CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 9th EAST ASIA SUMMIT FOREIGN MINISTERS’ MEETING
CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 9th EAST ASIA SUMMIT FOREIGN MINISTERS’ MEETING
CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 9th EAST ASIA SUMMIT FOREIGN MINISTERS’ MEETING BANGKOK,
2 AUGUST 2019
1. The 9th East Asia Summit (EAS) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was convened in Bangkok, Thailand on 2 August 2019. The Meeting was chaired by His Excellency Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand.
Review and Future Direction of the East Asia Summit
2. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthening the EAS as the Leaders-led forum for dialogue and cooperation on broad strategic, political, and economic issues of common concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia in line with the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the 10th Anniversary of the East Asia Summit and based on the established principles, objectives and modalities of the EAS.
3. The Ministers reaffirmed that the EAS would continue to be open, inclusive, transparent and outward-looking, and reaffirmed ASEAN’s central role in the EAS, and ASEAN’s commitment to work in close partnership with all EAS participating countries to ensure that the EAS would continue to be an integral component of the evolving ASEAN-centred regional architecture. The Ministers emphasised the importance of the role of the EAS in strengthening multilateralism and international order based on international law.
4. The Ministers underscored the need to further strengthen the EAS to ensure its relevance and effectiveness in response to the needs of the rapidly changing regional and international landscape. The Ministers recognised the importance of having free flowing constructive dialogue on strategic issues amongst Leaders at the EAS in order to reinforce strategic trust and seek to address common challenges including through practical cooperation, based on mutual trust, mutual benefit and mutual respect. The Ministers also noted that the EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta continue to exchange information on regional development cooperation initiatives, security policies and initiatives and discuss the regional security architecture. The Ministers also took note that a standalone EAS Discussion on Regional Security Architecture in a hybrid format, comprising EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta and similarly-ranked officials from capital, was convened on 26 June 2019 in Jakarta.
5. The Ministers welcomed the continued efforts to strengthen the EAS work processes in ensuring the implementation of the Leaders’ decisions and initiatives and enhancing EAS cooperation. They recognised the importance of having effective follow-up of Leaders’ decisions, including in the inter-sessional period. The Ministers expressed support for the important role of the EAS Senior Officials’ Meeting, EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta and the EAS Unit at the ASEAN Secretariat in coordinating, monitoring, and facilitating cooperation under the areas of the EAS and ensuring effective implementation of Leaders’ decisions. The Ministers encouraged EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta to utilise the new ASEAN Secretariat building for EAS related meetings and further encouraged them to do all their work in Jakarta.
Areas of Cooperation
6. The Ministers acknowledged the good progress made on the implementation of EAS activities, programmes, and cooperation under the Manila Plan of Action to Advance the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS Development Initiative (2018-2022). They looked forward to the timely and effective implementation of the Plan through the EAS mechanisms, and relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies as well as the existing regional frameworks, in close consultation with and support from EAS participating countries.
Environment and Energy
7. The Ministers noted the convening of the 3rd EAS Senior Officials’ Meeting on Environment (EAS-OM) on 17 August 2018 in Singapore, the recent 4th Official Meeting for East Asia Summit Environment Ministers (EAS-OM) on 12 July 2019 in Bangkok, and the EAS High-level Seminar on Sustainable Cities (HLS-SC) held on 21-23 January 2019 in Bali, Indonesia, co-organised by Japan, Indonesia, the ASEAN Secretariat, and the ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (AWGESC) in collaboration with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES). They also took note of the recommendation to continue utilising the HLS-SC as a platform to share experiences and monitor progress made by local governments on enhancing clean, green and sustainable cities, including through the ASEAN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Frontrunner Cities Programme, the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) and the ASEAN Sustainable Urbanisation Strategy (ASUS).
