ASEAN Plus Summits boost group’s ties with partners

November 21, 2012 | 14:06
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ASEAN Plus 1 Summits and the ASEAN Plus 3 Summit held in Phnom Penh on November 19 have defined the orientation for the relations between the regional grouping and its partners, including China, the US, Japan, the Republic of Korea and India.

ASEAN and China spoke highly of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership, and agreed on the need to continue implementing their joint action plan for the 2011-2015 period.

They also laid stress on the importance and the full implementation of agreements within the framework of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area for mutual interests, saying they should make full use of the ASEAN-China Centre in trade and investment promotion.

Both sides agreed to strive for a bilateral trade value of 500 billion USD in 2015 and continue to accelerate 11 prioritised sectors, namely agriculture, information technology, human resources development, Mekong region development, transport, energy, culture, tourism, health and environment.

Leaders of ASEAN and China adopted a joint statement on the 10th anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) at the end of their Summit .

The document affirmed the value and the importance of the full implementation of the DOC to ensure peace, stability, security and maritime safety in the East Sea, the peaceful solution of disputes, on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS) and looking towards the building of a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

Noting the progress in the implementation of joint cooperative projects under the DOC following the conclusion of the guidelines for the implementation of the DOC in July 2011, ASEAN and Chinese leaders reiterated their commitments to the objects and principles as specified in the United Nations Charter, the 1982 UNCLOS, the Treaty on Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence and fundamental principles of international law, which serve as common norms for relations among countries.

The leaders re-affirmed the principle of respect for each other's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity in accordance with international law and the principle of non- interference in the internal affairs of other states.

They agreed to continue to uphold the spirit and principles of the DOC to contribute to the promotion of peace, friendship, mutual trust, confidence and cooperation between and among ASEAN member states and China .

ASEAN and Chinese leaders vowed to continue working together to enhance maritime security and encourage the parties concerned to resolve territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means, without resorting to the threat or use of force, through friendly consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned, in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law.

The summit between ASEAN and Japan reached agreement to continue to implement their action plan to realise the joint declaration on increasing the ASEAN-Japan Partnership for Shared Prosperity as well as the action plan for the 2011-2015 period.

The two sides reached consensus on further raising bilateral trade value (currently at 273 billion USD) and speeding up negotiations on an agreement on trade in services and investment, while expanding the scope of effect of the ASE AN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

They will also strengthen ASEAN-Japan connectivity, implement new cooperation initiatives on transport, green energy, labour, as well as enhance sea cooperation to ensure maritime safety and security on the basis of international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.

Japan affirmed its continued support for the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA), and its involvement in development cooperation in the Mekong region, the sustainable use of Mekong river water resource and the East-West corridor.

Meanwhile, ASEAN and the RoK agreed to continue with the working plan on the implementation of the joint statement on their Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity in the 2011-2013 period and make full use of the ASEAN-RoK free trade agreement.

They will intensify cooperation in the development of sub-regions, education, small- and medium-sized enterprises, migrant workers, coping with emerging challenges, especially climate change and natural disasters, as well as ensuring maritime security and safety in the region on the basis of the 1982 UNCLOS.

The RoK pledged further support with a funding of 10 million USD for ASEAN to implement the Initiative for ASEAN Integration action plan for the 2013-2017 period.

The leaders agreed to designate 2014 the year of ASEAN-RoK exchange.

At the ASEAN Plus 1 Summit between the group and India , the leaders agreed to further an action plan on the implementation of the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity in the 2010-2015 period.

They will strive to increase bilateral trade to 200 billion USD by 2022 and soon conclude negotiations on agreements on trade in services and investment; strengthen cooperation in connectivity and telecommunications to boost linkages between ASEAN and South Asia , and in agro-forestry, human resources and tourism development.

Both sides agreed to increase their coordination and cooperation on issues of regional concerns, including coping with non-traditional security challenges, and ensuring maritime security and safety in the region on the basis of the 1982 UNCLOS.

Within the framework of ASEAN Plus 3 cooperation, leaders of ASEAN, China , RoK and Japan pledged to continue implementing the joint statement on East Asia cooperation and ASEAN+3 working plan for the 2007-2017 period.

They will soon study how to carry out the recommendations of the East-Asian Vision Group (EAVG) II towards building an East Asian community.

They agreed to raise the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation fund to 240 billin USD, develop the ASEAN+3 Marco Economic Research Office, implement the agreement on ASEAN+3 Emergency Rice Reserve as well as the ASEAN Food Security Information System to ensure food security in the region.

The leaders passed a joint statement on the 15 th anniversary of ASEAN+3 cooperation and a declaration on ASEAN+3 partnership for connectivity.

At their summit, ASEAN and the US agreed to go on with the action plan to enhance ASE AN-US partnership for enduring peace and prosperity in the 2011-2015 period.

They also asked for the study of recommendations made in the report of the ASEAN-US Eminent Persons Group in order to lift their ties to the strategic partnership level.

The US affirmed to support ASEAN’s efforts in ensuring peace, stability and security in the region, including peace, security and maritime safety and security in the East Sea .

The US and Mekong lower-region countries affirmed to continue strengthening the Lower Mekong Initiative.

ASEAN and US leaders adopted a joint statement at their fourth summit.


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