1. The 21st ASEAN Summit, with the theme of “ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny” held in Phnom Penh, on 18th November 2012, was chaired by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, as Chair of ASEAN, in 2012. The Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member-States had substantive, frank and productive discussions in plenary and retreat sessions.
2. We, the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States, gathered in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, for the 21st ASEAN Summit, reaffirmed our support for the priorities outlined by Cambodia during its Chairmanship in 2012 to advance our efforts towards the ASEAN Community by 2015. In this regard, we also agreed to work together based on these priorities to ensure the successful realisation of community building and integration goals and establish a solid foundation for ASEAN to move beyond 2015.
3. We agreed that ASEAN must remain united, cohesive and resilient and continue to play a central role in the evolving regional architecture that is conducive to promoting ASEAN credibility, peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region. We were also committed to further encourage the participation of our people and all stakeholders in the ASEAN Community building process.
4. We expressed our deep sympathy and deepest condolences to the people and the Royal Government of Cambodia and especially to His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah BOROMNEATH NORODOM SIHAMONI, King of Cambodia, and Her Majesty Queen NORODOM MONINEATH SIHANOUK, for the passing away of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah NORODOM SIHANOUK, the late King-Father of Cambodia, on 15 October 2012. We shared our sadness of this great loss with the people of Cambodia at this juncture. Cambodia expressed gratitude to the respective ASEAN Leaders for expressing their condolence to His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah NORODOM SIHAMONI, King of Cambodia, Her Majesty Queen Mother, the Royal Government of Cambodia and the people of Cambodia.
5. We agreed to sign, adopt and note the following documents as the outcome documents:
– Phnom Penh Statement on the Adoption of the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration
– ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD);
– ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the Establishment of an ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre;
– Concept Paper on the Establishment of an ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC); and
– Bali Concord III Plan of Action (2013-2017).
– ASEAN Community Building
– Implementation of the ASEAN Charter and Roadmap for an ASEAN Community
6. We noted the Report of the Secretary-General of ASEAN on the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Charter and Roadmap for an ASEAN Community which highlighted ASEAN’s progress, opportunities and challenges in its Community building and integration process. We noted that various activities have been successfully implemented taking into account the strategic thrusts provided under the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community, including the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan II. We emphasized the importance of regional integration efforts towards the ASEAN Community building. We acknowledged the progress and achievements made in the implementation of the ASEAN Community building – Annual Targets 2012, as well as other new initiatives. In this regard, we tasked all concerned ASEAN Ministerial Sectoral Bodies under the three community pillars to accelerate their necessary and immediate actions to ensure that the Annual Targets 2012 are appropriately and timely implemented.
7. We noted that close and effective coordination between various sectoral bodies under the three community pillars continue to be an important task for ASEAN as it will ensure that the implementation of activities are responsive to the advancement of the ASEAN Community building process. In this regard, we were encouraged by the efforts in ensuring effective coordination work among all the sectoral bodies under the three Community Councils and stressed the importance of the need to further coordinate and synergize among those three pillars. We also commended the ASEAN Secretariat for its efforts in helping to promote better coordination between the ASEAN Community pillars in shaping the ASEAN future direction.
8. We further reaffirmed our collective determination to maintain the central and proactive role of ASEAN as the primary driving force in its relations and cooperation with external partners in an evolving regional architecture, such as, the ASEAN Plus One, the ASEAN Plus Three, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) and the East Asia Summit (EAS) in ensuring ASEAN’s role in maintenance of peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region as well as promoting ASEAN credibility and development in the international fora.
9. While expressing our satisfaction on the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Community building and integration agenda, we decided that the date of realisation of the ASEAN Community would be on 31 December 2015.
ASEAN POLITICAL-SECURITY COMMUNITY (APSC)
10. We were encouraged by the progress and successful achievements in the implementation of the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Blueprint. We took note of the importance of the activities and initiatives that have been initiated and/or implemented under the APSC Blueprint, as outlined in the ASEAN Community Building –Annual Targets 2012.
Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC)
11. We underscored the importance of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Southeast Asia, as the key instrument to govern inter-state relations, which will contribute to peace, security and stability in the region. Based on the principles of the TAC, we continue to promote greater and closer cooperation and understanding among High Contracting Parties to promote peace and harmony in the region. In this regard, we welcomed the entry into force of the Third Protocol Amending the TAC on 8th June 2012, which paved the way for the European Union to accede to the TAC on 12th July 2012, in Phnom Penh. We also welcomed the accession to the TAC by the United Kingdom on 12th July 2012, and Brazil on 17th November 2012 at the sidelines of the 21st ASEAN Summit.
12. We noted the continued interest of other countries, including Norway and Serbia to accede to TAC, and tasked our relevant Ministers to further deliberate on their applications to accede to the TAC in accordance with the agreed principles on accession to TAC.
