Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand delivered a Keynote Address at the ASEAN Talk in Madrid
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand delivered a Keynote Address at the ASEAN Talk in Madrid
On 17 December 2019, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, in Thailand’s capacity as the ASEAN Chair in 2019, delivered a keynote address at the ASEAN Talk in Madrid on the topic of “ASEAN-EU Partnership: Promoting Connectivity for Sustainability”. This event was co-organised by the ASEAN Committee in Madrid and the Elcano Royal Institute, a think tank specialising in international and strategic studies, with the aim of promoting understanding about ASEAN and fostering a productive relationship between ASEAN and Spain as well as ASEAN and the EU.
The Foreign Minister elaborated on ASEAN’s vision on promoting sustainability in all dimensions (i.e., the “Sustainability of Things or SOT), whether political-security, economic or socio-cultural, and fostering mutually beneficial partnerships between ASEAN and external partners, including the EU, towards that end. He emphasised the importance of enhancing connectivity in various dimensions between ASEAN and the EU through fostering synergies between the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 and the EU’s Connecting Europe and Asia Strategy. He also highlighted the importance of collaborating for concrete outcomes, particularly on global issues and issues of common interest, including science and technology, innovation, knowledge sharing and capacity building as well as sustainable development and cooperation through the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue in Thailand.
The Inaugural Meeting of the Network of ASEAN Associations of ASEAN Member States
The Inaugural Meeting of the Network of ASEAN Associations
of ASEAN Member States
On 2 December 2019, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, presided over the Opening Ceremony of the Inaugural Meeting of the Network of ASEAN Associations of ASEAN Member States at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangkok. In his opening remarks, he underscored the importance of setting up such a Network as a regional platform to raise public awareness of ASEAN, to foster the sense of belonging to the ASEAN Community amongst the peoples of ASEAN and to promote an ASEAN identity. The Network would serve to bridge the Track One process with representatives of various sectors of society in order to bring a broad range of stakeholders to the ASEAN Community-building process.
The Inaugural Meeting was chaired by Dr. Chitriya Pinthong, President of the ASEAN Association of Thailand and was attended by representatives from members of the Network, comprising ten ASEAN Associations or similar entities designated by the Government of the ASEAN Member States, as well as the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Foundation.
It was the first time that the members of the Network of ASEAN Associations gathered together following its establishment during the 34th ASEAN Summit in June this year. The participants shared experience and exchanged best practices and also explored the possibility of joint activities/ projects of the Network in areas of mutual interest for the year 2020.
The establishment of the Network of ASEAN Associations of ASEAN Member State is one of the deliverables during Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019. The work of the Network will reinforce the work done by various ASEAN mechanisms to promote greater participation of people and various groups in ASEAN activities.
Bangkok Post Informative Graphics on the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits
Chairman’s Press Release on The Special Lunch on Sustainable Development
Chairman’s Press Release
The Special Lunch on Sustainable Development
4 November 2019, Bangkok/Nonthaburi, Thailand
On 4 November 2019, during the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, as ASEAN Chair in 2019 and ASEAN Coordinator on Sustainable Development Cooperation, hosted and chaired a Special Lunch on Sustainable Development.
The Special Lunch was attended by the Heads of State/Government and representatives of ASEAN Member States and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation and the United States, as well as the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, as Guest of the Chair, and the Secretary-General of ASEAN.
The Special Lunch was an opportunity for Leaders to exchange views and generate practical ideas on how to advance sustainable development in ASEAN and the wider region, through partnerships within ASEAN and beyond, as a contribution to regional stability, prosperity and sustainability. Leaders shared their visions, experiences and best practices on how to promote sustainable development, leveraging on the expertise and technologies of ASEAN Member States and external parties. In these exchanges, a number of views were expressed.
Poverty eradication and narrowing development gaps were identified as key factors that would help ensure greater sustainability in economic growth and development, as were addressing the challenges of malnutrition and stunting, and promoting sustainable agriculture, food security and energy security.
Protection of the environment was likewise underscored as an important goal that needs to be mainstreamed into cooperation on sustainable development, with a focus on promoting sustainable oceans through effective marine debris, garbage and waste management, sustainable fisheries, among other things, and addressing the challenge of climate change through the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and enhancing cooperation on this issue.
Human capital development and capacity-building were seen as important drivers for sustainable development as well as key elements in the promotion of human security and preparing for the 4th Industrial Revolution. Strengthening of MSMEs, start-ups and local enterprises, particularly through greater efforts to promote financial inclusion and greater access to regional and global markets, was perceived as important to ensuring more inclusive growth and empowering communities.
