign ministers' joint communique released on Friday, the bloc's centrality and credibility will be strengthened for the sake of peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world, according to the AFP PHNOM PENH foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The ministers said that ASEAN centrality, credibility and relevance are essential to the peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and world in the wake of the 55th ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting 55th AMM held in Phnom Penh under the chairmanship of Cambodia's Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn.

We underscored the importance of strengthening ASEAN centrality and unity in our engagement with ASEAN's external partners, including through ASEAN-led mechanisms, in order to build mutual trust and confidence, as well as to strengthen an open, transparent, resilient, inclusive, and rules-based regional architecture with ASEAN at the center, as well as strengthen an open, transparent, inclusive, and rules-based regional architecture with ASEAN at the center, according to the communique.

We reaffirmed the importance of multilateralism and international cooperation, and underscored the importance of ASEAN's partnerships with other external partners, such as regional and international organizations, to address global concerns, pursue shared goals and complementary initiatives, and promote sustainable development for the benefit of our people. The ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining and promoting peace, security and stability in the region, as well as the peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes.

We reaffirmed our belief that regionalism and multilateralism are important principles and frameworks of cooperation, and that their strength and value lie in their inclusivity, rules-based nature, and emphasis on mutual benefit and respect, the communique said.

On August 3, 2022, attendees of the 55th ASEAN the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Foreign Ministers' Meeting pose for a group photo in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. LY LAY XINHUA On the COVID-19 pandemic, ministers remained concerned with the continued human cost and suffering and the profound socio-economic impact of the epidemic, and said that the bloc's ongoing collective efforts are vital to respond to and recover quickly from the pandemic.

It stressed the importance of strengthening the cooperation between the ASEAN's dialogue partners, external partners, and international organizations to address the challenges of the COVID 19 pandemic, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, as well as prepare for other future public health emergencies.

It said that it welcomes contributions and support from external partners to the region's recovery efforts, including through the COVID - 19 ASEAN Response Fund.

The communique said that they reiterated their pledge to keep the bloc's markets open for trade and investment, enhancing transparency and refraining from imposing unnecessary non-tariff measures to ensure supply chain connectivity, particularly for food, medicines, medical supplies, and other essential products.

The 56th AMM and related meetings will be held in Indonesia in 2023.