13. We emphasized the importance of preserving the Southeast Asia as a nuclear weapon-free zone and free from the threat of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction (WMD). We also emphasized the importance of the full implementation of Non-Proliferation and Disarmament regime in pursuit of peace, security and prosperity in the region. We looked forward to the signing of the Protocol to the Treaty on SEANWFZ and its related documents without reservations as early as possible.
14. We noted with satisfaction the progress in the implementation of the Plan of Action to Strengthen the Implementation of SEANWFZ Treaty 2007-2012. We recognized that the Plan of Action remained relevant, and therefore, we welcomed the extension of the Plan of Action to Strengthen the Implementation of the Treaty on the SEANWFZ to another five years (2013-2017), with a renewed commitment and a stronger emphasis on concrete action.
ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation
15. We emphasized the importance of promoting conflict resolution and conflict management to enhance peace, security and stability in the region. We, therefore, recalled our decision at the 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali, Indonesia, on 17 November 2011, to establish the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR). We welcomed the endorsement of the Terms of Reference of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in July 2012 and agreed to officially launch the Institute on this 18th November 2012, in Phnom Penh, at the sidelines of our 21st ASEAN Summit. We looked forward to the full and effective operationalization of the Institute so as to contribute to the interest of ASEAN in this regard.
ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC)
16. We welcomed Cambodia’s proposal to establish an ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre (ARMAC) to be based in Cambodia. We therefore agreed to adopt an ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the Establishment of an ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre. We also noted the Concept Paper on the Establishment of an ASEAN Regional Mine Action Centre as a basic document for the development of the modalities in setting up of the Centre by the relevant ASEAN Ministers with the view to recommend for consideration and approval by the ASEAN Leaders in 2013.
ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD)
17. We reiterated the importance of the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN. We welcomed the progress of the work of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) as reflected in the ASEAN Community Building – Annual targets 2012, including the finalisation of the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD) for adoption by the ASEAN Leaders at the 21st ASEAN Summit. In this regard, we signed the Phnom Penh Statement on the Adoption of an ASEAN Human Rights Declaration affirming our resolve to the full implementation of the AHRD through broad national, regional and international cooperation thus contributing to the promotion and protection of human rights in the region. The adoption of the AHRD marks a new milestone for ASEAN in the implementation of the ASEAN Charter as well as highlights the strong commitment of ASEAN in the promotion and protection of human rights in the region as part of the process towards ASEAN Community by 2015.
Defence and Security Cooperation
18. We underlined the important role of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) in promoting and addressing defence and security cooperation issue in the region. In this regard, we welcomed the outcomes of the 6th ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), in Phnom Penh, on 29 May 2012. We acknowledged the progress and achievements made on defence and security cooperation that have contributed significantly to ASEAN Community building efforts.
19. We encouraged continuing close cooperation between the ASEAN Defence Ministers and their non-ASEAN counterparts, while acknowledging the significant role of defence cooperation through the ADMM Plus mechanism. In this regard, we recognised the importance of maintaining and enhancing the central role of ASEAN in the ADMM Plus process. We also emphasized the importance of having dialogue in a frank manner between ADMM and the Plus countries. In this regard, we took note of the informal meetings between ASEAN Defence Ministers and their Plus Partners, including the informal meeting between ASEAN Defence Ministers with the Minister of Defence of the People’s Republic of China, on the sidelines of the 6th ADMM in Phnom Penh, in May 2012, and the informal meeting between ASEAN Defence Ministers and the Secretary of Defence of the United States of America at the sidelines of the ADMM Retreat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in November 2012.
20. We welcomed the significant progress of the practical cooperation implemented in the ADMM-Plus through the Experts’ Working Groups. In this regard, we reaffirmed the 6th ADMM’s support for the conduct of an ADMM-Plus HADR/MM Exercise in Brunei in 2013 as a concrete effort of practical cooperation.
21. We emphasized the important role of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in promoting peace, security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region through constructive dialogues and consultations among the ARF participants. We noted that the ARF process has been moving at a pace comfortable to all based on its established practices and stages, namely Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and Preventive Diplomacy (PD). We encouraged the ARF to undertake further necessary measures to ensure that the CMBs and PD stages are effectively and satisfactorily carried out, including through the implementation of the ARF Work Plan on Preventive Diplomacy. In this regard, we encouraged further contributions of the ARF Experts and Eminent Person (EEPs) in advancing the ARF process. We reiterated the importance of the ARF Chair in continuing to play a central role in accordance with the ARF Paper on the Enhanced Role of the AF Chair. We underlined the importance of promoting synergy between the ARF and regional mechanisms, including that of the ADMM Plus and EAS.
22. We recalled that the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Drug-Free ASEAN 2015 was adopted by the 20th ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, which highlighted the goal and vision of a drug-free ASEAN called for the relevant ASEAN Ministers to undertake necessary measures to ensure the effective and timely implementation of the Declaration. In this regard, we were encouraged by the progress of the efforts that has been made by sectoral bodies both at national and regional levels to ensure the realization of this aim, which is in line with the ASEAN Charter and the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community 2009-2015.