The importance of translating shared visions into practical action, by strengthening relevant existing mechanisms, was emphasised. Promoting trilateral cooperation between ASEAN and two or more external partners to enhance regional cooperation on sustainable development, focusing on concrete projects and building capacities, was cited as one possible modality for realising concrete projects and activities. Public-private partnerships were seen as another.
It was suggested that the recently launched ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue, as well as other relevant ASEAN Centres in Thailand and in the region, could also play both a supportive and catalytic role in the ongoing efforts of ASEAN and its partners to promote sustainable development cooperation in the region, complementing efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to attain the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Leaders appreciated Thailand’s offer to convene a follow-up meeting on enhancing partnership for sustainable development next year to further discuss this issue.
Overall, the Special Lunch on Sustainable Development further reinforced the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on Partnership for Sustainability and the East Asia Summit Leaders’ Statement on Partnership for Sustainability, in the spirit of realising a people-centred ASEAN Community that leaves no one behind and looks to the future.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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
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.
CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 22ND ASEAN PLUS THREE SUMMIT
CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 22ND ASEAN PLUS THREE SUMMIT BANGKOK/NONTHABURI, 4 NOVEMBER 2019
1. The 22nd ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit was held on 4 November 2019 in Bangkok. The Meeting was chaired by His Excellency General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, and attended by all Heads of State/ Government of ASEAN Member States, the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK). The Secretaries-General of ASEAN and the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat were also in attendance.
Review and Future Direction of APT Cooperation
2. We noted with satisfaction the substantive progress in APT cooperation and reiterated our commitment to further strengthening and deepening the APT functional cooperation under the APT process. We underscored the importance of the APT in East Asia cooperation towards the long-term goal of building an East Asia community, with ASEAN as the driving force.
3. We reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture and ASEAN-led frameworks, including the APT. We recognised the mutually reinforcing and complementary nature of the APT with other ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus). We also shared the view that in order to achieve deeper regional integration in Asia, the APT’s continuing support on the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and its Blueprints, the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and the Initiative of ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III is crucial.
4. We were pleased to note the steady progress in the implementation of the APT Cooperation Work Plan (2018-2022). To maintain this positive momentum, we called for more projects and activities with concrete outcomes to further implement the action lines in APT cooperation over the next three years. In this regard, we noted the Second Progress Report on the Implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan (2018-2022). We also underscored the importance of the effective utilisation and prudent management of the APT Cooperation Fund to implement activities under the Work Plan.
5. We recalled the East Asia Vision Group (EAVG) II report, including its recommendations to realise an East Asia Economic Community (EAEC), and we looked forward to the substantive progress of the implementation of projects and activities under the EAVG action plans.
6. We acknowledged the importance of the APT in maintaining and enhancing peace, security, stability and development in East Asia. We decided to strengthen dialogue and cooperation to address non-traditional security issues articulated in the APT Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2022, such as trafficking in persons, cybercrime, countering terrorism and violent extremism and illicit drug trafficking. We also looked forward to enhancing maritime cooperation including capacity development on the maritime industry.
7. We 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, we cautioned against rising trade tensions and its impact on growth and jobs. We reaffirmed strong commitment to upholding an open, inclusive, transparent, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading system as embodied in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and noted the work being undertaken to reform the WTO and reiterated their full support to this endeavor. We also reaffirmed our support for enhanced regional economic integration. We welcomed 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 and would work together on outstanding issues with a view to signing the agreement in 2020. We acknowledged the importance of promoting sustainable development of micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs) in light of uncertainties in the global economy.
8. We welcomed the strong trade and investment relations between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries. In 2018, trade between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries increased by 6.8 percent to USD 869.1 billion or 31.0 per cent of ASEAN’s total merchandise trade. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows from the Plus Three countries into ASEAN were valued at USD 37.9 billion in 2018, accounting for 24.5 per cent of total FDI inflows to ASEAN which increased by 9.9 percent from the previous year.
9. We 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. We were pleased to note that the three Centres established regular consultations with their counterparts and called for the Centres to enhance linkages among themselves by exploring possible joint projects in areas of common interest.
