The Launching Ceremony of an AirAsia Aircraft Featuring Thailand’s 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship Logo and “Sustainable ASEAN Tourism” Livery

On 9 August 2019, H.E. Mr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi, Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, on behalf of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, presided over the Ceremony to unveil the AirAsia’s Airbus 320 aircraft featuring Thailand’s 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship Logo and “Sustainable ASEAN Tourism” livery at the Thai Aviation Industries (TAI) Hangar, Don Mueang International Airport. Mr. Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia, delivered the welcoming remarks.

The Ceremony was attended by several other Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of AirAsia Affiliates, namely AirAsia X, Thai AirAsia, AirAsia Malaysia, AirAsia Indonesia, and AirAsia Philippines, and Mrs. Mingkwan Metmowlee, President of the ASEAN Tourism Association. Other attendees from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand include H.E. Mr. Tharit Charungvat, Head of ASEAN Task Force, H.E. Ms. Busadee Santipitaks, Director-General of the Department of Information and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, and H.E. Dr. Suriya Chindawongse, Director-General of the Department of ASEAN Affairs.

In his remarks, H.E. Mr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi commended AirAsia for its role in supporting Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019, and its efforts in promoting responsible and sustainable tourism in ASEAN. This livery is an outcome of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand’s collaboration with AirAsia, underlining the spirit of “partnership” and “sustainability,” in line with Thailand’s Chairmanship theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”. The livery is aimed to raise public awareness of Thailand’s 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship, especially among the Thai and foreign travelers across ASEAN, which makes up the majority of this aircraft’s destinations. H.E. Mr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi also noted that through making air travel more accessible and convenient, AirAsia has played a key role in connecting people in ASEAN.

Mr. Tony Fernandes emphasized AirAsia’s ongoing initiative to promote environmental sustainability by supporting sustainable tourism that upholds value and beauty of local arts and culture. These efforts had helped create jobs and income for the local communities, enabling them to develop and prosper in a sustainable manner.

Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship Logo and “Sustainable ASEAN Tourism” livery will remain on this aircraft for the next 3 years, helping to spread the image and cultivate the memory of Thailand’s 2019 ASEAN Chairmanship across the ASEAN region.

 

Remarks by H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, at the Inauguration of the ASEAN Secretariat’s New Building

Remarks by H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand,
at the Inauguration of the ASEAN Secretariat’s New Building

Thursday, 8 August 2019 at 08.00 hrs.
Nusantara Hall, ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta

Remarks

 

CYBERSECURITY – Implications on Peace & Security in the ASEAN Region – Final Report

CYBERSECURITY – Implications on Peace & Security in the ASEAN Region – Final Report

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Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand Attended the Inauguration of the New ASEAN Secretariat Building and the Celebration of the 52nd ASEAN Day in Jakarta

On 8 August 2019, His Excellency Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, as Chairman of ASEAN, attended the inauguration of the new ASEAN Secretariat building in Jakartaม Indonesia. The event was presided over by His Excellency Mr. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia who also signed the Inauguration Plaque and handed a Symbolic Key over to H.E. Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN. Also present were the other ASEAN Foreign Ministers and representatives, the diplomatic corps, as well as other dignitaries.

As ASEAN Chair, the Minister of Foreign Affairs delivered remarks following a report made by H.E. Mrs. Retno Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and remarks given by the Secretary-General of ASEAN. The Minister of Foreign Affairs highlighted that the establishment of the ASEAN Secretariat was one of the three important legacies of the first ASEAN Summit, held in Bali in 1976, along with the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), and Declaration of ASEAN Concord, all of which have become key cornerstones of ASEAN. At present, ASEAN has become a driving force for regional peace, stability and prosperity, as well as an effective partner in the global community of nations. ASEAN, therefore, requires an even stronger supportive institutional capacity. In this regard, the new ASEAN Secretariat headquarters will serve this purpose as well as contribute to enhancing ASEAN’s convening power by attracting even more ASEAN and related meetings which will help to reinforce ASEAN centrality and further promote ASEAN awareness. The Minister of Foreign Affairs also commended the building’s design concept that is green and inclusive which reflects ASEAN’s sustainability agenda.

On this occasion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs also attended the celebration of the 52nd ASEAN Day and the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Gallery, where Ms. Parnphan Yordmanee, a Thai artist who is currently a Resident Artist under the ASEAN Artists Residency Programme of 2019. As part of the 52nd ASEAN Day celebration, the Minister brought a message from His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, and placed it inside a time capsule, that are being kept together with messages from the other ASEAN Leaders. All ten messages in the time capsule will be made public in the year 2042 at the celebration of the 75th ASEAN Day.


Message from His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand on the Occasion of the Celebration of the 52nd ASEAN Day

On 8 August 2019, His Excellency Mr. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia, presided over the inauguration of the new ASEAN Secretariat building in Jakarta organised by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the ASEAN Secretariat. The 52nd ASEAN day celebration was also held on the same occasion.

His Excellency Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, as ASEAN Chair, attended the functions. In joining other ASEAN Foreign Ministers, Foreign Minister Don brought a message from the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand which was placed inside a Time Capsule, along with messages from the other ASEAN Leaders. All ten messages in the Time Capsule will be made public again in the year 2042 at the celebration of the 75th ASEAN Day.

Message from His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha

 

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PM Letter for Time Capsule

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 26TH ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 26TH ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM BANGKOK,

2 AUGUST 2019

 

1. The Twenty-Sixth Meeting of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 2 August 2019. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand.

2. The Meeting was attended by the Foreign Ministers and Representatives of all ARF Participants. The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also in attendance. The list of delegates appears as Annex 1.

OVERVIEW OF THE ARF PROCESS

3. The Ministers acknowledged with satisfaction that the ARF, through the active contributions of all ARF Participants, has continued to progress as an important multilateral platform for political-security dialogue and cooperation, as well as promoting confidence building measures and preventive diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region. The Ministers were pleased with the progress made in the implementation of the ARF Vision Statement and Hanoi Plan of Action to Implement the ARF Vision Statement and looked forward to the implementation of the remaining action lines. With a view to affirming ASEAN’s central role in advancing the ARF process, the Ministers tasked the ARF Senior Officials to develop the new Plan of Action to Implement the ARF Vision Statement for consideration and adoption by the 27th ARF in Viet Nam in 2020.

4. The Ministers recognised that the ARF has played a constructive role in enhancing mutual understanding and trust as well as promoting transparency in the region. The Ministers noted with satisfaction that the number of ARF activities on preventive diplomacy continued to increase, while confidence-building measures continued to be strengthened. The Ministers underlined the importance of sustaining the momentum and encouraged ARF Participants to undertake further preventive diplomacy activities in accordance with the ARF Work Plan on Preventive Diplomacy and consistent with the principles reflected in the ARF Concept and Principles of Preventive Diplomacy.

5. The Ministers stressed the importance of enhancing the ARF’s relevance and effectiveness in addressing the increasingly complex challenges amidst the continuously evolving regional landscape. In this connection, they noted that the ARF has been successful in the promotion of peace and stability in the region through enhanced cooperation in the areas of disaster relief, counter-terrorism and transnational crime, maritime security, non-proliferation and disarmament, and security of and in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The Ministers further underlined the importance of moving the ARF process forward at a pace comfortable to all and on the basis of consensus, while recognising the importance of continuing to make the ARF relevant in addressing the shared challenges in the area under the ARF’s geographical footprint. In this regard, the Ministers also recognised the need to improve the ARF process and working methods.