23. We noted the successful convening of the ASEAN Special Ministerial Meeting on Drugs held on 31 August 2012, in Bangkok, with the recommendations to address the illicit production, trafficking and abuse of drugs in the region. We, therefore, encouraged the relevant sectoral bodies of ASEAN to continue undertaking necessary action to ensure the implementation of these recommendations.
ASEAN Security Outlook (ASO)
24. We reaffirmed the importance of strengthening mutual understanding and transparency among ASEAN Member States which will contribute to the maintenance of peace, security and stability in the region. In this regard, we looked forward to the first publication of the ASEAN Security Outlook (ASO) in 2013.
Visa Exemption for ASEAN Nationals
25. In acknowledging that the ease in the movement of people within the ASEAN region are key elements for an integrated and realisation of the ASEAN Community, we encouraged the ASEAN Member States to undertake ratification and implementation of the 2006 ASEAN Framework Agreement for Visa Exemption for ASEAN Nationals.
26. In this regard, we welcomed the depository of Cambodia’s Instrument of Acceptance of the ASEAN Framework Agreement with the Secretary-General of ASEAN on 10th September 2012.
Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crimes
27. We recognized the importance of the need to effectively address transnational crimes in the region. In this regard, we resolved to forge closer cooperation on eight priority areas in the Work Programme to implement the Plan of Action to combat transnational crime such as terrorism, trafficking in persons, illicit narcotics trafficking, arms smuggling, money laundering, economic crime, piracy and cyber-crime.
28. We were satisfied with the progress of the regional cooperation in promoting ASEAN’s responses to trafficking in persons, and on the protection of victims of trafficking in accordance with the ASEAN Declaration against Trafficking in Persons Particularly Women and Children. In this regard, we took note of the progress made in considering the development of a Regional Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons and an ASEAN Convention on Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP) which reflects the need to urgently combat trafficking in persons. In this regard, we encouraged relevant ministerial sectoral body to expedite their deliberation on these matters.
ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY
29. We reaffirm our commitment to promote growth and foster financial stability in our economies. We agree to take all necessary actions to strengthen domestic demand, and expand markets in order to sustain economic growth and create opportunities for jobs, trade and development. Recognizing the need to further support demand, we ask the relevant Ministers to consider how policy coordination would enhance resilience against the current difficulties in global environment.
30. We have progressed in delivering the commitments we made last year to deepen economic integration under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). We are pleased that the implementation rate of AEC Blueprint has increased to 74.5 percent. Nonetheless, we recognize the challenges we all face domestically in implementing the AEC. We agree to intensify our efforts in those areas under the AEC in order to achieve AEC goals by 2015. We welcome the prioritization of AEC measures undertaken by the AEC Council, as well as the recommendations of the AEC Blueprint Mid-term Review, on taking forward the timely, full and consistent realization of our AEC commitments.
31. We reiterate our commitment to facilitating trade and investment and reducing barriers in all forms. We are encouraged by the progress made under the various initiatives of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement and we look forward to the full implementation of the 2012 ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclature by end of this year. We continue to uphold our monitoring work on eliminating or reducing the barrier effects of non-tariff measures and we encourage the officials to reinforce and deepen work in the improvement of NTM database, private sector engagement on NTMs and discussion of actual cases of NTMs and to finalize the Roadmap on ASEAN NTMs.
32. We are committed to strengthening trade facilitation which is a necessary pre-condition for sustained and deeper economic integration. We encourage all Member States to take the necessary steps to enable the ASEAN-wide implementation of Self-Certification Program by 2015. We acknowledge the progress made in the pilot implementation of the ASEAN Single Window, but we also recognize that for substantial progress to be made, Member States should implement their National Single Windows and rapidly put in place the needed legal and operational architecture to fully operationalize the ASW. We also urge progress in ratification and entry into force of various customs and transport protocols and agreements, particularly Protocol 2 (Designation of Frontier Posts) and Protocol 7 (Customs Transit System).
33. Recognizing the importance of investment in economic growth and recovery, we are committed to open, transparent and predictable business environment for investors. To this end, we stand ready to fully implement the reduction and elimination of restrictive measures under the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement. We will continue to uphold the peer review process in order to enhance the monitoring of Member States’ commitments in improving their business environment and implementing domestic reforms to support investment.
34. We resolve to intensify our efforts toward services liberalization and integration. We welcome the signing of the ASEAN Agreement on Movement of Natural Persons (MNP) that will facilitate the movement of ASEAN people engaging in trade in goods, trade in services and investment in the region. We also welcome the signing of the Protocol to implement the 7th Package of Commitments on Air Transport Services and the adoption of the Implementation Framework of the ASEAN Single Aviation Market (ASAM) which will guide the key work of ASEAN in aviation sector until and beyond 2015, including air transport services liberalization. We are pleased with the conclusion of the 8th AFAS Package. We agree that the current services liberalization framework under AFAS should be significantly enhanced. We look forward to a report of this activity at the next Summit in 2013.