10. We recognised the important role of the private sector in enhancing economic cooperation in East Asia. We noted the strong interest of members of the East Asia Business Council (EABC) on the progress of RCEP negotiations, and its recommendations for improving trade facilitation and supply chain connectivity in the region to ensure smooth implementation of the RCEP. We noted with appreciation the EABC’s work in organising activities to enhance the capacity of MSMEs, and in conducting studies on business awareness on new technologies and their markets. We reaffirmed their continuing support for future initiatives aimed at preparing MSMEs for the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
11. We acknowledged the Joint Ministerial Statement of the 16th APT Ministers on Energy Meeting on 5 September 2019 in Bangkok. We encouraged the enhancement of energy cooperation and market integration among APT countries towards achieving energy security, accessibility, affordability and sustainability for the region. We noted with satisfaction the continued cooperation among APT countries to develop capacities on renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation. We welcomed the commitment to deeper knowledge and information exchange through various initiatives such as the Cleaner Energy Future Initiative for ASEAN (CEFIA) to accelerate the development of cleaner energy in ASEAN region.
12. We also recognised the potential brought about by the ongoing digital revolution to improve the region’s competitiveness and the livelihood of its people, while underscoring the need to prepare for its associated risks and challenges. To this end, we called for greater APT cooperation to support the concrete application of technologies and smart solutions in our daily lives, such as through information and communications technology (ICT), e-commerce and development of smart cities. Following the establishment of the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) last year, we welcomed the progress in the implementation of ASCN cities’ action plans and smart city projects. We looked forward to forging mutually beneficial partnerships between the Plus Three countries and the network.
13. Given that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the APT finance process, we commend the accomplishments made in fostering closer regional financial cooperation towards a more resilient, inclusive and integrated APT region. We welcomed the adoption of a vision document, “Strategic Directions of APT Finance Process,” which aims to explore new potential areas of common interest and complementarity towards the strategic directions of fostering regional economic growth and promoting integration, while continuing the work on current initiatives to maintain regional economic and financial stability from a longer-term perspective. We also welcomed the continued commitment of APT Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to strengthening the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM), the Regional Financing Arrangement (RFA), as an effective and timely self-help mechanism, and a strong and reliable layer in the Global Financial Safety Net. We welcomed the approval of the amended CMIM Agreement and the endorsement of the General Guidance on Local Currency Contribution to the CMIM by the 22nd APT Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting. We looked forward to the early entry into force of the amended CMIM Agreement approved in May 2019. We welcomed the completion of the 10th CMIM Test Run using actual fund, encouraged the drafting of the CMIM Operational Guideline and Technical Guidance for the CMIM Conditionality Framework.
14. We are also pleased to note the continuous progress made by the APT Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) in enhancing its surveillance capacity, frameworks and other analytical tools. In particular, we commend AMRO’s efforts to stay at the forefront of macroeconomic trends and to assist with the early identification of risks and vulnerabilities. This has enabled AMRO to provide timely policy advice to members to mitigate the possible spillover effects. We noted with appreciation AMRO’s Policy Note, titled “ASEAN+3 Region: Sustaining Growth and Stability amid Mounting Global Uncertainty,” which has provided a helpful overview on recent macroeconomic developments and policy responses.
15. We acknowledged the Asian Bond Markets Initiative (ABMI)’s significant contributions in fostering the development of local currency bond markets and facilitating regional financial integration to mitigate currency and maturity mismatches and in mobilising the region’s savings to finance long-term investment across the region. We welcomed the endorsement of a new ABMI Mid-Term Road Map 2019-2022, highlighting future directions and major activities. We also support the timely work of the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF) to strengthen the financial resilience of ASEAN Member States against climate and disaster risks.
16. We commended contributions by the members to meet the Capital Increase Proposal (CIP) of the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF) and encourage timely completion of CIP according to schedule. We also commended the CGIF’s efforts in exploring the innovative proposal of Infrastructure Investors Partnership (IIP) to further promote local currency debt finance for infrastructure. We also encourage efforts to promote local currency-denominated green bonds to meet the region’s infrastructure needs in a sustainable manner.
17. We were pleased to note the progress in the implementation of the APT Cooperation Strategy on Food, Agriculture and Forestry (2016-2025), in which various activities have been carried out in the areas of food security, sustainable forest management, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. We reaffirmed our commitment to continuously supporting the implementation of APT Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) Agreement for meeting emergency requirements and humanitarian relief through the Protocol to amend the APTERR Agreement which extended annual contributions to the operational cost of APTERR for further a five-year period (2018-2022), that was signed on 12 October 2018 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam.
