Chairman’s Statement of the 11th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

1. The 11th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN and the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea was held in Ha Noi on 21 July 2010. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. Pham Gia Khiem, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.

2. The Ministers noted with pleasure the significant progress achieved so far in ASEAN Plus Three cooperation and in the implementation of the 2nd Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation and the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan (2007-2017). They stressed the need for further strengthening policy coordination and sustaining economic growth in the region.

3. The Ministers noted with appreciation the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Sustained Recovery and Development issued at the 16th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi on 9 April 2010, ASEAN’s initiative to develop a Master Plan on ASEAN connectivity, and ASEAN’s continuous effort to explore effective financing instruments and policies, including a possible ASEAN Infrastructure Development Fund, which would contribute to developing East Asia into a region of enhanced connectivity and dynamic growth.

4. The Ministers noted with satisfaction recent developments in the ASEAN Plus Three financial cooperation. They welcomed the realisation of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) on 24 March 2010 and noted the on-going preparation for the ASEAN Plus Three Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO). They also welcomed the agreement of the 13th ASEAN Plus Three Finance Ministers’ Meeting on 2 May 2010 to endorse the establishment of ASEAN Plus Three Bond Market Forum (ABMF) and the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF) and hoped for the CGIF’s operationalisation before the end of 2010.

5. The Ministers welcomed the contribution of US$ 3 million by the ASEAN Plus Three countries in the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Fund (APTCF) and looked forward to the increasing number of projects to be proposed by the ASEAN Plus Three countries for funding by the APTCF.

6. The Ministers recognised the rapidly expanding ASEAN Plus Three economic cooperation activities, particularly the realisation of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) on 17 May 2010, the establishment of ASEAN-China Free Trade Area on 1 January 2010 and other efforts to liberalize trade among ASEAN Plus Three countries, including studies on the East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia (CEPEA).

7. The Ministers were pleased at the achievements recorded in ASEAN Plus Three cooperation on other areas, particularly labour, culture and arts, tourism. They noted that two new areas, namely, information and education, have been added to ASEAN Plus Three cooperation. They welcomed the Inaugural Meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three Ministers Responsible for Information (AMRI+3) on 6 November 2009 in Vientiane, Lao PDR which explored ways and discussed mechanisms of ASEAN Plus Three cooperation in information .

8. They also appreciated Thailand’s efforts to initiate the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation on education and looked forward to the convening of the 1st ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials’ Meeting on Education (SOM-ED+3) in November 2010 in Thailand to consider a draft ASEAN Plus Three Plan of Action on Education.

9. The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of ensuring food and energy security in the region. In this regard, they welcomed the efforts to create the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) as a permanent mechanism to ensure food security in the region and the intention to develop a comprehensive strategy on sustainable and integrated food and bio-fuels production and consumption.

10. The Ministers expressed their commitment to work closely together towards a positive outcome at COP-16/CMP-6 to be held in Mexico in December 2010. In this regard, they welcomed the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on Joint Response to Climate Change on 9 April 2010 as well as Viet Nam’s initiative to convene an East Asia Forum on Climate Change. They encouraged enhanced regional and sub-regional cooperation including in the Greater Mekong Sub-region and the Mekong River Commission (MRC).

11. The Ministers reaffirmed the need to strengthen cooperation in addressing threats of disease outbreaks and were satisfied with the successful completion of the ASEAN Plus Three Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) Programme Phase II and looked forward to the commencement of the next phase of cooperation with active participation of ASEAN Plus Three countries. The Ministers welcomed ASEAN’s efforts to develop an ASEAN Roadmap on Control of Avian Influenza to ensure the attainment of HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza)-free ASEAN by 2020.

12. The Ministers noted new proposals for cooperation in the ASEAN Plus Three framework which, among others, includes cooperation in food safety and standards, water management, deforestation prevention and reforestation, disaster management, including the “ASEAN Plus Three International Conference on Disaster Management” to be held in August 2010 in Tokyo.

13. The Ministers reaffirmed that the ASEAN Plus Three process would continue as one of the main vehicles towards the long-term goal of building an East Asian community with ASEAN as the driving force. At the same time, the Ministers reaffirmed their support for ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture and recognised the mutually reinforcing and complementary roles of the ASEAN Plus Three process and such regional fora as EAS, ARF and APEC to promote East Asian community building.