HIGHLIGHTS OF DISCUSSIONS ON REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES

6. The Ministers stressed the importance of continued peaceful dialogue amongst all parties concerned in order to realising lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula. They welcomed the efforts by the Republic of Korea (ROK), the United States, Russia, and China to establish a sustainable dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Ministers welcomed the meeting between United States (US) President Donald Trump and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un on 30 June 2019 at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on the Korean Peninsula and looked forward to resumption of negotiations. They also urged the DPRK to fulfill its stated commitment to complete denuclearisation and its pledge to refrain from further nuclear and missile tests. The Ministers urged all parties concerned to continue or to resume peaceful dialogue and work together towards progress in the realisation of lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula, including through the full and expeditious implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration, the Joint Statement by the US and DPRK Leaders, and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration. They reiterated their commitment to the full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions by all UN members and international efforts to bring about the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula which will contribute to peace and stability of the region. Some Ministers emphasised the importance of addressing issues of humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the resolution of the abductions issue.

7. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea and recognised the benefits of having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity. The Ministers underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety. They warmly welcomed the continued improving cooperation between ASEAN and China and were encouraged by the progress of the substantive negotiations towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) within a mutually-agreed timeline. They welcomed the completion of the first reading of the Single Draft COC Negotiating Text ahead of schedule this year. The Ministers emphasised the need to maintain an environment conducive to the COC negotiations, and thus welcomed practical measures that could reduce tensions and the risk of accidents, misunderstandings and miscalculation. The Ministers stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures to enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties; and they reaffirmed the importance of upholding international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.

8. The Ministers discussed the matters relating to the South China Sea and took note of some concerns on the land reclamations and activities in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region. They reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. The Ministers emphasised the importance of nonmilitarisation and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states, including those mentioned in the DOC that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the South China Sea.

9. The Ministers condemned the acts of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including the recent attacks in the Philippines, India, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka. The Ministers welcomed the timely adoption of the ARF Work Plan for Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime 2019-2021, as well as relevant ARF activities in this area. They reaffirmed their strong commitment to countering terrorism and addressing its root causes as well as the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) through enhanced cooperation among law enforcement agencies, strengthening aviation security, timely information sharing, countering terrorism financing, and undertaking a comprehensive whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach, including the promotion of respect for diversity, moderation, involvement of women, youth and civil society, a culture of tolerance and peace, and preventing the use of ICTs, including the internet, online platform, social media and cyber space for terrorists purposes or the spread of violent extremism conducive to terrorism. The Ministers welcomed that cooperation on these issues would be discussed at the 14th United Nations Crime Congress on Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention, Kyoto Congress, to be held in April, 2020.

10. The Ministers exchanged views on various challenges relating to maritime domain, and shared concern over the degradation of marine eco-system and bio-diversity caused by the high and rapidly increasing levels of marine debris and marine pollution, especially marine plastic litter and microplastics. They therefore noted the progress of various maritime cooperation through raising public awareness, practical engagements, and continued constructive dialogue and the importance in coordination among various framework in addressing maritime challenges under the ARF and other ASEAN-led frameworks such as the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), and the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC), as well as other similar arrangements such as the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery (ReCAAP).

11. The Ministers were mindful of the potential impact of climate change, rising sea levels and increasing disaster risks to the region’s vulnerability and leading to disruption of socio-economic development and people’s livelihood. They underlined the need to enhance ARF capabilities and cooperation in disaster management and emergency response. In this connection, they also noted with satisfaction the strengthening of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts in the region, including the archipelagic nations, under the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief. They also welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Satellite Warehouses in Chai Nat, Thailand and in Manila, Philippines, which will enhance the mobilisation and delivery of relief items rapidly to disaster-affected areas. They noted the progress made in the implementation of internationally adopted principles and standards related to disaster risk reduction, including the Bangkok Principles for the implementation of the health aspects of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.

12. The Ministers recognised the increasing importance of ICT Security to economic growth and the regional and global challenges arising from the rapidly changing cyber environment. They emphasised the need for enhanced ICT Security cooperation, including through capacity building, building an open, secure, stable, accessible, resilient, and peaceful cyberspace. The Ministers welcomed activities and initiatives that build confidence and promote trust in cyber space through constructive dialogue under the ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on ICTs Security and relevant ASEAN-led mechanisms related to ICTs Security.

13. The Ministers reiterated the importance of strengthening international and regional cooperative efforts in nuclear non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear energy as well as in ensuring the elimination, non-proliferation and non-use of chemical and biological weapons. The Ministers noted the finalisation of the formalisation of partnership between ASEAN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to promote cooperation in the areas of nuclear science and technology and applications, nuclear safety, security and safeguards.

14. With regard to the situation in Rakhine State, the Ministers appreciated the efforts of the Secretary-General of ASEAN (ASG), the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), and officials from the Government of Myanmar in conducting the Preliminary Needs Assessment (PNA) Mission, going further with the recommendations of the PNA and preparing for the Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) based on the mandate given by ASEAN. They acknowledged the value added of international cooperation and support for these endeavours. They encouraged ASEAN to continue its efforts to help Myanmar in addressing the ongoing humanitarian situation in Rakhine State. The Ministers welcomed the extension of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government of Myanmar, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to facilitate the repatriation process of the displaced persons from Rakhine State and looked forward to the full implementation of the MOU. They expressed their continued support for Myanmar’s commitment to ensure safety and security for all communities in Rakhine State as effectively as possible and to facilitate the voluntary return of displaced persons in a safe, secure and dignified manner. In this regard, they encouraged Myanmar and Bangladesh to continue constructive and effective dialogue to facilitate the repatriation process. They welcomed the visit of the High-Level Mission led by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Myanmar, together with representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, the AHA Centre and members of the ASEAN-Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT), to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, from 27 to 29 July 2019 to share information on arrangements made by the Government of Myanmar for prospective returnees and to continue discussions. They looked forward to the conduct of the Comprehensive Needs Assessment at appropriate intervals. They also encouraged Myanmar to continue implementing the remaining recommendations of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State. The Ministers stressed the need to find comprehensive and durable solution to address the root causes of the conflict and to create a conducive environment so that the affected communities can rebuild their lives. They expressed their continued support for Myanmar’s efforts to bring peace, stability, the rule of law, to promote harmony and reconciliation among the various communities as well as to ensure sustainable and equitable development in Rakhine State.

Review of Activities of the Current Inter-sessional Year (2018-2019)

15. The Ministers commended the work of the ARF Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) Chaired by Thailand in Bangkok on 31 May 2019 and the ARF Inter Sessional Support Group on Confidence Building Measures and Preventive Diplomacy (ARF ISG on CBMs and PD), co-chaired by Thailand and the Republic of Korea in Seoul on 3 May 2019. The Ministers noted the recommendations of the ARF ISG on CBMs and PD and the ARF SOM, and adopted the ARF Work Plan on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime 2019-2021 which appears as ANNEX 2. The Co-Chairs Summary Report of the ARF ISG on CBMs and PD and the Summary Report of the ARF SOM appear as ANNEX 3 and 4, respectively.