18. We noted with satisfaction the continued cooperation among APT countries in science and technology through various initiatives of the APT Centre for the Gifted in Science (ACGS), including the 10th APT Teacher Workshop for the Gifted in Science, the 12th ACGS Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting, and the 8th APT Junior Science Odyssey (APT JSO), as well as the APT Young Scientist Innovation Forum.
19. We were pleased with the significant progress, and looked forward to the support of APT countries to advance the implementation of MPAC 2025, which covers the strategies on Sustainable Infrastructure, Digital Innovation, Seamless Logistics, Regulatory Excellence, and People Mobility as well as to strengthen APT cooperation in enhancing regional connectivity. We stressed the importance of developing links and synergies between MPAC 2025 and key connectivity initiatives in the region, while reaffirming the need to promote sustainable, high quality infrastructure in line with broadly accepted international principles to facilitate trade, investment and service competitiveness in the region. In this regard, we adopted the APT Leaders’ Statement on Connecting the Connectivities Initiative.
20. We underscored that cultural exchanges are a key to promoting people-to-people ties in the region. In this regard, we looked forward to the effective implementation of the APT Work Plan on Cooperation in Culture and Arts (2019-2021) to further enhance inter-cultural exchanges and understanding. We also welcomed the establishment of the Network of APT Culture Cities and the Yangzhou Initiative on Building the Network of ASEAN Plus Three Culture Cities to promote city-level exchanges among the East Asian Cultural Cities and the ASEAN City of Culture. We are pleased to note the cultural events held in Viva ASEAN- ASEAN Cultural Roadshow: Oneness to the World’ performances in four different cities in the ROK in cooperation with the ASEAN Culture House of the Korea Foundation, as part of the celebrations of the ASEAN Cultural Year 2019. We also looked forward to the tour of ASEAN Cultural troupes and exhibitions in Japan and China to further bring ASEAN cultures to wider audiences.
21. We acknowledged the Joint Statement of the 8th APT Health Ministers Meeting on 30 August 2019 in Siem Reap, Cambodia with the theme “Accelerating Health for All in ASEAN.” Commitments made included priority areas of collaboration on capacity building on prevention, detection and response to public health threats; combating anti-microbial resistance; addressing non-communicable diseases and its risk factors; ending all forms of malnutrition; strengthening traditional and complementary medicine; ensuring food safety; promoting healthy and active ageing; and, achieving universal health coverage including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services, and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. We noted the multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder collaborative activities to be implemented in promoting healthy and active ageing and welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation (ACAI) in Thailand. We also welcomed Japan’s expansion of the target areas under the Asia Health and Wellbeing Initiative (AHWIN). We underscored the need to strengthen cooperation in 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, led by the Senior Officials Meeting on Social Welfare and Development (SOMSWD).
22. We committed to advancing cooperation in promoting sustainable development, as well as in strengthening cooperation with all stakeholders, including the private sector, to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We noted the successful convening of the 16th APT Environment Ministers Meeting held on 9 October 2019 in Cambodia. In order to cover the finance needs to achieve the SDGs, we recognised that international public and private finance for development as well as other innovative financing mechanisms can play an important role. We noted the convening of the APT Youth Environment Forum (AYEF) on 8-13 September 2019 in Phuket, Thailand. We reaffirmed our support for empowering the youth and their communities in taking responsive and sustainable actions to address marine debris pollution.
23. We supported the finalisation of the ASEAN Action Plan developed with the World Health Organization (WHO) in combatting substandard and falsified medicines by strengthening national regulatory mechanisms; coordination and collaboration on the sustained implementation on the prevention, detection and response to eliminate substandard and falsified medicines within countries and across the region, among others; and, building and maintaining an efficient robust supply system which will contribute to ensuring that populations within the region especially in remote areas of ASEAN Member States (AMS) have access to safe, effective, affordable and quality medicines.
24. We called for development of collaborative projects to protect and conserve the environment and biodiversity, to promote sustainable use as well as the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the utilisation of natural resources, including water resource management, and to address the impact of climate change and the issue of marine plastic debris. We welcomed the progress of “APT Marine Plastic Debris Cooperative Action Initiative,” such as the establishment of Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris operated by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) and capacity development for monitoring of the debris and combat measures, and looked forward to supporting the expeditious implementation of the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region, implementation of the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris and the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue. We appreciated the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision which aims to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050 and its implementation framework.
