ASEAN summit summarized as productive: chairman

2014-05-12 12:00:00

Myanmar President U Thein Sein, who is Chairman of the 24th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), issued an 84-point statement here Monday, summarizing the just-concluded summit in Nay Pyi Taw and calling it productive.

The Myanmar chairmanship's theme was "Moving forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community".

The summit focused on the timely realization of the ASEAN Community by 2015, strengthening ASEAN Institutions and envisioning a strategic direction for the ASEAN Community post- 2015.

Views were also exchanged on regional and international issues and discussions were made on ways to further deepen and strengthen ASEAN's external relations.

ASEAN leaders underscored the importance of ASEAN unity as a foundation for all efforts in promoting regional peace, stability and enhancing economic development.

ASEAN leaders reiterated their commitment to a rules-based community which would guarantee peace, security and stability throughout the region.

In pursuit of ASEAN's goals and objectives in the political and security field, the leaders were committed to forging harmonious and shared values and norms among ASEAN member states, underscoring the importance of taking a holistic approach to comprehensive security through shared responsibility.

ASEAN leaders reaffirmed their pledge to strengthen democracy, enhance good governance and the rule of law and to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms by adhering to the principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes and noninterference in internal affairs as reflected in the ASEAN Charter, which are in line with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international law to complement global efforts for international peace and security.

The ASEAN leaders stressed the importance of continuing to strengthen cooperation under the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Declaration on Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality(ZOPFAN), and the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ).

The ASEAN leaders reiterated commitment to a Southeast Asian region free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, as stated in the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear- Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) and the ASEAN Charter, expressing hope for the early accession of all nuclear-weapon states to the Protocol to the SEANWFZ without reservation.

Sharing the common view that despite widespread opportunities for the region, numerous challenges also existed, the ASEAN leaders agreed to continually look forward, planning for future issues, welcoming Indonesia's efforts to propose a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in the wider Indo-Pacific region.

Satisfied with the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Charter, in providing the legal status and institutional framework for ASEAN since its adoption in 2007, the ASEAN leaders urged member states for the timely ratification of all outstanding legal instruments.

The ASEAN leaders reiterated their strong belief that peace, stability and equitable economic growth within ASEAN would enable regional peoples to enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration ( AHRD) and the Phnom Penh Statement on the Adoption of the AHRD.

To effectively tackle the challenges of non-traditional security threats, including cyber-crime; space security; terrorism; piracy and armed robbery against ships, transnational crime, including drug trafficking, human trafficking and illegal arms trafficking, the ASEAN leaders tasked respective ministers to enhance inter-agency and cross-sectoral coordination within ASEAN as well as with external partners, to improve resilience and enhance capacity to tackle these emerging transnational issues.

The ASEAN leaders emphasized the importance of military to military cooperation to build mutual trust and confidence.

The ASEAN leaders welcomed Vietnam's offer to host the 5th ASEAN Maritime Forum and the 3rd Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum from Aug. 26 to 28 in Da Nang.

Looking forward to the convening of the ASEAN Plus Three forum on good governance on Sept. 25 in Myanmar, ASEAN leaders expressed the belief that the forum would contribute to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of public administration, enhancing institutional capacity within the ASEAN Community and increasing the independence and transparency of judicial and legislative systems in the region.

On efforts to operationalize the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation(AIPR), ASEAN leaders urged the AIPR to work towards fulfilling its role to provide ASEAN as well as regional and global partners with recommendations, research and analysis in the areas of peace, conflict management and conflict resolution.

Welcoming the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) as a regional center of excellence in addressing explosive remnants of war (ERW), ASEAN leaders urged the ARMAC to play a pivotal role in capacity building for interested ASEAN member states and to facilitate cooperation with international and regional institutions.

The ASEAN leaders welcome the convening of the interface meeting with representatives of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) which contributes to the ASEAN community building process, looking forward to the outcomes of the 35th AIPA to be held from Sept. 14 to 20, 2014 in Vientiane, Laos.

ASEAN leaders welcome the efforts of ASEAN member states to strengthen customs and cross-border cooperation to expedite trade transactions and looked forward to the timely operationalization of the ASEAN Customs Transit System, reaffirming their commitment to the free flow of goods in the region and welcoming progress towards establishing the ASEAN Single Window (ASW).

ASEAN leaders also welcomed the launch of the Invest ASEAN website, which would serve as the main platform for information on investing in the region and ASEAN's initiatives in this area.

ASEAN leaders looked forward to the commencement of negotiations on the ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA) and the early signing of the Protocol to Implement the Sixth Package of Financial Services Commitments under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS).

To support the competitive position of ASEAN agricultural products in international markets, ASEAN leaders stressed the need to focus on developing and applying quality management systems, reaffirming their commitment to promote cooperation and technology transfer amongst ASEAN Member States, as well as with dialogue partners, international organizations and the private sector.

ASEAN leaders agreed to promote a common and unified position to ensure sustainable food security and nutrition in the region..

Reaffirming the importance of joint ASEAN efforts in responding to the impacts of climate change, ASEAN leaders agreed to apply Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), which would contribute to regional food security and maintaining environmental protection.

ASEAN leaders welcomed the establishment of a task force to develop the post-2015 vision for ASEAN transport cooperation.

To strengthen ASEAN's competitiveness and enhance connectivity in the region, ASEAN leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment to developing an efficient, secure, sustainable and integrated transport network including completion of the ASEAN Highway Network (AHN), Singapore-Kunming Rail Link (SKRL), ASEAN Single Aviation Market (ASAM) and the ASEAN Single Shipping Market (ASSM) initiatives.

ASEAN leaders look forward to the establishment of a regional secretariat to facilitate the implementation of the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) for tourism professionals in Indonesia in 2015.

ASEAN leaders welcome the implementation of ASEAN plus one FTAs, particularly the substantial conclusion of the Trade in Services and Investment Chapters of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and looked forward to the signing of the ASEAN-India Trade in Services and Investment Agreement and the signing of the ASEAN-India Agreement on Services and Investment ( AIASA).

ASEAN encouraged continued effort to enhance the implementation of the ASEAN-China, ASEAN-S.Korea and ASEAN-Australia-NewZealand FTAs. While recognizing the opportunities in forging an economic partnership with Hong Kong, the ASEAN leaders also welcomed the commencement of the ASEAN-Hong Kong negotiations in July this year.

The Summit was attended by the heads of state/government of ASEAN member states and the secretary-general of ASEAN with Thailand represented by the deputy prime minister of its caretaker government.