16. The Ministers appreciated the contributions made by the defence officials and emphasised the importance of defence and security cooperation in the ARF process. Recognising the value of high-level ARF defence official’s interaction in fostering mutual understanding and strengthening confidence among ARF Participants, the Ministers noted with satisfaction the outcome of the 16th ARF Security Policy Conference (ASPC) Chaired by Thailand in Bangkok on 23 May 2019 and the ARF Defence Officials’ Dialogue (DOD) Co-Chaired by Thailand and the Republic of Korea in Seoul on 2 May 2019. The Summary Report of the 16th ASPC and the Co-Chairs’ Summary Report of the ARF DOD appear as ANNEX 5 and ANNEX 6.

Outcomes of ARF ISMs and other annually-held meetings

17. The Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the annually held ARF meetings including:

(a) 11th ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Maritime Security (ISM on MS), Co-Chaired by Viet Nam, Australia and the European Union in Da Nang on 14-15 March 2019;

(b) 16th ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (ISM on CTTC), Co-Chaired by Indonesia and Russia in Bali on 21- 22 March 2019;

(c) 2nd ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Security of and in the Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ISM on ICTs Security), Co-Chaired by Malaysia, Singapore and Japan in Singapore on 28-29 March 2019;

(d) 18th ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief (ISM on DR), Co-Chaired by Lao PDR, Canada and China in Vientiane on 3 April 2019;

(e) 11th ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (ISM on NPD), Co-Chaired by Indonesia, Japan and Republic of Korea in Bali on 8-9 April 2019;

(f) 13th ARF Experts and Eminent Persons Meeting (EEPs), Co-Chaired by Myanmar and Japan in Chiba on 26-27 February 2019; and

(g) 22nd ARF Heads of Defence Universities/Colleges/Institutions Meeting (HDUCIM), Co-Chaired by Singapore and Japan in Tokyo on 25-29 September 2018.

The reports of these meetings appear as ANNEX 7-13, respectively .

18. The Ministers noted the outcomes of the following workshops and seminars, which were held in the Inter-Sessional Year 2018-2019:

(a) 2nd ARF Workshop on National Single Points of Contact, Co-Chaired by Malaysia, Australia and the United States in Kuala Lumpur on 27-29 August 2018;

(b) ARF Workshop on Preventive Diplomacy: Skills and Tools towards Effective Peacebuilding, Co-Chaired by Myanmar and the United States in Nay Pyi Taw on 17-19 September 2018;

(c) ARF Workshop on Regional Climate Change and Coastal Disaster Mitigation, Co-Chaired by Thailand, Australia and China in Tianjin on 1-2 November 2018;

(d) 2nd ARF Training Course on Urban Search and Rescue, Co-Chaired by Singapore and China in Singapore on 19-21 November 2018;

(e) 2nd ARF Workshop on Ferry Safety, Co-Chaired by the Philippines and China in Guangzhou on 26-28 November 2018;

(f) ARF Workshop on Preventive Diplomacy: New Ideas and New Approaches, Co-Chaired by Brunei Darussalam, China and the United States in Nanjing on 29-30 November 2018;

(g) 3rd Open Ended Study Group on Confidence Building Measures to Reduce the Risk of Conflict Stemming from the Use of ICTs, Co-Chaired by Malaysia, Singapore and Japan in Singapore on 29 January 2019;

(h) ARF Workshop on Implementing UNCLOS and Other International Instruments to Address Emerging Maritime Issues, Co-Chaired by Viet Nam and Australia in Nha Trang on 26-27 February 2019;

(i) 2nd ARF Workshop on Enhancing Regional Maritime Law Enforcement Cooperation, Co-Chaired by Viet Nam, Australia and the European Union in Da Nang on 12-13 March 2019;

(j) 4th Open Ended Study Group on Confidence Building Measures to Reduce the Risk of Conflict Stemming from the Use of ICTs, Co-Chaired by Malaysia, Singapore and Japan in Singapore on 26 March 2019;

(k) ARF Workshop on Preventive Diplomacy and Early Warning: Linkages for Conflict Resolution, Co-Chaired by Indonesia, New Zealand, Timor Leste and the United States in Dili on 24-26 April 2019;

(l) ARF Workshop on Marine Debris Management for Sustainable Fisheries and Food Security in Southeast Asia, Co-Chaired by Thailand, Viet Nam and the United States in Nha Trang on 13-15 May 2019;

(m) ARF Workshop on Principles of Building Security in the Use of ICTs in the National Context, Co-Chaired by Singapore and Canada in Singapore on 25-26 June 2019;

(n) ARF Workshop and Table-Top Exercise on Enhancing Law Enforcement, Preventive Measures and Cooperation to Address Complex Issues in the Fisheries Sector, Co-Chaired by Indonesia and the United States in Bali on 26-28 June 2019;

(o) 7th ARF Peacekeeping Experts Meeting, Co-Chaired by Cambodia and China in Qingdao on 27-29 June 2019;

(p) ARF Workshop on Aviation Security and Information Sharing, Co-Chaired by Malaysia and the United States in Kuala Lumpur on 10-11 July 2019.

The Ministers also noted that the ARF Workshop on Maritime Law Enforcement Promoting Comprehensive Approach to Address Maritime Crimes, Co-Chaired by Malaysia and the European Union will be carried over from the Inter-sessional Year (2018-2019) to Inter-sessional Year (2019-2020).

The Ministers also requested for Co-Chairs of these activities to submit the finalised CoChairs Summary Reports to the ARF Unit as the repository of all ARF documents for future reference.

Programme of Work for the Next Inter-sessional Year (2019-2020)

19. The Ministers were pleased to welcome the following Chair and Co-Chairs:

(a) Viet Nam as Chair of the 27th ARF, ARF SOM and 17th ASPC;

(b) Viet Nam and the United States as Co-Chairs of the ARF ISG on CBMs and PD and ARF DOD for the inter-sessional year 2019-2020;

(c) Malaysia, the European Union and New Zealand as Co-Chairs of the ARF ISM on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) for the period of 2020-2022 ;

(d) Myanmar and China as Co-Chairs of the 14th ARF Experts and Eminent Persons’ Meeting;

(e) Singapore and Pakistan as Co-Chairs of the 23rd ARF HDUCIM; and

(f) Indonesia and Japan as Co-Chairs of the 8th ARF Peacekeeping Experts’ Meeting.

20. The Ministers further noted that Viet Nam, Australia and the EU will continue to co-chair the ARF ISM on MS until 2020; Malaysia, Singapore and Japan will continue to serve as Co-Chairs of the ARF ISM on ICTs Security until 2020; Indonesia, Japan and ROK will continue to co-chair the ARF ISM on NPD for the period of 2018-2020; and Lao PDR, Canada and China will continue to co-chair the ARF ISM on DR until 2021. Noting that the term of co-chairmanship for some of these ISMs will expire in 2020, the Ministers encouraged ARF Participants to take up co-chairmanship for the next cycle to ensure continuity.

21. The Ministers reaffirmed the procedure that all proposed ARF activities, initiatives, work plans, concept papers and statements should first be discussed at the ISG/ISM level and endorsed at the ARF SOM before they are tabled for the consideration of the ARF Ministers. The Ministers also encouraged co-chairs of ARF meetings and activities to manage the schedule of their respective activities with a view to providing sufficient time to facilitate discussion on pending issues prior to the ARF ISG on CBMs and PD and the ARF SOM. With a view of streamlining the ARF process, the Ministers further reiterated that, once approved, the List of ARF Track 1 Activities shall not be further amended, including revisions to the proposal of the activity. All ARF Participants and the ARF Unit should be notified of any inclusion of new co-chairs to the Activities. In this regard, the Ministers approved the List of ARF Track 1 Activities for the Inter-Sessional Year 2019- 2020 which appears as ANNEX 14.

