05
November
2019

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 14TH EAST ASIA SUMMIT

05
November
2019

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 14TH EAST ASIA SUMMIT

52

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE
14TH EAST ASIA SUMMIT
BANGKOK/NONTHABURI, 4 NOVEMBER 2019

 

1. The 14th East Asia Summit (EAS) was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 4 November 2019. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, and attended by the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States, Australia, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea (ROK), the Russian Federation and the United States of America (U.S.), and their representatives. The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also in attendance.

Review and Future Direction of the East Asia Summit

2. We reaffirmed our commitment to further strengthening of the EAS as a premier Leaders-led forum to promote dialogue and cooperation on broad strategic, political, security and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability, and economic prosperity in the region, in line with the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the 10th Anniversary of the EAS and based on the established objectives, principles and modalities of the EAS. We stressed that the year 2020 marks the 15th Anniversary of the establishment of the EAS and is an opportune time to explore further the future development of the EAS.

3. We 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 working 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. We emphasised the importance of the role of the EAS in strengthening multilateralism and international order based on international law.

4. We 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. We recognised the importance of having free flowing constructive dialogue amongst the 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 and rule of law. We expressed support for the important role of the EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta in discussing the implementation of Leaders’ decisions as well as exchanging information on regional development cooperation initiatives and security policies and initiatives, as provided in the KL Declaration.

5. We welcomed the continued efforts to strengthen the EAS work processes in ensuring the implementation of the Leaders’ decisions and initiatives and enhancing EAScooperation as EAS marks its 15th year of dialogue and cooperation in 2020. We recognised the importance of having effective follow-up of Leaders’ decisions, including in the inter-sessional period. We acknowledged the important role of the EAS Senior Officials’ Meeting, the EAS Ambassadors’ in Jakarta and the EAS Unit at the ASEAN Secretariat in coordinating, monitoring, and facilitating cooperation under the areas of the EAS as well as ensuring effective implementation of Leaders’ decisions.

Areas of Cooperation

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

Environment and Energy

7. We noted the convening of the 4th Official Meeting for East Asia Summit Environment Ministers (EAS-OM) on 12 July 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand and the EAS High-level Seminar on Sustainable Cities (HLS-SC) 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). We noted 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). We looked forward to the successful implementation of the 11th EAS HLS-SC which will be held tentatively in March 2020 in the Philippines.

8. We noted that the 13th EAS Energy Ministers’ Meeting was held in conjunction with the 37th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting and Associated Meetings (37th AMEM) on 2-6 September in Bangkok, Thailand, and welcomed the expanded range of energy fuels and innovative technologies covered by the EAS energy cooperation including on energy efficiency, distributed energy systems, next generation biofuels, clean, low emission and renewable energy, including solar and wind technologies with energy storage solutions, carbon recycling and hydrogen technologies and natural gas cooperation. We also welcomed the convening of the 24th EAS Energy Cooperation Task Force Meeting (EAS ECTF) on 27 June 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, which discussed the progress and follow-up activities to implement the EAS ECTF work plans (2018-2019), all of which contribute towards sustainable energy transitions in the region. We welcomed the Economic Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)’s role on the implementation of the EAS Mid-Term Energy Policy Research Roadmap for the three (3) EAS ECTF work streams and the work in response to particular needs of EAS participating countries. We welcomed the successful convening of the EAS Clean Energy Forum on 11 – 13 June 2019 in Shenzhen, China and the 2nd East Asia Energy Forum (EAEF2) on 2 September 2019 in Bangkok, organised by ERIA and Thailand.

9. We were mindful of the potential severe impacts of climate change on the region’s socio-economic development and people’s livelihood. We were pleased to note the positive outcomes of the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in December 2018 in Katowice, Poland. We also took note of the successful conveyance of the ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change to the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019 on 23 September 2019 in New York, USA, and appreciated the Summit’s efforts to galvanise greater action by all countries. We looked forward to the successful outcomes of 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the UNFCCC, which will take place on 2-13 December 2019 in Madrid, Spain.

10. We recognised that marine plastic debris is a global concern and reiterated that cooperation in this area among EAS participating countries is needed because of the transboundary nature of this issue. We therefore noted with appreciation the adoption of the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region and the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris at the 34th ASEAN Summit in June 2019. We also noted that a draft EAS Regional Plan of Action (RPoA) on Combating Marine Plastic Debris (CMPD) is currently being developed as a follow-up to the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Combating Marine Plastic Debris adopted by the 13th EAS in November 2018 in Singapore. The RPoA, which complements the ASEAN-led initiatives, aims to (a) improve communication and collaboration among countries and multi-stakeholder entities at the regional and international scale; and (b) facilitate the transition to a more systems-based approach to marine plastic debris management. We continue to work with the international community to enhance cooperation in preventing illegal transboundary movement of hazardous chemicals and wastes. In the same light, we also acknowledged the goals set in the G20’s “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision” and acknowledged the efforts for the establishment of the Regional Capacity Centre for Clean Seas in Bali, Indonesia. We also welcomed the convening of the Our Ocean Conference 2019 which was held in October 2019 in Oslo, Norway. We looked forward to finding potential sustainable and environmentally friendly initiatives through promoting green growth in the future.

