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ASEAN Chairmanís Statement at the 4th East Asia Summit, October 2009

Author: Abhisit Vejjajiva
Published October 25, 2009

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held their 4th summit in October, 2009. This statement was released on the final day by ASEAN chairman Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of Thailand.

  1. The 4th East Asia Summit (EAS) chaired by H.E. Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, was held on 25 October 2009 in Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand. The Summit was attended by the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States, Australia, the Peopleís Republic of China, the Republic of India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand.
  2. We welcomed the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter on 15 December 2008 and the signing of the Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on a Roadmap to an ASEAN Community at the 14th ASEAN Summit on 1 March 2009 and reaffirmed our commitment to support ASEAN community building. We also welcomed the progress made in implementing the ASEAN Charter at the 15th ASEAN Summit on 23 October 2009 in Cha-am Hua Hin, in particular, the establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.
  3. We reaffirmed our support for a peaceful and comprehensive solution on the issues of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the humanitarian concerns of the international community through diplomatic channels and cooperation among all the parties concerned. We reiterated our full support for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks to facilitate long-term peace and stability in the region. We also reaffirmed our commitment to implement the provision of the relevant UNSC resolutions and urged the DPRK to fully comply with them.
  4. We encouraged the Myanmar Government to ensure the implementation of the Seven-Step Roadmap to Democracy. We also encouraged the Myanmar Government to ensure a free, fair and inclusive general election in 2010. We also continued to support the on-going good offices of the United Nations Secretary-General in the democratization process in Myanmar.
  5. We welcomed the outcome of the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh on 24-25 September 2009, in particular the call on a need to continue with stimulus package until recovery is secured, resist protectionism, and reform the international financial system and institutions.
  6. We appreciated the invitation to the ASEAN Chair to the G20 Summits in London and Pittsburgh. As ASEAN represents a vibrant and growing region of more than half a billion people, we supported the continued participation of the ASEAN Chair and the Secretary-General of ASEAN at future G20 Summits. We acknowledged the efforts of the ROK as the Chair of the G20 in 2010 to receive inputs from the EAS participating countries. There was a sense of the meeting that Finance Ministers should meet at an appropriate juncture.
  7. We reaffirmed our commitment to work together to implement the Joint Press Statement of the East Asia Summit on the Global Economic and Financial Crisis issued by Thailand, as the ASEAN Chair and the EAS Coordinator, on behalf of the EAS Leaders on 3 June 2009.
  8. We reiterated our common resolve to accelerate the Doha Round negotiations with the aim of achieving an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Round by 2010.
  9. We were encouraged that the global economy had shown signs of recovery, but were of the view that the EAS participating countries should remain vigilant, in particular, on the trade financing situation and continue to further enhance cooperation in this area. In this connection, we welcomed the convening of the EAS Workshop on Trade Finance in Bangkok on 1-2 October 2009 and appreciated Australiaís offer to host a meeting to follow up on recommendations made at the Workshop. In this regard, we tasked relevant officials, such as finance, trade, EXIM bank and ECA, to develop appropriate trade finance modalities for the EAS. We also welcomed the completion of the first phase of the EAS capacity building program targeted at strengthening the institutional development and function of securities market supervisory agencies in less developed EAS participating countries.
  10. We expressed our commitment to continue to contribute actively in bringing about a successful outcome of the Copenhagen Conference and shared the view that it is important to work closely to ensure that such outcome should incorporate long-term cooperative actions to address climate change in accordance with the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC and the Bali Action Plan, taking into account the principles of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities, and the specific national circumstances of the EAS participating countries. We looked forward to a successful, effective, comprehensive and equitable outcome at the Copenhagen Conference in December 2009.
  11. We appreciated initiatives promoted by the EAS participating countries, such as ďLow Carbon SocietyĒ, ďClean Asia InitiativesĒ and ďEast Asia Climate Change PartnershipĒ as well as activities organized by the EAS participating countries, such as EAS Conference on Livable Cities in June 2008 in Singapore and EAS Seminar on Climate Change Adaptation Capacity Building in October 2008 in China. We also noted the convening of the UN Climate Change Talks on 28 September-9 October 2009 in Thailand and the 2nd EAS Seminar on Capacity Building for Climate Change Adaptation in early 2010 in China. In this regard, we requested Environment Ministers to consider ways to develop EAS cooperation in such areas. We welcomed Vietnamís initiative to establish an East Asia environment education centre in Vietnam as endorsed by the 1st East Asia Environment Ministerial Meeting held in 2008 in Vietnam.
  12. We expressed our condolences for the tragic loss of life in recent natural disasters affecting the region including earthquakes in Indonesia, cyclones in the Philippines and floods in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos. We recognized that there is an urgent need to enhance our cooperation to effectively respond to natural disasters which have increased in frequency and intensity over the last twenty years.