8. The Ministers took note of the 12th EAS Energy Ministers’ Meeting on 29 October 2018 in Singapore as well as the 23rd and 24th EAS Energy Cooperation Task Force Meeting (EAS ECTF) on 27 July 2018 in Singapore and 27 June 2019 in Bangkok, respectively, which welcomed the new initiatives under the EAS energy platform, namely (i) Hydrogen Society and Mobility Decarbonisation, (ii) Initiative on Promotion of Natural Gas and (iii) EAS Clean Energy Forum. During the 24th EAS ECTF Meeting, they also noted the good progress made in the implementation of the EAS ECTF work plans (2018-2019), all of which contribute towards sustainable energy transition in the region including on energy efficiency and distributed energy systems, assessing emission impacts of mobility electrification and alternative biofuels, as well as renewable energy and energy storage applications. They looked forward to the 13th EAS Energy Ministers’ Meeting to be held in conjunction with the 37th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting and Associated Meetings (37th AMEM) on 2-6 September 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.
9. The Ministers were mindful of the potential impact of climate change on the region’s socio-economic development and people’s livelihood. They noted the positive outcomes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Katowice Climate Change Conference in 2018, and looked forward to ambitious outcomes at the upcoming UN Climate Action Summit 2019 and the UNFCCC Santiago Climate Change Conference (COP25).
10. The Ministers reiterated that marine debris pollution, especially plastic litter and microplastics, is a global concern and that cooperation in this area among EAS participating countries is needed because of the transboundary nature of this issue. In this regard, the Ministers acknowledged the goals set forth in the G20’s “Osaka Blue Ocean Vision.”
11. The Ministers noted the convening of the 5th EAS Senior Officials’ Meeting on Education (EAS SOM-ED) and the 4th EAS Education Ministers Meeting held on 30 October and 1 November 2018, respectively, in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. They also took note of the completion of the EAS Education Plan of Action (2011-2015) and the recommendation of the 5th EAS SOM-ED to foster long–term and mutually beneficial education cooperation through the alignment of the related action lines under the Manila Plan of Action with the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016–2020. They looked forward to the 6th EAS SOM-ED and the 5th EAS Education Ministers Meeting to be held in November 2020 in the Philippines.
12. The Ministers reiterated the importance of ensuring financial stability by consistently monitoring risks and vulnerabilities in the region amid heightened uncertainties. The Ministers expressed support to further strengthen the region’s resilience to external shocks through continued regional financial cooperation and closer collaboration with international financial institutions.
Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases
13. The Ministers recalled their commitment to the goal of an Asia-Pacific free of malaria by 2030, and acknowledged ongoing efforts to implement proposed actions in the Asia Pacific Leaders’ Malaria Elimination Roadmap, including the preparation of a 5-year progress report to the Leaders in 2020. The Ministers looked forward to the convening of the EAS Meeting on Strengthening Preparedness for Important Infectious Diseases to be co-hosted by Russia and Thailand in October 2019 in Thailand to discuss current challenges and potential regional cooperation in tackling infectious diseases.
Natural Disaster Management
14. The Ministers reiterated their support to the implementation of One ASEAN, One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region. They also expressed support for implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2016-2020 as well as to strengthening the capacity of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) as the primary ASEAN regional coordinating agency on disaster management and emergency response.
15. The Ministers encouraged strengthening of engagement between the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) and the national disaster management authorities of non-ASEAN EAS participating countries through the participation in ASEAN-led activities/projects including the ASEAN Regional Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise and the annual ASEAN Strategic Policy Dialogue on Disaster Management.
16. The Ministers emphasised the importance of effective implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 in enhancing regional connectivity. They reaffirmed the need to create greater synergies amongst key connectivity strategies in the region, and to promote sustainable, quality infrastructure in accordance with international standards in East Asia to facilitate trade, investment and service competitiveness in the region. Acknowledging the importance of resource mobilisation to implement infrastructure projects, the Ministers expressed support to the Initial Rolling Priority Pipeline of Potential ASEAN Infrastructure Projects.
17. The Ministers also encouraged further cooperation and engagement between the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC) and the non-ASEAN EAS participating countries to advance the implementation of MPAC 2025 in its five Strategic Areas of: (i) sustainable infrastructure, (ii) digital innovation; (iii) seamless logistics; (iv) regulatory excellence and; (v) people mobility, including through the ASEAN Connectivity Symposium and ACCC Consultations with Dialogue Partners (DPs) and Other External Partners (OEPs) on Connectivity. The Ministers looked forward to the forthcoming 10th ASEAN Connectivity Symposium and the ACCC Consultations with DPs and OEPs on Connectivity to be held on 27-28 August 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, respectively.
