ASEAN Foreign Ministers
expressed their serious concerns over the on-going developments in the South
China Sea, which have increased tensions in the area.
They urged all parties
concerned, in accordance with the universally recognised principles of
international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
(UNCLOS), to exercise self-restraint and avoid actions which could undermine
peace and stability in the area; and to resolve disputes by peaceful means
without resorting to threat or use of force.
They reaffirmed the
importance of maintaining peace and stability, maritime security, freedom of
navigation in and over- flight above the South China Sea as well as the ASEAN’s
Six-Point Principles on the South China Sea and the Joint Statement of the 15th
ASEAN-China Summit on the 10th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct of
Parties in the South China Sea.
They also called on all
parties to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea
(DOC) to undertake full and effective implementation of the DOC in order to
create an environment of mutual trust and confidence. They emphasised the need
for expeditiously working towards an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in
the South China Sea (COC).