25. We reaffirmed our commitment to forging closer cooperation to alleviate poverty for sustainable development, to promote and to protect the human rights of vulnerable groups, and to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women. We welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and looked forward to its implementation.
26. We reiterated the need to create an enabling environment and instruments for student mobility with quality assurance among the APT countries. In this regard, we looked forward to the continued implementation of the APT Guidelines on Transcripts and Supplemental Documents for Academic Records of Exchange Students, which was adopted by the APT Education Ministers in November 2018. We also noted the: (i) adoption of the APT Plan of Action on Education 2018-2025 by the APT Education Ministers and its subsequent implementation; and (ii) successful convening of the 7th Meeting of the Working Group on Student Mobility and Quality Assurance of Higher Education among APT Countries in September 2019 in Singapore.
27. We noted the successful convening of the 7th APT Ministerial Meeting on Youth (AMMY+3) held on 19 July 2019 in Vientiane, with the theme “Enhancing the Role of Youth in ASEAN for Sustainable Development and Regional Integration”. We supported the commitment of ASEAN Youth Ministers 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. We looked forward to the development of the Plan of Action for APT Cooperation on Youth in line with the APT Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2022.
28. We commended the continued cooperation among APT countries in areas of human resources development and social security. We supported the commitment of the 10th APT Labour Ministers’ Meeting (ALMM+3) held in November 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to promoting green jobs and green skills that will contribute towards environmentally and socially sustainable economy of the region. We also noted the ASEAN Labour Ministers’ Joint Statement on Green Initiative to the 108th International Labour Conference and encouraged the collaboration and sharing of information and experiences among the APT countries in order to prepare and protect the workforces and businesses in the context of technological advancement, demographic transition and rise of green economy.
29. We welcomed the progress of implementation of the APT Cooperation on Civil Service Matters (ACCSM+3) Work Plan 2016-2020. We looked forward to the development of the ASEAN Guidelines on Public Service Delivery and the Baseline Study on Governance Systems among APT countries that are supported by the APT Cooperation Fund. We were pleased to note the convening of the ACCSM+3 Focal Points Meeting in June 2019 in Bangkok, which served as a platform for APT countries to jointly begin the preparation for the ACCSM+3 Work Plan 2021-2025 in the spirit of mutual interests.
30. The Leaders acknowledged the success of the 14th Annual Meeting of Deans and Directors of Diplomatic Training Institutions of ASEAN Plus Three, organised by the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam in Ha Noi from 23-25 October 2019, during which the first joint training course was successfully conducted and it was decided that a joint database on curriculum and materials for diplomatic training will be further developed. The Leaders encouraged the APT Diplomatic Training institutions to continue strengthening their substantial cooperation and network through concrete projects and activities.
31. We noted the decision of the 7th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Management (AMMDM) in October 2019 in Myanmar on ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management’s (ACDM) engagement with ASEAN Dialogue Partners from China, Japan and the ROK to explore the possibility of establishing ASEAN Plus mechanisms on disaster management. We welcomed Japan’s agreement to establish the AMMDM Plus Japan cooperation and looked forward to the convening of the meeting of AMMDM Plus Japan in the future. We encouraged the enhancement of regional cooperation on disaster management and emergency response by promoting cooperation on policy coordination, information exchanges and conducting joint exercises to effectively promote disaster management and reduce disaster risks and losses in the region.
32. We acknowledged that the East Asia Forum (EAF) remains an important Track 1.5 level platform for governments, companies, academic institutions and think-tanks to further increase cooperation within East Asia. In this regard, we welcomed the convening of the 17th EAF, hosted by Japan on 10 – 12 July 2019 in Odawara, Japan, under the theme “Bolstering Free and Open Economy in East Asia,” and noted its outcomes. We also recognised the important contributions of the Network of East Asia Think-Tanks (NEAT) towards APT cooperation. We welcomed the outcomes of the 30th NEAT Country Coordinators Meeting (CCM) in May 2019, the 31st CCM and the 17th Annual Conference of NEAT held in August 2019. We noted the recommendations in NEAT Memorandum No.16, which advocates for socio-cultural connectivity and the establishment of smart and sustainable cities in East Asia. Cultural institutions and related networks need to be strengthened, and environmental issues, particularly on ocean plastic debris, need to be addressed.
33. We underscored the importance of forging closer cooperation in other areas such as tourism, energy, and minerals. The Ministers also encouraged the APT countries to explore closer cooperation in women empowerment and gender equality, as well as narrowing the development gap in ASEAN, including through the IAI.