35. In view of the renewed financial market tensions, we reiterate the need to integrate our financial and capital markets. We welcome the full establishment of the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF). The AIF strongly demonstrates the strength and commitment of ASEAN toward sustaining growth, facilitating the physical connectivity, and narrowing the infrastructure development gap in ASEAN. We also welcome on-going efforts in the region to address tax-related impediments to integration, competition policies, intellectual property rights and consumer protection.
36. We are encouraged by the initial work to implement the ASEAN Framework Agreement for Equitable Economic Development (AFEED), including the stock-taking exercise of current work program and capacity building initiatives undertaken for CLMV countries, and the proposal to establish the ASEAN Forum on Financial Inclusion. We encourage similar efforts to advance implementation of AFEED by developing strategic projects with medium-term development goals. We welcome the successful conduct of the 4th IAI Development Forum, convened at the ASEAN Secretariat, on 29 October 2012, which serves as a mean to chart strategies to narrow the development gap in the region.
37. Recognizing the key role that SMEs play in economic development, we are encouraged by the completion of several initiatives under the Strategic Action Plan for ASEAN SME Development (2010-2015). We welcome the on-going efforts to review the Plan with the view toward developing a comprehensive roadmap that will guide the development of SMEs across the region. We are committed to pursue SME development as a priority under the AEC and we urge the Dialogue Partners to continue to render their assistance to develop SMEs in the region.
38. We recognize that enhancing food security is one of the most important challenges that the region faces today. We welcome the signing and entry into force of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) as a permanent mechanism to help relief requirements arising from natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies, and we look forward to the full implementation of APTERR at the next Summit. We also welcome the proposed transformation of the ASEAN Plus Three Food Security Information System (AFSIS) as a regional self-sustained mechanism to reduce price volatility and promote food security.
39. We note the strengthened efforts in the implementation of the ASEAN ICT Master Plan (AIM) 2015, particularly the implementation of the ASEAN Broadband Corridor (ABC) Project to promote greater broadband penetration, affordability and universal access; harmonisation of radio frequencies in ASEAN to utilise the benefit of economies of scale and for better interference management, enhanced transparency measures on international roaming charges; and the presentation of the ASEAN ICT Awards to ICT companies to encourage creativity and innovation in the application of ICT. We welcome the adoption of the Mactan Cebu Declaration on “Connected ASEAN: Enabling Aspirations” by the ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers, which maps out the priority actions in the implementation of the AIM 2015, acknowledging that ICT is an enabler for ASEAN economic and social development and integration.
40. Monitoring the progress of the AEC remains our priority. Toward this end, we reiterate the need to strengthen the development of strong AEC monitoring framework to monitor the AEC outcomes, identify issues and address implementation gaps. We are encouraged by the work of the ASEAN Integration Monitoring Office (AIMO) to support the AEC, and we stand ready to strengthen the capacity and resources of AIMO and the ASEAN Secretariat.
41. We welcome the initiatives and measures being undertaken to promote private sector role in regional economic integration. We reiterate the need for an effective private sector engagement and we call on the officials to develop new and innovative strategies to maximize the dynamic contribution of private sector to integration. To this end, we welcome the holding of the 1st AEC Symposium at the ASEAN Secretariat last September where representatives from private sector discussed the impact of AEC on their business operations.
42. We reaffirm our commitment to global and regional economic partnerships, and we are pleased to note the considerable progress in our various Free Trade Agreements, including the signing of the Protocol to Amend the Agreement on Trade in Goods under ASEAN-China FTA and Third Protocol to Amend the ASEAN-China Framework Agreement. We stand by the ASEAN Framework for Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) that we adopted in 2011 and we value the substantial work by our officials. We encourage them to deepen discussions with our partners and we call on them to commence negotiations towards a successful conclusion of RCEP.
43. We welcome the outcomes of the seminar on “Realizing a more Integrated, Competitive, Equitable and Resilient ASEAN Community” jointly organized by the Royal Government of Cambodia, Economic Research Institute for East Asia (ERIA) and Harvard University, in Phnom Penh, in October 2012, which provides useful basis recommendations for ASEAN in moving toward realization of ASEAN economic integration in 2015.
ASEAN SOCIO-CULTURAL COMMUNITY (ASCC)
Progress of the Implementation of the ASCC Blueprint
44. We noted with the appreciation the progress of the implementation of the ASCC Blueprint through which 87 projects have been completed and 72 projects are in various stages of implementation. We encouraged the relevant sectoral bodies under the ASCC Blueprint to accelerate their efforts with a view to ensure that ASCC activities/projects will be implemented timely as it is part of ASEAN’s efforts on moving forward ASEAN Community building.
45. We recognized that natural disasters exacerbated by climate change continue to affect the economic, physical, social and environmental assets of ASEAN Member States.
46. We noted the entry into force of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) in December 2009 which has served as a foundation for ASEAN to work collectively to address disaster issues in the region and has put in place the operational as well as legal requirements to establish the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre)
47. We emphasized the importance of using existing mechanisms, in particular the Conference of the Parties (COP) under the AADMER, the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) and the AHA Centre, as the coordinating platform and cooperation arrangement for disaster management.