14. On regional and international issues of common concern, the Ministers noted that despite downside risks to the global recovery from an unprecedented international financial crisis, the East Asian economies are among the first to rebound soundly, and have become one of the key drivers of the global economic recovery. They reiterated the commitment to accelerating and deepening economic structural reforms, promoting domestic demand and employment, resisting protectionism and further promoting trade and investment for the recovery and long-term prosperity of the world economy.

15. The Ministers recognised the importance of issues discussed in the G-20 process in pursuit of strong, sustainable and balanced growth. In this regard, they welcomed the chairmanship of the Republic of Korea in the G-20 Summit in Seoul this November and reiterated their support for the ASEAN Chairman to participate at the forthcoming Seoul G-20 Summit and for the continued participation of the ASEAN Chairman in the future G-20 Summits on regular basis.

16. The Ministers deplored the sinking of the Cheonan ship of the Republic of Korea on 26 March 2010, resulting in the tragic loss of lives. They extended their deep sympathy and condolences to the people and Government of the ROK and welcomed the restraint shown by the ROK. In this connection, they expressed support for the 9 July 2010 United Nations Security Council Presidential Statement, which included the Council’s condemnation of the attack which led to the sinking of the Cheonan ship.

17. The Ministers stressed the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the region, and called on the concerned parties to resolve all disputes by peaceful means. They reaffirmed their support for the complete and verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and encouraged the parties to return to the Six Party Talks in due course. They stressed the need to fully implement the relevant resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. They also emphasised the importance of addressing the issue of humanitarian concerns of the international community.

18. The Ministers looked forward to their next meeting in Indonesia in 2011.

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Post Ministerial Conferences between ASEAN and Dialogue Partners (PMCs+1)

ASEAN today hold a series of Post Ministerial Conferences in Ha Noi with 10 Dialogue Partners, namely China, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, EU, the US and Canada. These meetings serve as crucial preparatory steps for the upcoming Related Summits between ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners in the second half of the year. As usual practice, at these Meetings, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers and their counterparts reviewed relationships in the past year and set forth ways and means to promote future cooperation. The main Agendas of these Meetings include:

1. Strengthening effective, substantive and comprehensive cooperation between ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners: from assistance to ASEAN in realising its community-building goal and promoting connectivity to addressing the emerging challenges such as climate change, natural disasters, epidemics, maritime security… At these Meetings, ASEAN adopted Plans of Action in the new period with some Dialogue Partners namely India, Canada and New Zealand.

2. Preparing for the important Related Summits which shall be held at the end of the year, including the annual Summits between ASEAN and China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and India as well as those special Summits with Russia, the US, the United Nations, Australia and New Zealand. The Ministers agreed in principle on the agenda, priorities and documents for these Summits.

3. Exchanging views on strengthening regional cooperation, including the possibility of wider participation and deeper engagement of Dialogue Partners in the process of shaping the regional architecture. The Dialogue Partners reaffirmed their support for ASEAN’s central role in the region and shared ASEAN’s common vision of a future regional architecture that will be multi-level, mutually-supportive, and being built upon existing mechanisms.

ASEAN welcomed Russia and the U.S’s expressed interest in engaging deeper with the evolving regional architecture, including the participation in the EAS as members, with appropriate arrangement and timing.

Following are the salient features of these Meetings:

At the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with China

The Meeting was chaired by H.E Dr. Pham Gia Khiem, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam, as Country Coordinator of the ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations. On future direction for cooperation, ASEAN and China agreed to: i) hasten the drafting of a new Plan of Action to Implement the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership for Peace and Prosperity for the period of 2011-2015 to be submitted to the 13th ASEAN-China Summit for adoption.; ii) realize the initiatives for ASEAN-China cooperation, including infrastructure, energy, ICT... as well as the use of China-assisted funds namely the China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund worth US$ 10 billion and the Credit Fund for Commercial Exchange of US$ 15 billion; iii) enhancing cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity in the region, including cooperation within the framework of ASEAN+3, EAS, ARF and in implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC); iv) recommend the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations throughout the year of 2011.

At the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with Russia

The Ministers welcomed good progress in implementing the ASEAN - Russia Comprehensive Program of Action to Promote Cooperation for 2005-2015; discussed preparations for the 2nd ASEAN-Russia Summit hat will be held later in the year, including recommendation for a draft Statement, convening of the Russia-ASEAN Business Forum; the ASEAN-Russia Cultural Cooperation Agreement; discussed and agreed on specific activities in preparations for the Commemoration of the 15th Anniversary of ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Relations, including the holding of Days of Russian Culture in ASEAN Member Countries.