Economic Cooperation and Trade
18. The Ministers reaffirmed EAS Leaders’ commitment to keep markets open, inclusive and competitive through the rules-based multilateral trading system as well as improving transparency and predictability of the business environment. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of strengthening economic relations among the EAS participating countries and ASEAN’s central role in the emerging regional economic architecture. They encouraged increased dialogue on the common economic challenges facing EAS participating countries to further strengthen regional economic integration in the region. The Ministers took note of the 7th Meeting of the Senior Economic Officials’-EAS (SEOM-EAS) Consultations held on 10 July 2018 and the 6th EAS Economic Ministers’ Meeting held on 1 September 2018 in Singapore, the 8th SEOM-EAS Consultations held on 17 July 2019 in Bangkok, and looked forward to the 7th EAS Economic Ministers’ Meeting to be held in September 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.
19. The Ministers were encouraged by the continued expansion of trade and investment among EAS countries and noted the need for greater certainty and supportive policies to sustain this momentum. They acknowledged the intensified efforts to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations by the end of this year to create a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial RCEP agreement.
20. The Ministers commended ERIA’s contributions to deepening research on economic integration, narrowing the development gap, achieving sustainable development, and strengthening regional health care and welfare system in ASEAN and East Asia, and encouraged ERIA to continue providing targeted high-quality research on topics that highlight and address the challenges facing the region.
21. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to implement the 2013 EAS Declaration on Food Security and stressed the need to further enhance food security and nutrition through sustainable use, growth, and management of land, forest, water, and aquatic resources towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They expressed their support for the work of ASEAN in particular through the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF), and encouraged the EAS participating countries to further enhance cooperation in this area in line with action lines identified in the Manila Plan of Action.
22. The Ministers expressed their support for strengthening maritime cooperation among the EAS participating countries in line with the 2015 EAS Statement on Enhancing Regional Maritime Cooperation and the Manila Plan of Action, including through ASEAN- led mechanisms such as Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM), and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus).
23. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the convening of the EAS International Forum on the Prevention and Treatment of Micro-plastics on 8 July 2018 in Guiyang, China; the EAS Workshop on Connectivity of Ships, Ports and People on 26 July 2018 in Ningbo, China; the EAS Workshop on Maritime Search and Rescue on 25-26 October 2018, co–chaired by China and Thailand in Shanghai, China; and, the EAS Seminar on Maritime Security and International Law, co-hosted by Malaysia and Australia, on 11-13 February 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They also looked forward to the 4th EAS Conference on Maritime Security Cooperation in the first quarter of 2020 in India and the EAS Workshop on Maritime Cooperation: Sustainable and Responsible Fisheries Management to be convened in the fourth quarter of 2019 in the Philippines.
24. The Ministers took note of the 6th EAMF held on 7 December 2018 in Manila, Philippines, and looked forward to the 7th EAMF in 2019 in Viet Nam.
25. The Ministers stressed the growing importance of security of and in the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), and reaffirmed the need to enhance cooperation to promote an open, secure, stable, accessible, resilient and peaceful ICT environment and prevent conflict and crisis by developing trust and confidence between states and by capacity building. The Ministers encouraged the EAS participating countries to further enhance cooperation in this area in line with the 2015 EAS Leaders’ Statement on Issues Related to Security of and in the Use of Information and Communications Technologies and 2018 EAS Leaders’ Statement on Deepening Cooperation in the Security of Information and Communications Technologies and of the Digital Economy and looked forward to the EAS capacity building workshop on this issue to be co-hosted by Australia and Singapore in early 2020.
26. The Ministers acknowledged that the discussion on traditional and non-traditional security issues have been increasingly featured in the EAS. In this regard, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment in implementing the related EAS Leaders’ Statements and Declarations.