  1. 22. Recognising the complexity and continuous evolution of the regional security landscape, the Ministers were of the view that there is a need to enhance cooperation to address the various security challenges in the region. On this note, the Ministers adopted the following:

(a) ARF Statement on Aviation Partnership: Soaring Ahead Together;

(b) Joint Statement on Promoting Women, Peace and Security at the ARF; and

(c) ARF Statement on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism (VECT)

The Statements appear as ANNEX 15-17, respectively

Future Direction of the ARF Process

23. Recognising that the challenges facing the region are becoming increasingly complex and cross-cutting in nature, the Ministers emphasised the need for enhanced synergy and coordination between the work of the ARF and other ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the ADMM-Plus, the AMMTC, the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the EAMF, among others. The Ministers underscored that greater and more concerted effort should be made to ensure coherence and to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts.

24. In view of strengthening the work of the ARF, the Ministers concurred with the suggestion to streamline the ARF reporting process at the ARF SOM, wherein the CoChairs of the ARF ISG on CBMs and PD, on behalf of Co-Chairs of the ARF ISMs, present the outcomes of the ISMs to the ARF SOM. In this regard, Co-Chairs of ISMs and the ARF ISG on CBMs and PD are tasked to finalise their respective reports prior to the ARF SOM. The Ministers were of the view that such streamlining would allow the ARF SOM more time to focus their discussion on regional security issues of common interest and prepare for the ARF Ministerial Meeting.

25. The Ministers also took note of the discussion on improving the ARF process to enhance its effectiveness and responsiveness, taking into account various efforts that have been put forth over the years, including the proposals to streamline the ARF meetings, and look forward to the recommendations of the ARF SOM in this matter.

26. The Ministers expressed their appreciation to the EEPs for their active contributions in support of the ARF process on issues of relevance to their expertise. In this regard, the Ministers noted that ARF EEPs as well as others Track 2 representatives could be invited to take part in relevant ARF ISMs or activities as deemed appropriate by their respective governments. The Ministers noted that increased dialogue and interaction between the ARF and other regional organizations such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), with a view to exchanging best practices on CBMs, would be explored in the future.

27. The Ministers welcomed the 2019 ARF Annual Security Outlook (ASO) presented by Thailand, which is an essential document to foster trust and mutual understanding and called for greater and regular contributions in future ARF ASO publications.

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CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 26TH ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM BANGKOK, 2 AUGUST 2019

 

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 9th EAST ASIA SUMMIT FOREIGN MINISTERS’ MEETING

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 9th EAST ASIA SUMMIT FOREIGN MINISTERS’ MEETING BANGKOK,

2 AUGUST 2019

 

1. The 9th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was convened in Bangkok, Thailand on 2 August 2019. The Meeting was chaired by His Excellency Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand.

Review and Future Direction of the East Asia Summit

2. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening the EAS as the Leaders-led forum for dialogue and cooperation on broad strategic, political, and economic issues of common concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia in line with the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the 10th Anniversary of the East Asia Summit and based on the established principles, objectives and modalities of the EAS.

3. The Ministers reaffirmed that the EAS would continue to be open, inclusive, transparent and outward-looking, and reaffirmed ASEAN’s central role in the EAS, and ASEAN’s commitment to work in close partnership with all EAS participating countries to ensure that the EAS would continue to be an integral component of the evolving ASEAN-centred regional architecture. The Ministers emphasised the importance of the role of the EAS in strengthening multilateralism and international order based on international law.

4. The Ministers underscored the need to further strengthen the EAS to ensure its relevance and effectiveness in response to the needs of the rapidly changing regional and international landscape. The Ministers recognised the importance of having free flowing constructive dialogue on strategic issues amongst Leaders at the EAS in order to reinforce strategic trust and seek to address common challenges including through practical cooperation, based on mutual trust, mutual benefit and mutual respect. The Ministers also noted that the EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta continue to exchange information on regional development cooperation initiatives, security policies and initiatives and discuss the regional security architecture. The Ministers also took note that a standalone EAS Discussion on Regional Security Architecture in a hybrid format, comprising EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta and similarly-ranked officials from capital, was convened on 26 June 2019 in Jakarta.

5. The Ministers welcomed the continued efforts to strengthen the EAS work processes in ensuring the implementation of the Leaders’ decisions and initiatives and enhancing EAS cooperation. They recognised the importance of having effective follow-up of Leaders’ decisions, including in the inter-sessional period. The Ministers expressed support for the important role of the EAS Senior Officials’ Meeting, EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta and the EAS Unit at the ASEAN Secretariat in coordinating, monitoring, and facilitating cooperation under the areas of the EAS and ensuring effective implementation of Leaders’ decisions. The Ministers encouraged EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta to utilise the new ASEAN Secretariat building for EAS related meetings and further encouraged them to do all their work in Jakarta.

Areas of Cooperation

6. The Ministers acknowledged the good progress made on the implementation of EAS activities, programmes, and cooperation under the Manila Plan of Action to Advance the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS Development Initiative (2018-2022). They looked forward to the timely and effective implementation of the Plan through the EAS mechanisms, and relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies as well as the existing regional frameworks, in close consultation with and support from EAS participating countries.

Environment and Energy

7. The Ministers noted the convening of the 3rd EAS Senior OfficialsMeeting on Environment (EAS-OM) on 17 August 2018 in Singapore, the recent 4th Official Meeting for East Asia Summit Environment Ministers (EAS-OM) on 12 July 2019 in Bangkok, and the EAS High-level Seminar on Sustainable Cities (HLS-SC) held on 21-23 January 2019 in Bali, Indonesia, co-organised by Japan, Indonesia, the ASEAN Secretariat, and the ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (AWGESC) in collaboration with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES). They also took note of the recommendation to continue utilising the HLS-SC as a platform to share experiences and monitor progress made by local governments on enhancing clean, green and sustainable cities, including through the ASEAN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Frontrunner Cities Programme, the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) and the ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Strategy (ASUS).

 8. The Ministers took note of the 12th EAS Energy MinistersMeeting on 29 October 2018 in Singapore as well as the 23rd and 24th EAS Energy Cooperation Task Force Meeting (EAS ECTF) on 27 July 2018 in Singapore and 27 June 2019 in Bangkok, respectively, which welcomed the new initiatives under the EAS energy platform, namely (i) Hydrogen Society and Mobility Decarbonisation, (ii) Initiative on Promotion of Natural Gas and (iii) EAS Clean Energy Forum. During the 24th EAS ECTF Meeting, they also noted the good progress made in the implementation of the EAS ECTF work plans (2018-2019), all of which contribute towards sustainable energy transition in the region including on energy efficiency and distributed energy systems, assessing emission impacts of mobility electrification and alternative biofuels, as well as renewable energy and energy storage applications. They looked forward to the 13th EAS Energy MinistersMeeting to be held in conjunction with the 37th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting and Associated Meetings (37th AMEM) on 2-6 September 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.

