EU, Viet Nam to enhance security, climate cooperation

EU, Viet Nam to enhance security, climate cooperation

Brussles, The Gulf Observer: The fourth meeting of the Viet Nam-EU Joint Committee under the EU-Viet Nam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) was held recently in Brussels, Belgium.

According to the press release following the meeting, the EU and Viet Nam underlined the breadth and depth of their multifaceted relationship, discussing a broad range of topics in the various fields of their bilateral cooperation, including political issues, security and defence cooperation, trade and investment, sustainable development, official development assistance, fisheries, climate change and the sustainable energy transition, as well as good governance, the rule of law and human rights. The EU presented its new European Chips Act and the European Critical Raw Materials Act, highlighting the EU’s need to diversify and secure its supply chains.

At the meeting, the two sides took stock of the discussions held earlier in the year in Hanoi in the various sub-committees of the CPA and agreed to build on these during their next sessions to be organised in 2024.

They reviewed their cooperation and trade relations under their Free Trade Agreement and pledged to work together to further boost sustainable and inclusive prosperity while aiming at progress on some outstanding regulatory issues and full implementation of the agreement.

They looked forward to intensifying their cooperation with the visit of the Executive Vice President of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, in Viet Nam at the beginning of November and the third Trade Committee at ministerial level meeting to be held in Brussels on December 1, preceded by the third Trade and Sustainable Development Committee, the Domestic Advisory Group and the third Committee on Trade in Goods.

The EU commended Viet Nam’s commitment to become climate neutral by 2050. The EU and Viet Nam reviewed recent progress on their Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), bringing together Vietnamese authorities and international partners in a joint endeavour to support Việt Nam’s low-emission and climate resilient development. The JETP will promote investment for the decarbonisation of Viet Nam’s electricity system to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the international climate change agenda. They will continue their joint efforts towards the launch of the JETP’s Resource Mobilisation Plan at the earliest opportunity. They reiterated that for the transition to be just and equitable, regular consultation is required, including with media, NGOs and other stakeholders so as to ensure a broad social consensus.

The EU invited Viet Nam to the third Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum to be held in Brussels on February 2, 2024. The EU and Viet Nam agreed that, building on the success of the previous forums in Paris (2022) and Stockholm (2023), the Brussels Ministerial Forum would provide another significant opportunity to discuss global issues and how to address more effectively the challenges posed by the complexity of the Indo-Pacific landscape.

The two sides exchanged views on recent security developments, where they agreed on the need to find peaceful solutions while respecting the principles of international law and the UN Charter. On Ukraine, the EU and Viet Nam reiterated their positions as expressed in other fora. They also underscored the need for a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with the United Nations Charter and international law. The EU and Viet Nam reaffirmed their commitment to the UN Charter and international law including the need to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states. They also shared views on the situation in the Middle East and in Myanmar and discussed the EU-ASEAN partnership. As regards the East Sea, they expressed concern at recent developments and reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and overflight and stressed the importance for all parties to abide by international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They discussed the potential for enhancing security cooperation, including in the areas of maritime security and cybersecurity. The EU reiterated its gratitude for the deployment of two Vietnamese officers to the EU Training Mission in the Central African Republic.

The EU and Viet Nam also exchanged views on sustainable development, including through new cooperation opportunities stemming from the Global Gateway, which held its first Forum in Brussels on October 25-26 attended by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha. The EU stressed the need for the inclusive participation of all partners in development matters. The EU and Viet Nam discussed sustainable fishery developments, including ongoing actions with regard to combating illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. They shared their respective positions and objectives for upcoming environment and biodiversity-related international negotiations with the aim to build possible synergies for sustainable global development.

Support for international law and the international order based on international law, good governance, the rule of law, respect for fundamental rights and engagement of relevant partners are essential elements of the EU-Viet Nam relationship.

The EU delegation was headed by Paola Pampaloni, Acting Managing Director for Asia and Pacific in the European External Action Service. The Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thị Thu Hang. They were also joined by the European Commission, and EU member states and representatives from Vietnamese government agencies.