At the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with the United States of America

To further implement the decisions of the 1st ASEAN-US Leaders’ Meeting in 2009 and prepare for the 2nd ASEAN-US Leaders’ Meeting in 2010, the two sides agreed to finalise a Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-US Partnership for the new period of 2011-2015; strengthening cooperation in areas of mutual interest, particularly economic, trade and investment cooperation, science and technology, education as well as in addressing emerging challenges like epidemics, energy security, disaster management, climate change… ASEAN welcomed the establishment of a US Mission to ASEAN in Jakarta. ASEAN and the US agreed to work closely toward the convening of the 2nd ASEAN-US Leaders’ Meeting to be held later in the year.

At the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with Japan

ASEAN welcomed Japan’s proposal to further promote the cooperation between ASEAN and Japan toward economic growth through enhancing ASEAN connectivity within the framework of “ASEAN-Japan Partnership for New Growth in Asia”. Japan reaffirmed its continued support to ASEAN Community building efforts, including narrowing development gap through contribution to the ASEAN-Japan Integration Fund; and offered to provide 800 million Yen assisting the implementation of the Master plan on ASEAN Connectivity. ASEAN and Japan committed for the early entry into force and effective implementation of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP).

At the ASEAN Post Ministerial Meeting with Republic of Korea(ROK)

ASEAN and the ROK agreed to work closely for the effective implementation of ASEAN-ROK FTA agreement with a view to increasing two-way trade volume to US$ 150 billion by 2015. The Ministers agreed to submit the proposal to elevate the ASEAN-ROK Dialogue Relations to Strategic Partnership, and a draft Joint Declaration on ASEAN-ROK Strategic Partnership to the Leaders at the forthcoming ASEAN-ROK Summit in Ha Noi later this year.

ASEAN expressed its appreciation to the ROK for inviting Viet Nam, as the Chair of ASEAN, to attend the G-20 Summit in Seoul this November. On this occasion, ASEAN extended deep sympathy and condolences to the Government and people of the ROK for the loss of lives resulting from the sinking of the Cheonan ship; called on all parties concerned to exercise utmost self-restraint and resolve all differences by peaceful means.

At the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with India

The two sides adopted the Plan of Action to implement the ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Prosperity for 2010-2015; agreed to strengthen cooperation in trade-economics, science and technology, ICT, environment as well as in response to challenges like terrorism, trans national crimes. The Ministers tasked their officials to initiate projects to be sponsored under the ASEAN-India Green Fund and the ASEAN-India Science and Technology Development Fund. The two sides discussed preparations for the 20th Anniversary of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Relationship in 2012.

ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with Australia

The two sides emphasized on the significance and importance of effectively implementing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA) which entered into force early this year; agreed to accelerate the implementation of the Plan of Action to realise the ASEAN-Australia Enhanced Partnership with focus on areas of education, trade and investment, transport, sustainable use of resources, disaster management, culture, people-to-people exchange etc. ASEAN and Australia agreed to convene an ASEAN-Australia Summit on the sideline of the 17th ASEAN Summit in the second half of 2010 to give strong impetus to the Dialogue relations.

ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with New Zealand

The Ministers adopted the ASEAN-New Zealand Joint Declaration on Enhanced Partnership for 2010-2015; focusing on cooperation in education, culture and people-to-people exchange. ASEAN welcomed New Zealand’s new proposals for cooperation, including a $ 54 million support for ASEAN students to be trained in New Zealand in the next 3 years. The two sides appreciated the significance and importance of effectively carrying out the AANZFTA which entered into force at the begining of this year. ASEAN and New Zealand agreed to convene the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit back-to-back with the 17th ASEAN Summit in Ha Noi.

ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with Canada

The Ministers adopted the Plan of Action to implement the Declaration on ASEAN-Canada Enhanced Partnership for 2011-2015; agreed to work toward an ASEAN-Canada Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to enhance trade and investment relations. ASEAN welcomed Canada’s signing of the Instrument of Accession to the TAC, which marks another significant progress in the Dialogue relationship, as well as Canada’s commitment to peace, stability and cooperation in the region.

At the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conference with the EU

ASEAN and the EU agreed to promote the implementation of programmes and activities to realise the ASEAN-EU Enhanced Partnership; especially boosting region-to-region economic cooperation.

ASEAN appreciated EU’s determination to accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia and informed the EU of the signing of the 3rd Protocol amending the TAC to be held on 23 July which would pave the way for the EU’s accession to the TAC at an early stage.