9. The Ministers were mindful of the potential impact of climate change on the region’s socio-economic development and people’s livelihood. They noted the positive outcomes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Katowice Climate Change Conference in 2018, and looked forward to ambitious outcomes at the upcoming UN Climate Action Summit 2019 and the UNFCCC Santiago Climate Change Conference (COP25).

10. The Ministers reiterated that marine debris pollution, especially plastic litter and microplastics, is a global concern and that cooperation in this area among EAS participating countries is needed because of the transboundary nature of this issue. In this regard, the Ministers acknowledged the goals set forth in the G20’s “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision.”

Education

11. The Ministers noted the convening of the 5th EAS Senior OfficialsMeeting on Education (EAS SOM-ED) and the 4th EAS Education Ministers Meeting held on 30 October and 1 November 2018, respectively, in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. They also took note of the completion of the EAS Education Plan of Action (2011-2015) and the recommendation of the 5th EAS SOM-ED to foster longterm and mutually beneficial education cooperation through the alignment of the related action lines under the Manila Plan of Action with the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 20162020. They looked forward to the 6th EAS SOM-ED and the 5th EAS Education Ministers Meeting to be held in November 2020 in the Philippines.

Finance

12. The Ministers reiterated the importance of ensuring financial stability by consistently monitoring risks and vulnerabilities in the region amid heightened uncertainties. The Ministers expressed support to further strengthen the region’s resilience to external shocks through continued regional financial cooperation and closer collaboration with international financial institutions.

Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases  

13. The Ministers recalled their commitment to the goal of an Asia-Pacific free of malaria by 2030, and acknowledged ongoing efforts to implement proposed actions in the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Malaria Elimination Roadmap, including the preparation of a 5-year progress report to the Leaders in 2020. The Ministers looked forward to the convening of the EAS Meeting on Strengthening Preparedness for Important Infectious Diseases to be co-hosted by Russia and Thailand in October 2019 in Thailand to discuss current challenges and potential regional cooperation in tackling infectious diseases.

Natural Disaster Management

14. The Ministers reiterated their support to the implementation of One ASEAN, One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region. They also expressed support for implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2016-2020 as well as to strengthening the capacity of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) as the primary ASEAN regional coordinating agency on disaster management and emergency response.

15. The Ministers encouraged strengthening of engagement between the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) and the national disaster management authorities of non-ASEAN EAS participating countries through the participation in ASEAN-led activities/projects including the ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise and the annual ASEAN Strategic Policy Dialogue on Disaster Management.

ASEAN Connectivity

16. The Ministers emphasised the importance of effective implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 in enhancing regional connectivity. They reaffirmed the need to create greater synergies amongst key connectivity strategies in the region, and to promote sustainable, quality infrastructure in accordance with international standards in East Asia to facilitate trade, investment and service competitiveness in the region. Acknowledging the importance of resource mobilisation to implement infrastructure projects, the Ministers expressed support to the Initial Rolling Priority Pipeline of Potential ASEAN Infrastructure Projects.

17. The Ministers also encouraged further cooperation and engagement between the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) and the non-ASEAN EAS participating countries to advance the implementation of MPAC 2025 in its five Strategic Areas of: (i) sustainable infrastructure, (ii) digital innovation; (iii) seamless logistics; (iv) regulatory excellence and; (v) people mobility, including through the ASEAN Connectivity Symposium and ACCC Consultations with Dialogue Partners (DPs) and Other External Partners (OEPs) on Connectivity. The Ministers looked forward to the forthcoming 10th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium and the ACCC Consultations with DPs and OEPs on Connectivity to be held on 27-28 August 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, respectively.

Economic Cooperation and Trade

18. The Ministers reaffirmed EAS Leaders’ commitment to keep markets open, inclusive and competitive through the rules-based multilateral trading system as well as improving transparency and predictability of the business environment. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of strengthening economic relations among the EAS participating countries and ASEAN’s central role in the emerging regional economic architecture. They encouraged increased dialogue on the common economic challenges facing EAS participating countries to further strengthen regional economic integration in the region. The Ministers took note of the 7th Meeting of the Senior Economic Officials’-EAS (SEOM-EAS) Consultations held on 10 July 2018 and the 6th EAS Economic Ministers’ Meeting held on 1 September 2018 in Singapore, the 8th SEOM-EAS Consultations held on 17 July 2019 in Bangkok, and looked forward to the 7th EAS Economic Ministers’ Meeting to be held in September 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.

19. The Ministers were encouraged by the continued expansion of trade and investment among EAS countries and noted the need for greater certainty and supportive policies to sustain this momentum. They acknowledged the intensified efforts to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations by the end of this year to create a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial RCEP agreement.

20. The Ministers commended ERIA’s contributions to deepening research on economic integration, narrowing the development gap, achieving sustainable development, and strengthening regional health care and welfare system in ASEAN and East Asia, and encouraged ERIA to continue providing targeted high-quality research on topics that highlight and address the challenges facing the region.

Food Security

21. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to implement the 2013 EAS Declaration on Food Security and stressed the need to further enhance food security and nutrition through sustainable use, growth, and management of land, forest, water, and aquatic resources towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They expressed their support for the work of ASEAN in particular through the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), and encouraged the EAS participating countries to further enhance cooperation in this area in line with action lines identified in the Manila Plan of Action.

Maritime Cooperation

22. The Ministers expressed their support for strengthening maritime cooperation among the EAS participating countries in line with the 2015 EAS Statement on Enhancing Regional Maritime Cooperation and the Manila Plan of Action, including through ASEAN- led mechanisms such as Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus).

23. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the convening of the EAS International Forum on the Prevention and Treatment of Micro-plastics on 8 July 2018 in Guiyang, China; the EAS Workshop on Connectivity of Ships, Ports and People on 26 July 2018 in Ningbo, China; the EAS Workshop on Maritime Search and Rescue on 25-26 October 2018, cochaired by China and Thailand in Shanghai, China; and, the EAS Seminar on Maritime Security and International Law, co-hosted by Malaysia and Australia, on 11-13 February 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They also looked forward to the 4th EAS Conference on Maritime Security Cooperation in the first quarter of 2020 in India and the EAS Workshop on Maritime Cooperation: Sustainable and Responsible Fisheries Management to be convened in the fourth quarter of 2019 in the Philippines.

24. The Ministers took note of the 6th EAMF held on 7 December 2018 in Manila, Philippines, and looked forward to the 7th EAMF in 2019 in Viet Nam.

Other Areas

25. The Ministers stressed the growing importance of security of and in the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), and reaffirmed the need to enhance cooperation to promote an open, secure, stable, accessible, resilient and peaceful ICT environment and prevent conflict and crisis by developing trust and confidence between states and by capacity building. The Ministers encouraged the EAS participating countries to further enhance cooperation in this area in line with the 2015 EAS Leaders’ Statement on Issues Related to Security of and in the Use of Information and Communications Technologies and 2018 EAS Leaders’ Statement on Deepening Cooperation in the Security of Information and Communications Technologies and of the Digital Economy and looked forward to the EAS capacity building workshop on this issue to be co-hosted by Australia and Singapore in early 2020.

26. The Ministers acknowledged that the discussion on traditional and non-traditional security issues have been increasingly featured in the EAS. In this regard, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment in implementing the related EAS Leaders’ Statements and Declarations.