27. The Ministers discussed the complex situation in Rakhine State, noted the briefing by Myanmar, and expressed support for an enhanced and visible ASEAN role in supporting Myanmar in addressing the humanitarian situation, the repatriation process and sustainable development of Rakhine State. They underscored the importance of the repatriation process, to facilitate the voluntary return of displaced persons in a safe, secure and dignified manner. They stressed the need to find a comprehensive and durable solution to address the root causes of the conflict and to create a conducive environment so that the affected communities in Rakhine State can rebuild their lives.
Regional and International Issues
28. The Ministers stressed the importance of continued peaceful dialogue amongst all parties concerned in order to realising lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula. They welcomed the efforts by the Republic of Korea (ROK), the United States, Russia, and China to establish a sustainable dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). The Ministers welcomed the meeting between United States (US) President Donald Trump and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un on 30 June 2019 at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on the Korean Peninsula and looked forward to resumption of negotiations. They also urged the DPRK to fulfill its stated commitment to complete denuclearisation and its pledge to refrain from further nuclear and missile tests. The Ministers urged all parties concerned to continue or to resume peaceful dialogue and work together towards progress in the realisation of lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula, including through the full and expeditious implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration, the Joint Statement by the US and DPRK Leaders, and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration. They reiterated their commitment to the full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions by all UN members and international efforts to bring about the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. Some Ministers emphasised the importance of addressing issues of humanitarian concerns of the international community, including the resolution of the abductions issue.
South China Sea
29. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea and recognised the benefits of having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity. The Ministers underscored the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety. They warmly welcomed the continued improving cooperation between ASEAN and China, and were encouraged by the progress of the substantive negotiations towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) within a mutually-agreed timeline. They welcomed the completion of the first reading of the Single Draft COC Negotiating Text ahead of schedule this year.
The Ministers emphasised the need to maintain an environment conducive to the COC negotiations, and thus welcomed practical measures that could reduce tensions and the risk of accidents, misunderstandings and miscalculation. The Ministers stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures to enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties; and they reaffirmed the importance of upholding international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.
30. The Ministers discussed the matters relating to the South China Sea and took note of some concerns on the land reclamations and activities in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region. They reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation, and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. The Ministers emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states, including those mentioned in the DOC that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the South China Sea.
Countering Violent Extremism, Radicalisation and Terrorism
31. The Ministers condemned recent terrorist attacks in various countries and reaffirmed their commitment to combat violent extremism, radicalisation and terrorism. They stressed the importance of strengthening EAS cooperation to address these threats in a comprehensive manner and is in line with the implementation of the 2017 EAS Leaders’ Statement on Countering Ideological Challenges of Terrorism and Terrorist Narratives and Propaganda, the 2017 EAS Leaders’ Declaration on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism and the 2018 EAS Leaders’ Statement on Countering the Threat of Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Returnees.
Enduring Regional Architecture
32. The Ministers reiterated their support for ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture and noted with appreciation the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, based on the principles of strengthening ASEAN centrality, openness, transparency, inclusivity, a rules-based framework, good governance, respect for sovereignty, non-intervention, complementarity with existing cooperation frameworks, equality, mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefit, and respect for international law, and the principles as contained in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. They recognised that the Outlook will serve as a guide for ASEAN engagement in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions to contribute to peace, stability, freedom and prosperity. The Ministers expressed their interest to work with ASEAN to promote engagement and mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas identified in the Outlook, through existing ASEAN-led platforms and to explore cooperation in areas of mutual interest with other regional mechanisms as appropriate.
33. The Ministers noted the following proposals for outcome documents of the 14th EAS: the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Cooperation to Combat Transnational Crime proposed by Australia; the EAS Leaders’ Declaration on Combatting the Spread of Illicit Drugs proposed by the United States; and the EAS Leaders’ Statement on Partnership for Sustainability proposed by Thailand. The Ministers also noted that these statements are being negotiated by the EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta.
34. The Ministers discussed the preparations for the upcoming 14th East Asia Summit to be held on 4 November 2019 in Thailand.
35. The Ministers looked forward to the convening of the 10th EAS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to be held in Viet Nam in 2020.
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