MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE CHAIRS THE ASEAN MINISTERIAL MEETINGS IN PREPARATION FOR THE 22~D ASEAN SUMMIT
His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Chairman of the ASEAN Ministerial Meetings, today chaired the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Retreat, the 9th ASEAN Political and Security Community Council (APSC) and the 1ih ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) in preparation for the 220d ASEAN Summit to be held on 24-25 April 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan.
Her Royal Highness Princess Hajah Masna, Ambassador-at-Large was also present at the APSC and ACC Meetings. The Meetings were held at the International Convention Centre in Bandar Seri Begawan.
The Meetings discussed the progress made since the 21 st ASEAN Summit in November 2012, including political and security cooperation; the widening acceptance of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia; on-going work on the publication of the ASEAN Security Outlook, and received reports from various ASEAN bodies for submission to the ASEAN Leaders.
The Meeting also exchanged views on regional and international matters of mutual interest. The Ministers emphasized the importance of maintaining peace, stability, mutual trust and cooperation to enhance maritime security, and of ensuring the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The Ministers also reiterated the need for all parties to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes.
The Ministers further reiterated their Statement on the Six-Point Principles on the South China Sea, and emphasized the need to maintain momentum on dialogue and consultations following the positive outcome of the 19th ASEAN-China Senior Officials Consultations. The Ministers tasked their Senior Officials to work actively with China on the way forward for the early conclusion of the Code of Conduct on
the basis of consensus.