27. The Ministers discussed the complex situation in Rakhine State, noted the briefing by Myanmar, and expressed support for an enhanced and visible ASEAN role in supporting Myanmar in addressing the humanitarian situation, the repatriation process and sustainable development of Rakhine State. They underscored the importance of the repatriation process, to facilitate the voluntary return of displaced persons in a safe, secure and dignified manner. They stressed the need to find a comprehensive and durable solution to address the root causes of the conflict and to create a conducive environment so that the affected communities in Rakhine State can rebuild their lives.

Regional and International Issues

Korean Peninsula

28. The Ministers stressed the importance of continued peaceful dialogue amongst all parties concerned in order to realising lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula. They welcomed the efforts by the Republic of Korea (ROK), the United States, Russia, and China to establish a sustainable dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Ministers welcomed the meeting between United States (US) President Donald Trump and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un on 30 June 2019 at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on the Korean Peninsula and looked forward to resumption of negotiations. They also urged the DPRK to fulfill its stated commitment to complete denuclearisation and its pledge to refrain from further nuclear and missile tests. The Ministers urged all parties concerned to continue or to resume peaceful dialogue and work together towards progress in the realisation of lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula, including through the full and expeditious implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration, the Joint Statement by the US and DPRK Leaders, and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration. They reiterated their commitment to the full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions by all UN members and international efforts to bring about the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Some Ministers emphasised the importance of addressing issues of humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the resolution of the abductions issue.

South China Sea

29. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea and recognised the benefits of having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity. The Ministers underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety. They warmly welcomed the continued improving cooperation between ASEAN and China, and were encouraged by the progress of the substantive negotiations towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) within a mutually-agreed timeline. They welcomed the completion of the first reading of the Single Draft COC Negotiating Text ahead of schedule this year.
The Ministers emphasised the need to maintain an environment conducive to the COC negotiations, and thus welcomed practical measures that could reduce tensions and the risk of accidents, misunderstandings and miscalculation. The Ministers stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures to enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties; and they reaffirmed the importance of upholding international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.

30. The Ministers discussed the matters relating to the South China Sea and took note of some concerns on the land reclamations and activities in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region. They reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. The Ministers emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states, including those mentioned in the DOC that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the South China Sea.

Countering Violent Extremism, Radicalisation and Terrorism

31. The Ministers condemned recent terrorist attacks in various countries and reaffirmed their commitment to combat violent extremism, radicalisation and terrorism. They stressed the importance of strengthening EAS cooperation to address these threats in a comprehensive manner and is in line with the implementation of the 2017 EAS Leaders’ Statement on Countering Ideological Challenges of Terrorism and Terrorist Narratives and Propaganda, the 2017 EAS Leaders’ Declaration on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism and the 2018 EAS Leaders’ Statement on Countering the Threat of Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Returnees.

 Enduring Regional Architecture

32. The Ministers reiterated their support for ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture and noted with appreciation the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, based on the principles of strengthening ASEAN centrality, openness, transparency, inclusivity, a rules-based framework, good governance, respect for sovereignty, non-intervention, complementarity with existing cooperation frameworks, equality, mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefit, and respect for international law, and the principles as contained in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. They recognised that the Outlook will serve as a guide for ASEAN engagement in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions to contribute to peace, stability, freedom and prosperity. The Ministers expressed their interest to work with ASEAN to promote engagement and mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas identified in the Outlook, through existing ASEAN-led platforms and to explore cooperation in areas of mutual interest with other regional mechanisms as appropriate.

Other matters

 33. The Ministers noted the following proposals for outcome documents of the 14th EAS: the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation to Combat Transnational Crime proposed by Australia; the EAS Leaders’ Declaration on Combatting the Spread of Illicit Drugs proposed by the United States; and the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Partnership for Sustainability proposed by Thailand. The Ministers also noted that these statements are being negotiated by the EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta.

34. The Ministers discussed the preparations for the upcoming 14th East Asia Summit to be held on 4 November 2019 in Thailand.

 35. The Ministers looked forward to the convening of the 10th EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to be held in Viet Nam in 2020.

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CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 9th EAST ASIA SUMMIT FOREIGN MINISTERS’ MEETING BANGKOK

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 20TH ASEAN PLUS THREE FOREIGN MINISTERS’ MEETING

 

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF

THE 20TH ASEAN PLUS THREE FOREIGN MINISTERS’ MEETING
BANGKOK, 2 AUGUST 2019

 

1. The 20th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held on 2 August 2019 in Bangkok, chaired by His Excellency Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand.

Review and Future Direction of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation

2.The Ministers reiterated that the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) process remains important in increasing East Asia cooperation, and moving towards the long-term goal of building an East Asia community, with ASEAN as the driving force. The Ministers also highlighted that the APT process continues to play reinforcing and complementary roles with other regional fora such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and Trilateral Cooperation. The Ministers were pleased that the work undertaken by the APT also continues to support efforts towards realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and deeper regional integration in East Asia.

3.The Ministers noted the further strengthening of APT cooperation in wide ranging areas, and commended the steady progress in the implementation of the APT Cooperation Work Plan (2018-2022). They called for more projects and activities with concrete outcomes to further implement the action lines in APT cooperation over the next four years. They also underscored the importance of the effective utilisation and prudent management of the APT Cooperation Fund to implement activities under the Work Plan.

4.The Ministers recalled the EAVG II report, including its recommendation to realise an East Asia Economic Community. They looked forward to the substantive progress of the implementation of projects and activities under the EAVG effort.

5.The Ministers recognised the need to further enhance dialogue and cooperation to address non-traditional security issues, including transnational crime under the APT Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2022, such as trafficking in persons, cybercrime, countering terrorism and violent extremism and illicit drugs trafficking. They also looked forward to enhancing maritime cooperation to include capability development on maritime industry.

6.The Ministers noted the global outlook in economic and trade performance and the recent moderation of growth.  While noting that trade continues to expand between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries, the Ministers cautioned against rising trade tensions and its impact on growth.  They expressed concern over the rising tide of protectionism and anti-globalisation sentiments that continue to plague the global economy and put the multilateral trading system at risk. They reaffirmed their strong commitment to upholding an open, inclusive, transparent, and rules-based multilateral trading system anchored by the World Trade Organisation (WTO). They noted the work being undertaken to reform the WTO and reiterated their full support to this endeavour. They also reaffirmed their support for enhanced regional economic integration. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the progress in the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and reiterated their full support towards the conclusion of the RCEP negotiations in 2019 as mandated by the RCEP Leaders, to create a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial agreement. They underscored the importance of multilateralism and regionalism in contributing to global and regional peace, stability and prosperity.

7.The Ministers commended the efforts of the ASEAN-China Centre, ASEAN-Japan Centre and ASEAN-Korea Centre to promote economic and socio-cultural exchanges between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries. The Ministers were pleased to note that the three Centres established regular consultations with their counterparts and called for the Centres to enhance linkages amongst themselves by exploring possible joint projects in areas of common interest.