Education

11. We noted the convening of the 5th EAS Senior Officials Meeting on Education and the 4th EAS Education Ministers’ Meeting (EAS EMM) on 30 October and 1 November 2018, respectively, in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. We took note of the interest of the EAS participating countries in furthering cooperative activities on qualifications referencing, student mobility, and TVET system development. We looked forward to the convening of the 5th EAS EMM to be held in October 2020 in the Philippines, to enhance dialogue on educational policies among the EAS participating countries.

Finance

12. We reiterated the importance of financial stability in supporting economic growth by consistently monitoring risks, heightened uncertainties, and vulnerabilities in the region. We expressed support to further strengthen the region’s resilience to external shocks through regional financial cooperation and closer collaboration with international financial institutions.

Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases

13. We reiterated our commitment to the goal of a malaria-free Asia Pacific by 2030 and acknowledged ongoing efforts in the implementation of the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Malaria Elimination Roadmap. We therefore requested for a 5-year progress report on the progress made in the region towards 2030 to be submitted to the EAS in 2020. We welcomed the convening of the Meeting of Heads of Agencies and Senior Officials on Strengthening the Preparedness for Infectious Diseases with Pandemic Potential among EAS participating countries, co-hosted by Russia and Thailand on 16-17 October 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand which discussed the current challenges and potential regional cooperation in addressing the threats of communicable and emerging infectious diseases and stressed the importance of EAS dialogue on these issues to further enhance regional cooperation in strengthening pandemic preparedness and response. We also reaffirmed the importance of promoting sustainable and resilient health systems including universal health coverage.

Natural Disaster Management

14. We reaffirmed our support to the implementation of ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN, One Response (OAOR): ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region. We also expressed support for the 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. We encouraged the strengthening of engagement between the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) and the national disaster management authorities of non- ASEAN EAS participating countries through participation in ASEAN-led activities and projects, including, but not limited to, the ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise (ARDEX) and the annual ASEAN Strategic Policy Dialogue on Disaster Management (SPDDM).

ASEAN Connectivity

16. We underscored the importance of enhanced regional connectivity as a catalyst to ensure economic growth, resilience, sustainability, and social development and reaffirmed the support from EAS participating countries to accelerate the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025. We welcomed the completion of the Initial Rolling Priority Pipeline of Potential ASEAN Infrastructure Projects and underscored the importance of mobilising resources to implement infrastructure projects. We reaffirmed the need to create greater links and synergies between MPAC 2025 and key connectivity strategies in the region based on the “connecting the connectivities” approach to promote and enhance physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity and also reaffirmed the need to promote sustainable, high quality infrastructure in accordance with broadly accepted international principles to facilitate trade, investment, and service competitiveness in the region, noting the Vientiane Declaration on Promoting Infrastructure Development Cooperation in East Asia adopted at the 11th East Asia Summit in 2016.

17. We encouraged further cooperation and engagement between the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) and non-ASEAN EAS participating countries We are pleased to note the active participation of Dialogue Partners (DPs) and Other External Partners (OEPs) in the ACCC Consultations with DPs and OEPs on Connectivity and the 10th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium on “Connecting ASEAN through Financing Sustainable Infrastructure”, with support from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), on 26-27 August 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, respectively.

Economic Cooperation and Trade

18. We were encouraged by the continued expansion of trade and investment among EAS participating countries and noted the need for greater certainty and supportive policies to sustain this momentum. We share the resolve 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. We attached great importance to transparent and non-discriminatory, agreed-upon rules in the World Trade Organisation, which can enhance market predictability, enable business confidence, and allow trade to flow. Therefore, we agreed that action is necessary to improve its functioning.

19. We also reaffirmed the importance of strengthening economic relations among the EAS participating countries and ASEAN’s central role in the emerging regional economic architecture. We encouraged increased dialogue on the common economic challenges facing EAS participating countries to further strengthen regional economic integration in the region. We welcomed the convening of the 7th EAS Economic Ministers’ Meeting on 10 September 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand that discussed, among others, recent economic developments as well as trade and investment performance in the region, and how the governments were seeking to adapt their economies by making use of the technological advances that will drive the 4th Industrial Revolution. In this light, we noted the need to promote inclusive growth through policies aimed at delivering new opportunities for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and building new skills.

20. We were encouraged by the continued expansion of trade and investment among EAS participating countries and noted the need for greater certainty and supportive policies to sustain this momentum.

21. We commended that the ERIA continued research and analysis on regional economic issues. We welcomed the report of the 12th ERIA Governing Board Meeting on 24 May 2019 in Jakarta, which highlighted the need to generate more policy-oriented research and analysis, and noted ERIA’s support in the development of ASEAN Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) database. We encouraged ERIA to continue providing support for the Chair of the ASEAN Summit and the East Asia Summit and targeted high-quality research and actionable policy recommendations on topics that highlight and address the region’s challenges to EAS Economic Ministers.