34. We commended Thailand’s initiative and support from other APT countries to establish the APT website. To this end, we welcomed the launch of the website, which will 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
35. We welcomed the resumption of the working-level discussion between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States (U.S.), as well as the initiatives by the Republic of Korea (ROK) and China to establish a sustainable dialogue process with the DPRK. We stressed the importance of continued peaceful dialogue and efforts 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. We 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 Singapore Joint Statement by the U.S. and DPRK Leaders, the Panmunjom Declaration, and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration. We reiterated our commitment to the full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and noted international efforts to bring about the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. We welcomed ASEAN’s readiness to play a constructive role in contributing to peace and stability in 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.
On 4 November 2019, H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, chaired the 22nd ASEAN-Japan Summit, during the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. The session was attended by H.E. Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan and Leaders of ASEAN Member States.
ASEAN Leaders congratulated Japan on the enthronement of His Majesty Emperor Naruhito and the new Reiwa era, as well as the successful hosting of the G20 Osaka Summit in June and the Rugby World Cup, early November 2019. They also expressed their sympathy in solidarity to the government of Japan and the victims of the tragic disaster from Typhoon Hagibis. The Prime Minister of Japan welcomed ASEAN athletes to the Olympics and Paralympics to be held in Tokyo next year.
The Meeting appreciated Japan’s continued support for ASEAN centrality and ASEAN-led mechanisms in the regional architecture, as well as Japan’s contribution to the Initiative for ASEAN Integration. The Meeting discussed ways to strengthen the ASEAN-Japan Strategic Partnership, and advance sustainability in all dimensions. In this regard, the Meeting discussed complementarities between Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) Strategy and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), and cooperation with Japan in areas under the AOIP. The Meeting exchanged views on regional issues, such as the situation in the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula.
The Leaders noted the strong economic relations between ASEAN and Japan, and discussed their cooperation to promote trade, investment and connectivity. The Meeting discussed the synergy between Japan’s Quality Infrastructure Initiative and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025. The Meeting supported the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and recognized the importance of developing a digital infrastructure as well as preparations for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
On socio-cultural issues, they supported cooperation in education such as teacher and vocational training, and higher education scholarships. ASEAN Leaders and the Prime Minister of Japan adopted the Joint Statement of the 22nd ASEAN-Japan Summit on Connectivity.
ASEAN-Japan informal dialogue relations began in 1973, and four years later in 1977, Japan officially became ASEAN’s Dialogue Partner. When ASEAN and Japan celebrated the 30th Anniversary of their Dialogue Relations in 2003, Japan was elevated to Strategic Partner. In 2011, Japan became the first Dialogue Partner to establish a Permanent Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta.
On 4 November 2019, H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.), Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, chaired the 14th East Asia Summit (EAS) during the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits. The Meeting was attended by Leaders of ASEAN Member States and Leaders of Australia, People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia, and the Special Envoy of the President of the United States of America.
The Meeting underscored the importance of EAS as a premier Leaders-led forum with ASEAN at its core for discussing regional strategic issues related to peace, security, and stability. The EAS seeks to build strategic trust and confidence, and supports constructive dialogue, and a rules-based approach to address traditional and non-traditional security challenges, such as transnational crimes, counter terrorism, human trafficking, disaster management and cyber security.
The Meeting noted that the region is confronting a volatile international system and slowing world economic growth. On political-security issues, the Meeting supported ASEAN centrality and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. The Leaders also discussed cooperation in fostering tolerance in society, countering terrorism, cybersecurity and maritime security.
On economic issues, the Meeting observed the trend in trade protectionism and in this regard, discussed the promotion of multilateralism, free trade, and economic integration. The Meeting exchanged views on emerging disruptions from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and cooperation on infrastructure development and connectivity, digital economy, information and communications technology (ICT) and innovation, and sustainable fisheries. On socio-cultural issues, the Leaders discussed cooperation on climate change, protection of maritime environment and disaster management.
In addition, the Leaders exchanged views on the regional situation, such as developments in the peace process in the Korean Peninsula, the situation in Rakhine State, and the South China Sea.
The Meeting adopted the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Combating the Spread of Illicit Drugs, the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation to Combat Transnational Crime and the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Partnership for Sustainability.
The EAS was inaugurated in 1999 and currently guided by the Manila Plan of Action to Advance the Phnom Penh Declaration on the East Asia Summit Development Initiative 2018 – 2022.