8.The Ministers recognised the important role of the private sector in enhancing economic cooperation in East Asia. They commended the East Asia Business Council’s (EABC) work in organising activities to enhance the capacity of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and conducting studies on business awareness on new technologies and their markets. The Ministers reaffirmed their continuing support for future initiatives aimed at preparing MSMEs for the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

9.The Ministers acknowledged the potential presented by the on-going digital transformation of the economy to improve the region’s long-term competitiveness and the livelihood opportunities for their people as well as their preparedness for the inevitable 4IR. The Ministers also noted the development of an ASEAN Innovation Roadmap 2019-2025 that would harmonise cooperation and initiatives in related sectors and ongoing efforts for a shared ASEAN High Performance Computing (HPC) Infrastructure. To this end, they expressed support for the progress made on the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) and looked forward to the Plus Three countries’ close partnership with cities in the Network as it evolves in the future. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the convening of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network Conference and Exhibition on 22-24 August 2019 in Bangkok and looked forward to sending representatives to it. The Minister acknowledged the important role of the younger generation in innovation and technology cooperation and expressed support for the APT Young Scientists’ Forum to be held in China this year.

10.The Ministers commended the significant progress of the ASEAN+3 Finance process in enhancing regional economic and financial stability during the past two decades. In this regard, they welcomed the adoption of a vision document, “Strategic Directions of ASEAN+3 Finance Process,” which aims to explore new potential areas of common interest and cooperation, while continuing the work on current initiatives to maintain regional economic and financial stability from a long-term perspective, as well as encourage the collaborations between regional financial institutions and international organisations to strengthen the regional economic governance structure from a long-term perspective. They also welcomed the continued commitment of APT Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to strengthen the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM), which stands at the center of the regional financial safety net of the ASEAN+3 to ensure its operational readiness to address balance-of-payments and short-term liquidity difficulties. They looked forward to the effectivity of the amended CMIM Agreement that resulted from the periodic review completed late last year and approved by the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in May 2019. The Ministers also commended the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office’s (AMRO) steadfast macroeconomic surveillance work that enabled them to produce quality economic reports for its members and its flagship report contribution towards strengthening regional macroeconomic and financial stability through conducting regional macroeconomic surveillance and supporting the implementation of the CMIM.

11.The Ministers emphasised the importance of pursuing the nine strategic areas of cooperation under the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Strategy on Food, Agriculture and Forestry (APTCS) 2016-2025, along with knowledge sharing, technology transfer and investment promotion to further deepen regional collaboration. The Ministers underscored the important role of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) Agreement as a mechanism to strengthen regional food security. In this regard, the Ministers commended the commitment of the APT countries to further strengthen the mechanism through the signing of the Protocol to amend the APTERR Agreement and to extend annual contributions to the operational cost of APTERR for a further five-year period (2018-2022).

12.The Ministers were pleased to take note of the continued cooperation among ASEAN Plus Three countries through various initiatives of the APT Centre for the Gifted in Science (ACGS), including the 10th ASEAN+3 Teacher Workshop for the Gifted in Science, the 12th ACGS Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting, and the 8th ASEAN+3 Junior Science Odyssey (APT JSO).

13.The Ministers were pleased with the progress in implementing the MPAC 2025 and looked forward to the support of APT countries to advance the implementation of MPAC 2025, to cover the strategies on Sustainable Infrastructure, Digital Innovation, Seamless Logistics, Regulatory Excellence, and People Mobility, and to strengthen APT cooperation in enhancing regional connectivity. They underscored the importance of developing links and synergies among MPAC 2025 and key connectivity initiatives in the region, particularly in the development of quality infrastructure in accordance with international standards.  To this end, they endorsed efforts to develop an APT Leaders’ Statement on Connecting the Connectivities Initiative to be adopted at the 22nd APT Summit in November 2019.

14.The Ministers emphasised the importance of cultural exchanges to promote people-to-people ties in the region. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Plus Three Work Plan on Cooperation in Culture and Arts (2019-2021) to enhance inter-cultural exchanges and understanding, as well as looked forward to the effective implementation of the said Work Plan. The Ministers also welcomed the establishment of the Network of APT Culture Cities to promote city-level exchanges among the East Asian Cultural Cities and the ASEAN City of Culture. The Ministers also welcomed ASEAN Cultural Year 2019.

15.The Ministers acknowledged the efforts made to implement the priority areas of APT health cooperation, which include promoting universal health coverage, utilising Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for healthcare, non-communicable diseases, traditional and complementary medicine, active ageing, and human resources for health, responding to communicable and emerging health threats and food safety, as well as addressing issues related to antimicrobial resistance, all forms of malnutrition, and disaster health management. The Ministers noted Japan’s expansion of the target areas under the Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative. The Ministers welcomed Thailand’s initiative in establishing the ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation (ACAI) in 2019 and hosting of the APT Symposium on Strengthening Demographic Policy Cooperation and the Regional Conference on Promoting Decent Work for Older Persons in ASEAN+3 in April and June 2019, respectively.

16.The Ministers reiterated the commitment towards advancing cooperation in promoting sustainable development, as well as strengthening cooperation with all stakeholders, including the private sector, to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this regard, the Ministers called for development of collaborative projects to protect and conserve the environment, including biodiversity, promote sustainable use as well as the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the utilisation of natural resources, including water resource management, address the impact of climate changes and the issue of marine plastic debris. The Ministers looked forward to supporting the implementation of the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region, the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue and the ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation. The Ministers appreciated the aims of the G20’s Osaka Blue Ocean Vision to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050. The Ministers also looked forward to the implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three Youth Environment Forum (AYEF) in September 2019 in Thailand. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for empowering the youth and their communities in taking responsive and sustainable actions to address climate change.

17.The Ministers reaffirmed their shared commitment to forging closer cooperation in poverty alleviation for sustainable development, and to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women. The Ministers commended the adoption of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and looked forward to supporting its programmatic implementation. The Ministers likewise looked forward to enhancing cooperation on promoting active ageing in light of the ongoing development of the Regional Plan of Action to implement the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Ageing: Empowering Older Persons in ASEAN, which is being led by the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD).

18.The Ministers noted the ongoing endorsement process currently implemented for the ASEAN Plus Three Plan of Action on Education 2018-2025 and reaffirmed the need for greater promotion and establishment of an enabling environment and instruments for student mobility. The Ministers welcomed the approval of the APT Guidelines on Transcripts and Supplemental Documents for Academic Records of Exchange Students by the 4th APT Education Ministers Meeting (APT EMM) in November 2018 as the Guidelines would facilitate the recognition of academic records of exchange students, and thus promoting quality-assured student exchanges among APT countries.

19.The Ministers commended the efforts of the APT Senior Officials’ Meeting on Youth in providing greater access for engagement among youth in APT countries and establishing effective communication through various annual youth exchanges and community immersion activities which provide opportunities for meaningful cross-cultural understanding as well as promote and inculcate the culture of peace and respect for diversity among the youth of East Asia.

20.The Ministers welcomed the successful convening of the 7th ASEAN Plus Three Ministerial Meeting on Youth (7th AMMY+3) on 19 July 2019 in Vientiane, Lao PDR with the theme “Enhancing the Role of Youth in ASEAN for Sustainable Development and Regional Integration,” which reaffirmed the commitment to further strengthening APT collaborations on youth development to address the challenges of Industry 4.0, digitalisation and the evolving demand of the labour market and noted with satisfaction the contribution of youth empowerment activities and people-to-people exchange programmes among APT countries.

21.The Ministers noted the commitment of the APT Labour Ministers’ Meeting in November 2018, for promoting “green” jobs to contribute towards conserving the environment, developing technical and vocational education and trainings on “green” skills, raising occupational safety and health standards, as well as designing and implementing policies on “green” jobs and “green” skills in collaboration with tripartite partners, ASEAN Dialogue Partners and other stakeholders.

