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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     21-22 November  2011


Summit concludes, Cambodia in Chair for 2012

The 19th ASEAN Summit concluded on 19 November 2011 in Bali (Saturday) with the region's leaders reiterating their commitment to building a strong Southeast Asian Community.

Host Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in his closing speech the results of the 19th ASEAN Summit had underscored the closeness of the ASEAN region.

He said the region was taking important steps to building an ASEAN Community of solidarity and strength by 2015.

Yudhoyono stressed that the ASEAN community's importance in the world had grown considerably in recent years.

During the summit in Indonesia, this year's chair, ASEAN leaders stressed their determination to implement on schedule the process to build the ASEAN Community.

ASEAN leaders also stressed their commitment to the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, which they said was crucial to consolidating the ASEAN Community by 2015.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked ASEAN to continue boosting co-operation and investment in such fields as narrowing the development gap, promoting security, energy and food security, dealing with emerging challenges such as climate change, maritime security, environmental protection and the sustainable use of water sources.

Dung stressed that ASEAN needed to uphold its pro-active role in building co-operation frameworks and standards of conducts in the region for peace.

At the summit, the Indonesian President transferred the chairmanship of the bloc to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Also held were the 4th ASEAN-UN Summit, the 9th ASEAN-India Summit and the 6th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Bali on Saturday.

At the 4th ASEAN-UN Summit, ASEAN leaders and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reviewed the implementation of the decisions made at the previous summit, which took place in Ha Noi in October 2010.

ASEAN leaders spoke highly of the UN's support for the building of the ASEAN community and their commitment to meeting millennium development goals (MDGs), strengthening regional connectivity, narrowing development gaps and boosting the development of sub-regions, especially the Mekong sub-region and improving the capacity to cope with climate change and natural disasters, reduce poverty and prevent diseases as well as the sustainable exploitation of water resources.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he highly valued ASEAN countries' achievements in implementing the MDGs as well as the bloc's important contribution to peace, co-operation and development in the region.

At the end of the summit, the two sides issued the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership.

On political-security co-operation, the two sides agreed to strengthening co-operation in building the ASEAN Community and implementing the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, while building peace and security in Southeast Asia and promoting democracy and human rights.

On economic co-operation, the joint declaration stated the two sides would boost co-operation on the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity and the IAI.

The two sides will focus on raising ASEAN's capacity in responding to financial-economic crises and improving member economies' dynamism and sustainable growth. They will step up co-operation in addressing energy and food security issues in combination with the effective management of natural resources.

They also agreed to speed up the implementation of the MDGs in ASEAN with the close collaboration of the UN and developed countries.

On socio-cultural co-operation, the two sides agreed to expand co-operation in community building and human development, and promoting human health, culture and social welfare. They will join hands in dealing with global climate change and managing natural disasters.

At the ASEAN-India Summit, ASEAN and Indian leaders appreciated the results of the implementation of the 2011-2015 Plan of Action, the 2011-2012 Working Programme and the Goods Trading Agreement between the two sides.

The two sides agreed to upgrade their strategic partnership, speed up negotiation for an agreement on service trading and investment, and boost co-operation in science and technology, agriculture, and pharmaceuticals as well as in non-traditional security issues such as disaster prevention, climate change, maritime security and transnational crimes.

ASEAN countries value India's "Look East" policy and the country's support for ASEAN in building the community, strengthening connectivity, and improving its central role in the region.

The two sides agreed to jointly organise activities marking the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-India dialogue relations in 2012.
ASEAN and India should boost connectivity in transport, information technology and energy as well as promoting people-to-people exchanges and co-operation in science and technology, Vietnamese PM, Nguyen Tan Dung said.

He said the Vietnamese Government valued India's initiative on setting up the ASEAN-India Network on Climate Change and applauded the launch of the ASEAN-India Green Fund to back co-operation projects in this field.

He suggested the two sides work on their strategic partnership and organise activities to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ASEAN-India dialogue, including the organisation of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi in 2012.

At the 6th East Asian Summit, the EAS countries welcomed the participation for the first time of the US and Russia. They agreed that in the new context, EAS continued to be a forum for the leaders to exchange opinions on issues of strategic importance relating to peace, security and development in the region, including maritime safety, response to natural disasters and prevention of pirates and transnational crimes.

The leaders said that EAS should continue boosting co-operation in defined areas of priority such as economics, energy and natural disaster-prevention, as well as supporting the implementation of ASEAN connectivity, thus strengthening and expanding connections in the whole region.

They affirmed that EAS would continue to be an important component of the evolving regional architecture with ASEAN playing the central role. They emphasised the need to strengthen co-ordination and mutual support among existing regional mechanisms, including the EAS, ASEAN+3, the ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting Plus (ADMM+) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) for regional peace, stability and development.

The leaders stressed that EAS should actively contribute to consolidating and strengthening peace, stability and development co-operation in the region, including maritime security and safety, on the basis of respecting international laws, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), as well as the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Dung said EAS had developed dynamically and become an important and indispensable part of East Asian co-operation.

As peace, stability, security and development were common objectives and interests of all regional countries, the EAS should further promote its role in building standards and codes of conduct in the region besides bringing into full play existing tools, firstly the EAS Declaration on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations to be adopted at this summit, he said.

At the end of the summit, the leaders adopted the EAS Declaration on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations.


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