48. We were encouraged with the progress of the operationalization of the AHA Centre since the signing of the Agreement on the Establishment of the AHA Centre in November 2011. To enable the entry into force of the Agreement, we urged the relevant ASEAN Member States to accelerate their internal procedures in finalizing the instrument of notification as early as possible by the end of 2012.
49. We were encouraged by the active participation of ASEAN Member States and the generous contribution of Dialogue Partners and other partner organisations in the course of the operationalisation of the AHA Centre. We welcomed further contribution for the AHA Centre as well as for ASEAN Disaster Management and Emergency Relief (ADMER) Fund to ensure sustainable operation of the AHA Centre and support the implementation of AADMER.
Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women, Children and other Vulnerable Groups
50. We reiterated our commitment towards gender equality and women’s advancement in ASEAN. In this regard, we welcomed the First ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Women (AMMW) in October 2012, in Vientiane, Lao PDR, to serve as a platform for the development of strategies to mainstream gender perspective across all sectors of ASEAN cooperation. We are pleased with the adoption of the Vientiane Declaration on Enhancing Gender Perspective and ASEAN Women’s Partnership for Environmental Sustainability at the First AMMW. We tasked the relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies to effectively implement the commitments reflected in the Declaration and monitor its progress.
51. We are encouraged by the progress made by the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) in finalising its five-year Work Plan (2012-2016) as well as in enhancing civil society participation in the ASEAN Community building process. In this context, we welcomed the convening of the Fifth ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) in July 2012 at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.
52. We noted with satisfaction that the Mobilization Framework, which sets fifteen priority areas aiming at promoting disability inclusive development in ASEAN as a follow-up to the ASEAN Decade of Persons with Disabilities 2011-2020, proclaimed at the 19th ASEAN Summit.
53. We applauded the efforts of ASEAN sectoral bodies in promoting meaningful engagement of civil society and stakeholders in building a caring and sharing ASEAN Community that is socially responsible and people-oriented, including the establishment of the ASEAN Forum on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication as a regular dialogue platform between the ASEAN governments and non-governmental organisations. In this regard, We recognised the continued efforts being made by the ASEAN Ministers’ Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication in improving the well-being and livelihood of the poor, especially in rural areas.
54. We also noted the work of the ASEAN GO-NGO Forum on Social Welfare and Development and the ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour under the ASEAN Committee to Implement the Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers (ACMW) which involves government officials, tripartite partners and civil society from ASEAN Member States.
55. We reiterated our support for the progress of democratization process in Myanmar. We reaffirmed of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Statement in August 2012 on the recent development in the Rakhine State, Myanmar. In this context, we reiterated our readiness to lend our support as necessary in addressing the humanitarian challenges in the Rakhine State, and looking forward to work closely with the Government of Myanmar to bring normalcy to the region. We also reiterate our support to working closely with the Government of Myanmar as appropriate to support the relief and rehabilitation of victims of the incident in the Rakhine State.
Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers
56. We encouraged the ASEAN Labour Ministers to continue implementing the Cebu Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant on the Workers by taking a phased approach to the development of an ASEAN instrument on the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers.
57. We emphasized the importance of promoting health of the peoples of ASEAN and ensuring the peoples of the region are healthy in mind and body and living in harmony in a safe environment. In this context, we encouraged the ASEAN Health Ministers, health subsidiary bodies, and relevant partners in ASEAN Member States to advance further cooperation collectively to ensure that peoples in the ASEAN region are living in a healthy and safe environment.
58. We recognized the threat of emerging infectious diseases in the region, particularly the new emerging dangerous pathogen EV-71, which critically affected the daily lives of the peoples, particularly those of school children. In this regard, we expressed our sympathy for the loss of lives of loved ones in ASEAN Member States affected by the EV-71, last July 2012. In this context, we called upon the relevant Sectoral Ministers to undertake necessary measures at the national and regional levels to collectively address the health and non-health issues of this emerging infectious disease. We also encouraged the sharing of information and best practices between health agencies and bodies of ASEAN Member States with a view to effectively address this emerging disease as well as other communicable disease threats in ASEAN
59. We welcomed the convening of the 11th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting; the 4th ASEAN-China Health Ministers Meeting; and the 5th ASEAN Plus Three Health Ministers Meeting last July 2012 in Phuket, Thailand that emphasized further collaborative efforts of relevant partners in addressing issues of communicable diseases, emerging infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, increased access to health care for the ASEAN people, and drug resistance. We encouraged the ASEAN Health Ministers to further task relevant health subsidiary bodies in the implementation of the prioritized strategic health directions provided.
60. We acknowledged that diverse factors such as globalization, recurring financial crisis, climate change, intensifying occurrence of disasters and the threat of food and energy insecurity have exacerbated the ability of the poor and marginalized population to cope with the negative impacts and prosper. We agreed that there may be a need for ASEAN Member States to continue improving the quality, coverage and sustainability of social protection and increasing the capacity of social risk management. Noting the cross-cutting nature of this issue, we encouraged the relevant sectoral bodies and stakeholders, with the support of the ASEAN Secretariat, to deliberate further on ways and means to strengthen social protection in the region, taking into account the different needs of ASEAN Member States.
Civil Service Matters
61. We noted with satisfaction the work being carried out by ASEAN Conference on Civil Service Matters, including the ASEAN Plus Three Heads of Civil Service Matters in October 2012 in Putrajaya, Malaysia. In this regard, we noted the follow-up activties to the Luang Prabang Joint Declaration on ASEAN Plus Three Civil Service Cooperation, including the adoption of the ACCSM +3 Work Plan (2012-2015), particularly its nine pilot projects to facilitate closer cooperation with the Plus Three Countries on e-governance, human resources management and development, as well as productivity in the public sector.
Culture and Information
62. We recognized that both the new and traditional media would continue to play a significant role in the dissemination of information to the peoples of ASEAN, subsequently connecting them beyond their borders and bridging the cultural gap. To support it, we agreed that it is the imperative of the information sector to ensure that media, traditional or new, are optimally utilized to connect the different peoples within ASEAN towards the achievement of one ASEAN Community.
63. We noted Singapore’s role as ASEAN’s City of Culture for 2012-2014 and acknowledged the need to enhance ASEAN cooperation in the areas of culture and arts focusing on human resources development, protection and promotion of ASEAN cultural heritage and development of small and medium-sized cultural enterprises, including creative industry projects.
64. We noted with satisfaction the successful convening of the First ASEAN Plus Three Education Ministers Meeting as well as the First East Asia Summit Education Ministers Meeting in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. We reiterated the need to promote a coordinated, cohesive and coherent ASEAN’s position in education and enhance cooperation in the sector, which is regarded as a significant factor on the success of building a dynamic, prosperous and people-oriented ASEAN Community.
65. We acknowledged that successful education cooperation with the relevant stakeholders and Dialogue Partners would also create the means for bridging development gaps, enhancing regional competitiveness, achieving sustained economic development, and promoting friendship and mutual understanding among the peoples in the region.
Science and Technology
66. We acknowledged ASEAN’s efforts to operationalize the Krabi Initiative that aims to provide a framework for ASEAN S&T cooperation in the context of ASEAN Community building. We expressed our support to the development of a renewed ASEAN Plan of Action on Science and Technology (APAST) that is inclusive and focusing on more people-oriented S&T cooperation framework by engaging more non-state players such as the private sector, local governments, people, foundations, and international organizations.
67. We noted with satisfaction the new strategies for partnership on S&T with dialogue partners, such as the establishment of the ASEAN-ROK Joint Science and Technology Committee in December 2011 in Jeju, ROK and the China-ASEAN Science and Technology Partnership Programme which was launched by the science and technology Ministers of China and ASEAN in Nanning, China on 22 September 2012.
68. We recognized the importance of encouraging interaction among young scientists and the gifted in science and their mentors, and in this regard, we welcomeed the progress of implementation of various initiatives under the purview of the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Center for the Gifted in Science (ACGS). We noted the successful conduct of the 1st APT Junior Science Odyssey on 10-17 June 2012 in Brunei Darussalam and looked forward to the successful conduct of the 5th APT Teachers’ Workshop and Students’ Camp for the gifted in science in 2013.
69. Recognizing the sports industry as a strong partner not only in promoting a healthy and active lifestyle among the citizens of ASEAN Member States through sports but also in contributing to the socio-economic development in the region, we welcomed the initiative of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Sports (AMMS) to mark 2013 as ASEAN Sports Industry Year. We encouraged the individual ASEAN Member States to engage the industry in implementing various sports-related activities.
Trans-boundary Haze Pollution
70. We noted with concern the significant increase of hot spot activities in 2012 due to increased forest fires which led to transboundary haze pollution in the region. We agreed that the relevant agencies should remain vigilant and enhance their efforts to anticipate, monitor, and prevent fires and transboundary haze pollution. In this respect, we noted the usefulness of, and encouraged the development of the ASEAN-wide Fire Danger Rating System (FDRS), which provides early warning on potential fire occurrences that would enable preparedness and preventive actions during dry weather periods.
71. We recognized that there are challenges in the existing resources available to achieve the strategic objectives of the ASCC Blueprint, a vital component of the ASEAN Road Map to fully realize the vision of an ASEAN Community in 2015 and beyond. In this regard, we appreciated the effort by the ASEAN Social Cultural Community (ASCC) Council to form a Working Group, under the guidance of the Senior Officials Committee on ASCC (SOCA) and with the support of the ASEAN Secretariat, to study the feasibility of the establishment of an ASCC Fund, as proposed by Cambodia.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE IAI WORK PLAN II (2009-2015)
72. We emphasized the importance of the realization of regional integration as the priority agenda for ASEAN Community building. In this regard, we reiterated that regional integration and narrowing the development gap should be enhanced in a timely and effective manner. In this regard, we welcomed the progress of the implementation of the IAI Work Plan II (2009-2015), including other new initiatives that would also help the realization of regional integration.