22.The Ministers commended the steady progress of implementation of the ASEAN Cooperation on Civil Service Matter (ACCSM+3 Work Plan 2016-2020) which covered areas of mutual interests including e-governance, human resource management development, public sector productivity and reform, good governance, local administration capacity building and cooperation, and research and innovation. The Ministers welcomed the initiatives supported by the APT Cooperation Fund that sought to strengthen the overall capabilities of the ASEAN Civil Services, including the Study Visit Programme on Public and Human Resources Management in the Plus Three countries, the ASEAN Guideline on Public Service Delivery, and Baseline Study on Governance Systems among APT Countries.

23.The Ministers noted the decision of the 6th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (6th AMMDM) in October 2018 in Malaysia to explore engaging cooperation with relevant dialogue partners, including with China, Japan and the ROK through the ASEAN Plus Three platform.

24.The Ministers acknowledged the important contribution of the East Asia Forum (EAF) as a Track 1.5 level platform for government, business, academia and think tanks to further increase cooperation with East Asia. In this regard, they welcomed the convening of the 17th EAF, hosted by Japan on 10 – 12 July 2019 in Odawara under the theme “Bolstering Free and Open Economy in East Asia,” which discussed sustainable development in East Asia and Dialogue Partners’ engagement, improvement of the trade environment including RCEP, and “Society 5.0” driven by the “Industry 4.0.”

25.The Ministers also recognised the important contributions of the Network of East Asia Think-Tanks (NEAT) towards APT cooperation and welcomed the outcomes of the 30th NEAT Country Coordinators Meeting (CCM) in May 2019 in Tokyo, the Working Group Meeting on Networking Cultural Institutions for Socio-Cultural Connectivity in East Asia in July 2019, and the Working Group Towards Building a Sustainable Society in  East Asia. The Ministers looked forward to the successful outcomes of the 31st CCM and the 17th Annual Conference of NEAT, which will be held on 22 August and 23 August 2019, respectively.

26.The Ministers also acknowledged the importance of “connecting the connectivities” within the APT, including people-to-people connectivity and welcomed the holding of an APT Student Camp, which will be held in October 2019. The activity is the implementation of EAVG II Recommendation No. 24, which aimed to boost people-to-people connectivity in the East Asia region.

27.The Ministers underscored the importance of forging closer cooperation in other areas such as tourism, energy security, and minerals. The Ministers also encouraged the APT countries to explore closer cooperation in other areas such as women empowerment and gender equality, as well as narrowing the development gap in ASEAN, including through the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI).

28The Ministers expressed their support for Thailand’s proposal for the establishment of the APT Website, to be launched during the 22nd APT Summit, which would serve as a useful tool to provide up-to-date information on the growing number of APT activities, increase the visibility and enhance public awareness of the APT cooperation among the APT countries.

Regional and International Issues

29.The Ministers stressed the importance of continued peaceful dialogue amongst all parties concerned, supported by peaceful efforts of the international community, in order to realise lasting peace, security, and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula and welcomed the efforts of the Republic of Korea (ROK), the United States and China to establish a sustainable dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Ministers welcomed the meeting between United States (US) President Donald Trump and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un on 30 June 2019 at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on the Korean Peninsula. The Ministers urged all concerned parties to resume and continue peaceful dialogue and work together towards progress in the realisation of lasting peace, security, and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula, including through the full and expeditious implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration, the Joint Statement by the US and DPRK Leaders and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration. They reiterated their commitment to the full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions by all UN members and noted international efforts to bring about the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Some Ministers emphasised the importance of addressing issues of humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the resolution of the abductions issue.

Other matters

30. The Ministers discussed the preparations for the 22nd APT Summit to be held on   4 November 2019 in Thailand. The Ministers reiterated their support for the adoption of the APT Leaders’ Statement on Connecting the Connectivities Initiative and the launch of the APT Website at the 22nd APT Summit.

31.The Ministers looked forward to the convening of the 21st APT Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Viet Nam in 2020.

 

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CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF  THE 20TH ASEAN PLUS THREE FOREIGN MINISTERS’ MEETING

26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)

26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)

 

On 2 August 2019, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, chaired the 26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) during the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Post Ministerial Conferences (PMCs) held in Bangkok.

The Meeting recalled that the first ARF took place in Bangkok 25 years ago, and has become a primary and most inclusive regional dialogue to build trust and confidence. The Meeting acknowledged the need for the ARF to adapt itself to increase its efficiency in addressing regional and international challenges, including by updating the ARF Vision.

The ARF Ministers discussed ways to promote sustainable security, human security and maritime security, based on the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on Partnership for Sustainability and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. They exchanged views on regional and international issues, trade tensions, the situation in the Rakhine State, the South China Sea, and the Korean Peninsula. They also addressed the need to cooperate to counter terrorism, counter violent extremism and transnational crimes, cyber security, and promote the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The Meeting adopted the ARF Statement on Aviation Partnership: Soaring ahead Together, the Joint Statement on Promoting the Women, Peace and Security Agenda at the ARF, the ARF Statement on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism Conductive to Terrorism, and the ARF Work Plan for Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime 2019 – 2021.

The ARF was established in 1994 as a ministerial meeting comprising participants which include ten ASEAN Member States, ten ASEAN Dialogue Partners, one Special Observer and six other countries in the region.1 ARF aims to strengthen regional peace and stability in three phases, namely, Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), Preventive Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution. The ongoing cooperation in the phase of CBMs includes disaster relief, counter-terrorism, maritime security, disarmament and security of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs).

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26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)

ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM ANNUAL SECURITY OUTLOOK 2019

 

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1 27 members: 10 ASEAN Member States (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), 10 ASEAN Dialogue Partners (Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States), 6 other countries in the region (Bangladesh, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Timor-Leste), and one ASEAN observer (Papua New Guinea).

9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

 

On 2 August 2019, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, chaired the 9th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting during the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM)/ Post Ministerial Conferences (PMCs) held in Bangkok. The Meeting was attended by the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN Member States, Australia, the People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia, and the United States of America.

The Meeting underscored the importance of EAS as a premier Leaders-led forum to discuss regional strategic issues, including non-traditional security challenges such as transnational crimes, counter-terrorism, human trafficking and disaster management. The Ministers exchanged views on current developments on the Korean Peninsula, the situation in the Rakhine State, and South China Sea, and welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

On political and security matters, the Meeting discussed efforts to tackle illicit drugs and violent extremism and ways to enhance cooperation on maritime security. On economic cooperation, the Meeting discussed partnership for sustainability, the realization of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, responsible fishery management, and upholding a multilateral trading system, including the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this year. With regard to the socio-cultural pillar, the Meeting discussed cooperation in combating pandemics and marine debris, as well as measures to cope with climate change.

In addition, the Meeting endorsed the Progress Report on the Implementation of the Manila Plan of Action to Advance the Phnom Penh Declaration on the East Asia Summit Development Initiative 2018 – 2022, and discussed preparations for the 22nd East Asia Summit in November.

EAS is an ASEAN-led forum for strategic dialogue inaugurated in 1999. Its implementation is currently guided by the Manila Plan of Action to Advance the Phnom Penh Declaration on the East Asia Summit Development Initiative 2018 – 2022.

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9th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting