US urges for international order to address tensions in South China Sea at ASEAN Regional Forum ministerial meet

Washington [US], September 13 (ANI): US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun-led delegation at the 27th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial Meeting discussed the importance of the international rules-based order in addressing increasing tensions and militarisation in the South China Sea.

September 13, 2020

World

3 min

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Washington [US], September 13 (ANI): US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun-led delegation at the 27th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Ministerial Meeting discussed the importance of the international rules-based order in addressing increasing tensions and militarisation in the South China Sea.
The delegation also discussed the need for unhindered humanitarian access and the cessation of violence in Rakhine State, concern over the erosion of autonomy and human rights in Hong Kong, and the US support for a path to lasting peace in the Korean Peninsula.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Ministers of the 26 ARF participating countries, including the DPRK, as well as the EU High Commissioner.
US Department of State Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said, “Deputy Secretary Biegun was joined by several foreign ministers in underscoring the importance of the international rules-based order in addressing increasing tensions and militarisation in the South China Sea, the need for unhindered humanitarian access and the cessation of violence in Rakhine State, concern over the erosion of autonomy and human rights in Hong Kong, and the US support for a path to lasting peace in the Korean Peninsula.”
She further said that the Deputy joined other ARF participants in expressing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic’s impact and the need for a well-coordinated regional response and an affordable vaccine.
“The Deputy called for timely and transparent information exchange and highlighted the USD20.5 billion that the US government has allocated for the development of vaccines and therapeutics, preparedness efforts, and other foreign assistance,” Ortagus said.
During the meeting, Biegun also highlighted the beginning of the Mekong-US Partnership and announced more than USD150 million in additional funding to combat transnational criminal activity in the Mekong, including the trafficking of persons, drugs, wildlife, and natural resources.
“The Deputy also recognised the powerful role of women as peacemakers and leaders and championed the US commitment to advance the global Women, Peace, and Security agenda. Deputy Secretary Biegun highlighted USAID’s support to ASEAN in developing the ASEAN Plan of Action to implement its Women, Peace, and Security agenda,” Ortagus added. (ANI)

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