73. We welcomed the support and contribution by the ASEAN Member States and ASEAN Dialogue Partners and other external parties in the efforts to contribute to regional integration in ASEAN and looked forward to their further support and contribution. To ensure the continuation and efficient implementation of the IAI Work Plan II, we instructed our Ministers to undertake a Mid-Term Review of this Work Plan.
74. We welcomed the significant progress in the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, as a priority to promote economic growth and narrowing development gaps, enhance the competitiveness of ASEAN and enhance connectivity among ASEAN Member States, and between Member States and the rest of the world. We attached great importance to the expeditious achievement of enhanced connectivity through improved infrastructure development (physical connectivity), effective institutional arrangement (institutional connectivity) and empowered people (people-to-people connectivity) at the regional, sub-regional and national levels. These three-pronged strategies would catalyze the realization of ASEAN Connectivity by 2015. We also stressed the importance of enhancing national connectivity as it is an integral part of regional connectivity. We welcomed the convening of the 3rd ASEAN Connectivity Symposium held in Phnom Penh, on 7-8 September 2012.
75. We noted that Sub-regional cooperation arrangements of Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA, IMT-GT, Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy ( ACMECS) in synergy and mutually reinforcing with the MPAC. We looked forward to the joint initiatives within sub-regional projects and within ASEAN Connectivity, including those which could be funded by the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF). We called on the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) to intensify its engagement and cooperation with the sub-regional arrangements. We also appreciated the efforts of the ACCC and the ASEAN Connectivity National Coordinators (ACNC) in their work to realize regional connectivity and beyond.
76. We expressed appreciation for the support of ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners in the ASEAN Plus One process, as well as in the EAS and ASEAN Plus Three (APT), in the implementation of the MPAC. In this context, we encouraged the effective implementation of the Declaration of the 6th EAS on ASEAN Connectivity and the finalization of ASEAN Plus Three Partnership on Connectivity. We reiterated our decision to the possible expansion of ASEAN Connectivity beyond the region and that the MPAC remains the key priority areas of cooperation with our Dialogue Partners. In this regard, we instructed our relevant Ministers to undertake necessary measures and to work closely with ASEAN Dialogue Partners and external parties in order to achieve our vision.
77. We reiterated our support for the establishment of consultative mechanisms between ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners on a regular basis, such as those between the ACCC and the Japan Task Force on Connectivity and the ACCC’s and the Chinese Working Committee of the China-ASEAN Connectivity Cooperation Committee, to mobilize resources for the implementation of the MPAC and foster cooperation.
78. We also reiterated the importance of the establishment of ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF) based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which would help in mobilizing resources from external parties, including the private sector for the effective implementation of the MPAC. In this regard, we encouraged the effective operationalization of the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund.
ENGAGEMENT AND PARTICIPATION OF THE PEOPLE AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
79. We reiterated the importance of our engagement with all ASEAN stakeholders in the ASEAN Community building and integration process. In this regard, we looked forward to our meeting with representative of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), including the informal meetings with ASEAN’s Youth representatives as well as representatives from the Civil Society Organization (CSOs).
80. After the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter on 15 December 2008, we were encouraged to note that 68 non-ASEAN Ambassadors have accredited to ASEAN and over 35 ASEAN Committees have been established in Third Countries/International Organizations around the world. More accreditations of non-ASEAN Ambassadors to ASEAN reflect that international community values ASEAN as well progressed politically, economically and socio-culturally.
81. We noted with satisfaction the progress of relations between ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners and the United Nations to further strengthen and deepen cooperation and partnership with a view to making positive contributions to ASEAN integration, and community building. We are encouraged to note that ASEAN has established Strategic Partnership with China, Japan, and ROK; Enhanced Partnership with the US, EU, and Canada, Comprehensive Partnership with Australia, New Zealand and Russia; Partnership with India; as well as with the United Nations.
82. We took note with appreciation that ASEAN continues to maintain the centrality and proactive role of ASEAN as the primary driving force in its relations and cooperation with its Dialogue Partners and external parties in the present evolving regional architecture, namely the ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the East Asia Summit (EAS), and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) in ensuring the maintenance of peace, security, stability, and enhancing prosperity in the region.
83. We took note the progress of implementing commemorative activities to mark Anniversary of our dialogue relations with many of our Dialogue Partners, including, the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations, the 35th Anniversary of ASEAN-U.S. Dialogue Relations, and the 35th Anniversary of ASEAN-Canada Dialogue Relations, and the 15th Anniversary of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation in 2012. We looked forward to the convening of the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in Japan in 2013 to mark the 40th Anniversary of the ASEAN-Japan Dialogue Relations and to celebrate this special event with various meaningful commemorative activities.