Food Security

22. We reaffirmed our commitment to implement the 2013 EAS Declaration on Food Security to foster cooperation in this area. We 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 DevelopmentGoals (SDGs). We expressed our support for the work of ASEAN particularly through the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), and encouraged the EAS participating countries to enhance cooperation in this area in line with action lines identified in the Manila Plan of Action as well as the ASEAN Multi Sectoral Framework for Climate Change: Agriculture and Forestry towards Food and Nutrition Security and Achievements of SDGs (MSFCC), that was adopted by the 40th AMAF in 2018.

Maritime Cooperation

23. We expressed support for strengthening maritime cooperation among the EAS participating countries in line with the 2015 EAS Statement on Enhancing RegionalMaritime Cooperation and the Manila Plan of Action in a collective approach, through ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus).

24. We welcomed the convening of the EAS Seminar on Maritime Security and International Law, co-hosted by Malaysia and Australia, on 11-13 February 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to promote dialogue and cooperation on maritime security and safety. We looked forward to the EAS Workshop on Maritime Cooperation: Sustainable and Responsible Fisheries Management to be convened on 17-19 November 2019 in the Philippines and the 4th EAS Conference on Maritime Security Cooperation to be held in the first quarter of 2020 in India.

25. We welcomed the outcomes of the 8th ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF) and the 6thExpanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF) held on 6-7 December 2018 in Manila and looked forward to the convening of the 9th AMF and the 7th EAMF in Viet Nam this year

Other Areas

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

27. We acknowledged that discussions on traditional and non-traditional security issues have been increasingly featured in the EAS with a view to further promoting sustainable security. We reaffirmed our commitment to implementing the relevant EAS Leaders’ Statements and Declaration. We viewed that it is timely that this year we adopted the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation to Combat Transnational Crime, the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Combating the Spread of Illicit Drugs, and the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Partnership for Sustainability.

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

Regional and International Issues

Korean Peninsula

29. We stressed the importance of continued peaceful dialogue amongst all parties concerned in order to realise lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula. We 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) towards this goal. We welcomed the resumption of working-level talks between the U.S. and the DPRK and hoped that this would lead to further negotiations in the future. We 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. We supported progress towards the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration, the Singapore Joint Statement by the U.S. and DPRK Leaders, and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration. We also urged the DPRK to comply with its international obligations and fulfill its stated commitment to complete denuclearisation and its pledge to refrain from further nuclear and missile tests. We reiterated our commitment to the full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions by all UN Member States and international efforts to bring about the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Some Leaders emphasised the importance of addressing issues of humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the resolution of the abductions issue.

South China Sea

30. We 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 an prosperity. We 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. We noted the continued improving cooperation between ASEAN and China, and 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. We welcomed the completion of the first reading of the Single Draft COC Negotiating Text ahead of schedule this year and the commencement of the second reading process. We 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. We stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures to enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties; and we reaffirmed the importance of upholding international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

31. Some Leaders underscored the importance of the COC to be consistent with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

32. We 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. We reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise selfrestraint 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. We emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and selfrestraint 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

33. We condemned recent terrorist attacks in various countries and reaffirmed our commitment to countering violent extremism, radicalisation and terrorism through the effective implementation of counterterrorism measures at the national, sub-regional, regional levels including under the ASEAN Convention on Counter-Terrorism where applicable, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and the relevant UNSCRs. We discussed the ongoing need for countries to support a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all States and international and regional organisations to address terrorist threats. We stressed the importance of strengthening EAS cooperation to address these threats in a comprehensive manner, which also includes promoting greater awareness of different cultures, customs and faiths in order to foster tolerant and responsible societies. This 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. We also underlined the importance of strengthening international cooperation, consistent with applicable international and domestic laws, to address the threats posed by foreign terrorist fighters. We also reaffirmed our strong commitment to preventing the use of ICTs including the internet for terrorist purposes or the spread of violent extremism conducive to terrorism.

Enduring Regional Architecture

34. We recognised the challenges and uncertainties facing the region that could undermine sustainable security, regional development and economic growth and therefore reiterated our support for a peaceful, stable, resilient, dynamic, and inclusive peoplecentred ASEAN Community and for ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture. We noted the adoption of 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, mutual benefit, and respect for international law, and the principles as contained in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. We noted ASEAN’s intention to use the Outlook as a guide for ASEAN’s engagement in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions to contribute to the maintenance of peace, stability, freedom and prosperity. We looked forward to further discussions on working with ASEAN to promote engagement and international cooperation in the areas identified in the Outlook and of common interest, through existing ASEAN-led platforms. In this regard, the Meeting was informed that an ASEAN Indo-Pacific Infrastructure and Connectivity Forum would be held in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2020.

Regional Economic Integration

35. We acknowledged that 15 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Participating Countries have concluded text-based negotiations to create a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial RCEP Agreement. This regional integration will support further trade liberalisation and the multilateral trading system as well as withstand the current global uncertainties

36. We looked forward to the convening of the 15th East Asia Summit in Viet Nam in 2020.

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CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 14TH EAST ASIA SUMMIT