  13. In this connection, we adopted the Cha-am Hua Hin Statement on EAS Disaster Management. We tasked our officials and relevant disaster and management agencies to discuss ways to implement measures recommended in the Statement, including developing integrated preparedness and disaster risk reduction capacities in the region and exploring the possibility of establishing a regional network of disaster response contact points, through existing regional frameworks and mechanisms in ASEAN. We noted with appreciation, Japanís initiative in building a disaster resilient society in East Asia, Australiaís proposals on regional network of disaster response ĎSherpasí and a regional-pooled fund as part of the efforts to enhance regional disaster response coordination. We tasked our relevant officials to draw up standard operating procedures (SOP) for disaster response in the future. We also appreciated Chinaís initiative to hold an International Seminar on the Social Mobilization for Massive Disasters and Formulation of Emergency Laws and Regulations on 28-30 October 2009. We noted the impending entry into force of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response and expressed our support for establishing the ASEAN Disaster Management and Emergency Relief Fund. We reaffirmed the importance of raising skills at the grass root levels to enhance their capability in disaster management.
  14. We recalled our decision at the 2nd EAS in Cebu that education would be one of priority areas for our cooperation. We issued a Joint Press Statement of the 4th EAS on the Revival of the Nalanda University to express our political support to Indiaís effort to revive the Nalanda University located in the State of Bihar. We noted the progress in the implementation of the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths and welcomed Japanís proposal to hold an international conference on promoting cooperation among universities with quality assurance in East Asia. We welcomed Chinaís offer of 2000 government scholarships and 200 MPA scholarships for developing countries in the EAS in the next 5 years and the convening of EAS Forum on Higher Education Cooperation at the end of 2009 of early 2010. We also welcomed Australiaís offer to work with the ASEAN Secretariat on the formation of a task force of senior education officials and the convening of two workshops in Jakarta and another ASEAN capital in 2010. Additionally, we welcomed New Zealandís development of a regional education resource project and its sponsorship, with Indonesia, of the Regional Media Programme.
  15. We reaffirmed our support for the development of alternative sources of energy, especially new and renewable energy sources, such as bio-fuels to reduce our reliance on fossil fuel. We noted the successful convening of EAS Workshop on Bio-fuels on 18-19 June 2008 in Bangkok and the 3rd EAS Energy Ministers Meeting on 29 July 2009 in Myanmar.
  16. We agreed to step up our efforts to deal with the outbreak of the new Influenza A(H1N1) as a new challenge to economic growth and the well-being of our peoples by increasing our collaboration in the fight against this pandemic, including sharing of information, establishing more regional stockpiles of essential medical supplies and assisting one another in acquiring cheaper medicines and pandemic influenza vaccines. Given the growing threat posed by Influenza A(H1N1) and other pandemic diseases, we tasked our health officials to consider ways to address these threats.
  17. We supported the ASEAN Leadersí Statement on ASEAN Connectivity issued on 24 October 2009, and shared a common view that enhanced intra-ASEAN connectivity would benefit the EAS region as a whole. Recognizing that connectivity would help catalyze regional integration, we supported enhanced linkages both within ASEAN, and between ASEAN and its partners in the EAS. In this regard, we supported ASEANís effort to develop an ASEAN Master Plan on regional connectivity and an infrastructure development fund for ASEAN. We appreciated the presentations by the President of Asian Development Bank and the Under Secretary-General of the UN and Executive Secretary of the UN ESCAP on regional development and connectivity and requested these agencies to support ASEANís efforts to enhance regional connectivity.
  18. We received a Statement from the Economic Research Institute from ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) Governing Board Meeting. We appreciated the ERIAís contribution to regional cooperation, by providing useful research and practical policy recommendations. We encouraged ERIA to work with the ADB and the ASEAN Secretariat to accelerate the completion of a ďComprehensive Asia Development PlanĒ in order to enhance the connectivity of the region.
  19. We noted the final Phase II Report of the Track Two Study Group on Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) and welcomed the decision of our Economic Ministers who met in Bangkok on 15 August 2009 to task the Senior Economic Officials to discuss and consider the recommendations in the Phase I and II reports. CEPEA and East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) could be examined and considered in parallel.
  20. We reaffirmed our conviction that the EAS should continue to help build a prosperous and harmonious East Asia with ASEAN as the driving force working in close partnership with other participants of the EAS. We were pleased that the EAS has rapidly developed as a strategic forum and important component of the evolving regional architecture and should play a complementary and mutually reinforcing role with other regional mechanisms, including the ASEAN dialogue process, the ASEAN Plus Three process, the ARF, and APEC in building an East Asian community.
  21. We acknowledged the importance of regional discussions to examine ways to advance the stability and prosperity of the Asia Pacific region. In this connection, we noted with appreciation the following:
    1. the Philippinesís proposal to invite the heads of other regional fora and organizations in Asia-Pacific to future EAS meetings to discuss measures that will protect the region from future economic and financial crisis and strengthen Asia economic cooperation, including through the possible establishment of an economic community of Asia.
    2. Japanís new proposal to reinvigorate the discussion towards building, in the long run, an East Asian community based on the principle of openness, transparency and inclusiveness and functional cooperation.
    3. Australiaís proposal on the Asia Pacific community in which ASEAN will be at its core, will be further discussed at a 1.5 track conference to be organized by Australia in December 2009.
  22. We reaffirmed our commitment to combat people smuggling and trafficking in persons. We stressed the importance of continued bilateral and regional cooperative efforts, including through the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, to address the impact of these and other transnational crimes.
  23. We noted the intention of the Philippines in its capacity as President of the May 2010 NPT Review Conference to undertake wide and transparent consultation with parties to achieve a successful outcome of Conference. We also encouraged those EAS participating countries that have not acceded to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), prior to the NPT Review Conference to consider to do so as it would serve as an impetus for having a successful NPT Review Conference.

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