HANOI (Viet Nam News/ANN) — Colombia, Cuba and South Africa have joined the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) during the 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings in Hà Nội.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and other ASEAN foreign ministers witnessed the signing ceremony by the three countries which was held online on Tuesday.
In his remarks, Minh said the expansion of the treaty showed ASEAN’s position and role in enhancing co-operation, and in promoting peace and security in the region and the world.
The TAC was signed in Bali, Indonesia, in February 1976 and has 43 signatories so far. Since its signing and entry into force, the treaty has become a key instrument governing relations between states to maintain regional peace and stability.
In recent years, there had been growing interest of non-ASEAN member states in the treaty, he said, adding that the accession by Colombia, Cuba and South Africa to the TAC would contribute to the reinforcement of the importance and relevance of the treaty’s purposes and principles which encompass the peaceful settlement of disputes and resolutions of differences.
Minh called on the three countries to commit themselves to the TAC objectives and strive to strengthen ties with ASEAN while contributing to promoting peace and security in the region and beyond.
He also expressed his hope for more commitments, saying substantial and concrete actions should be taken to work towards a more peaceful, stable and prosperous region and the world.
Cuban FM Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla recognised the work of Việt Nam and ASEAN in the fight against COVID-19 and expressed his condolences to Cambodia, the Philippines, Laos, Thailand, and Việt Nam over the heavy losses caused by recent natural disasters.
The signing took place in an international context that showed the values of solidarity and co-operation to control global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the minister said.
He pledged to work with ASEAN in biotechnology, pharmacy, medical services, Spanish language teaching, culture, sports, and strategies to address climate change, suggesting the establishment of a joint biotech research and development centre in ASEAN and the conduction of clinical tests. — VNS