84. We looked forward to the Reports of the ASEAN-India Eminent Persons Group (EPG), the ASEAN-U.S. Eminent Persons Group (EPG), East Asia Vision Group II (EAVG II) which will be submitted to the 10th ASEAN-India Summit, the 4th ASEAN-U.S. Leaders’ Meeting and the ASEAN Plus Three Commemorative Summit in Phnom Penh in November 2012 respectively. We expressed confidence that the Reports will provide key practical recommendations to further strengthening and advancing dialogue relations.
APPOINTMENT OF NEW SECRETARY GENERAL OF ASEAN
85. We expressed our high appreciation for the important contribution of H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan in his capacity as Secretary-General of ASEAN in advancing the work of ASEAN during his five-year term of 2008-2012. We welcomed the recommendation of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and agreed to appoint H.E. Le Luong Minh as a new Secretary-General of ASEAN from Viet Nam for the next five-year term of 2013-2018.
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES
South China Sea
86. We underlined the importance of DOC as a milestone document which signifies the collective commitment of ASEAN Member States and China to promote peace, stability and mutual trust in the South China Sea. We underscored the importance of the ASEAN’s Six-Point Principles on the South China Sea.
87. We reaffirmed our commitment to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), inter alia, which shall serve as the basic norms governing state-to-state relations.
88. We also reaffirmed our commitment to continue to fully and effectively implement the DOC; enhance maritime security cooperation; to encourage the parties concerned to resolve territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, through consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned. We welcomed the progress in the implementation of the Guidelines to implement the DOC through the agreed cooperative activities.
89. We underscored the importance of exercising self-restraint by all parties concerned and not to undertake any activities which may complicate and escalate disputes and affect peace and stability, and to handle their differences in a constructive manner.
90. We agreed to work together to enhance favourable conditions for a peaceful and durable solution of differences and disputes among the countries concerned, in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS as well as the provisions and the spirit of the DOC.
91. We reaffirmed our support to the efforts for achieving a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner. We urged all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint and not to undertake any steps which could lead to the escalation of tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
92. We called on all the parties concerned to fully respect the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, in particular, the UNSC Resolutions 1718 and 1874. We also called for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks for the interest of peace, security and stability in the Korean Peninsula. We further reiterated the call for all parties concerned to explore all possibilities to engage in peaceful dialogue which would lead to creating an atmosphere of trust and confidence among the concerned parties.
Middle East and North Africa
93. We exchanged views on recent developments in Middle East and North Africa, and expressed support for peaceful solutions and reconciliations in accordance with the UN Charter and international law through an inclusive dialogue reflecting the aspirations of the people in the countries concerned.
94. Following the escalation of conflicts in Gaza Strip, we called upon all parties to exert their utmost self-restraint. We urged the United Nations Security Council to take necessary and concrete measures to bring peace to the region. We called upon all parties to return to the negotiation table in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. We reaffirmed our support for the two-state solution where Palestine and Israel can live side by side in peace.
95. We followed closely the ongoing crisis in Syria, particularly the escalation of armed conflicts and civilian casualties. We underlined the need for the Syrian people to find the best possible peaceful solution for the country as well as to ensure the protection of the Syrian people. We were concerned that the prolonged crisis and the absence of adequate response could create new security challenges in the region. We called upon all States to take the necessary diplomatic measures to bring an immediate end to the violence and to restore calm in Syria. In that regard, we supported initiatives that aim at facilitating a political settlement in the country.
96. We emphasized the continued invaluable contribution of the G-20 to global economic recovery and stability. We welcomed the briefing by Samdech Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia of his participation at the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos Mexico, in June 2012, as Chairman of ASEAN, representing ASEAN in the G-20 Summit this year at the invitation extended by Mexico. We recognized the efforts by Cambodia and Indonesia to highlight the role of regional initiative to give valuable contribution in tackling global economic challenges at the G-20 Summit in Mexico. We agreed that ASEAN should continue to be invited to participate in the G-20 in order to ensure that ASEAN’s voice is conveyed to the world’s major economies and to promote ASEAN’s centrality in international fora.
Global Movement of Moderates (GMM)
97. We noted that the ASEAN Concept Paper on Global Movement of Moderates was adopted by the 20th ASEAN Summit. In this regard, to put forward concrete implementation of the Concept Paper, we looked forward to the adoption of the Roadmap to implement the Concept Paper as proposed by Malaysia.
ASEAN Global Dialogue
98. We took note of the briefing made by Samdech Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, on the preparations for organizing the ASEAN Global Dialogue back-to-back with the 7th EAS in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 20 November 2012. We noted with interest the objective of the ASEAN Global Dialogue, as a high level forum to bring together leaders from countries in the region and the heads of key international organizations such as the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Asia Development Bank (ADB), and World Trade Organization (WTO), and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to interact on global challenges particularly, on financial and economic matters.
99. We looked forward to constructive participation and engagement in the ASEAN Global Dialogue in Phnom Penh, on 20 November 2012.