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The 17th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)

Ha Noi, 23 July 2010

The 17th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the last Ministerial Meeting within the framework of the 43rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and Related Meetings took place today in Ha Noi, on 23 July, under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam, H.E Dr. Pham Gia Khiem. The Meeting, comprising of a Retreat session and a Plenary session, was attended by Foreign Ministers and Representatives of Foreign Ministers and Heads of Delegations of 27 ARF participants. Earlier, the ASEAN Regional Forum Defence Officials’ Dialogue (DOD) was held on 22 July in Ha Noi.

As usual practice of the Forum, the Ministers exchanged views on international and regional issues of common interest, reviewed the process of cooperation in the past year and mapped out future direction of the Forum for the years to come.

The Ministers emphasized that peace, stability and cooperation for development remain the shared goal and aspiration of countries in the region. They reiterated commitment to work closely toward that end. They welcomed the positive developments in ASEAN’s Community building and regional integration, especially the important decisions made at the last 16th ASEAN Summit. The ARF Participants reiterated their support for ASEAN to continue playing an important role in promoting cooperation and dialogue for confidence building in the region; stressing the importance of bringing into full play ASEAN’s established mechanisms and instruments for peace and regional stability, namely the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ), Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

Sharing views on the shaping of the regional architecture, the ARF Participants expressed their support for ASEAN’s centrality; welcomed ASEAN’s efforts in encouraging and promoting deeper engagement of Dialogue Partners with the regional cooperation process, including the participation of Russia and the US in the EAS with appropriate times and arrangements. The Ministers hailed the convening of the first ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Plus with Eight Dialogue Partners in 2010 which underscored the importance of the envisaged ADMM Plus complementing the work of the ARF.

On regional situation, the Ministers expressed deep concern over the sinking of the Republic of Korea’s naval ship, the Cheonan, on 26 March 2010; extended condolences to the Government of the Republic of Korea for the loss of lives in the incident; called on all concerned parties to exercise self-restraint and resolve all disputes by peaceful means. They also encouraged the parties to return to the Six-party talks with a view to achieving the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula for its lasting peace and stability.

The Ministers were briefed by Myanmar on recent political developments in the country, including the progress made in the implementation of the Roadmap for Democracy, especially preparations for the general upcoming election. The Ministers reiterated the importance of holding the general election in a free, fair, and inclusive manner which would lay the foundation for the long term stability and development of Myanmar. The Participants reaffirmed their commitment to remain constructively engaged with Myanmar. The Ministers also extended their support to Myanmar to work with ASEAN and the United Nations in the process of national reconciliation as well as the economic and social development of Myanmar.

The Ministers stressed the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability in the South China Sea; reaffirmed their support for the effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), towards the eventual conclusion of a Regional Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in the future. They called on strengthening dialogue, promoting confidence building among concerned parties, as well as resolving disputes by peaceful means in conformity with the spirit of the DOC and recognised principles of international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

On future direction of the ARF process, the Ministers reaffirmed that ARF remains the key forum to discuss political and security issues in the region with ASEAN as the driving force, while continuing to be one of the pivotal elements in an evolving regional architecture. The Ministers emphasized the need for ARF to maintain its relevance and become more action-oriented in addressing multi-dimensional challenges, especially the non-traditional security threats that have the direct impact on peace and security in the region such as climate change, disaster, maritime security etc.

In particular, the ARF Participants agreed and adopted the Ha Noi Plan of Action to Implement the ARF Vision Statement, which, among others, contains policy guidance for the ARF to develop and implement concrete and practical actions toward the year 2020.

The Ministers adopted also the List of 17 activities for the next inter-sessional year 2010-2011. All ARF Participants agreed on the need to further promoting cooperation towards preventive diplomacy alongside the conduct of confidence building measures; better improving modalities and strengthening effective ARF’s activities; increasing coordination in sharing information and enhancing policy transparency, cooperating in dealing with non-traditional security challenges; intensifying linkages between Track I and Track II as well as encouraging deeper participation of senior defence officials in this Forum. Accordingly, the Ministers agreed to:

- Adopt the ARF Annual Security Outlook Standardised Format (ASO); task senior officials to draft and finalise the ARF Work Plans on Preventive Diplomacy; Work Plan on Disaster Relief; Work Plan on Counter Terrorism-Transnational Crime and Work Plan on Maritime Security; task senior officials and the ASEAN Secretariat to work on possible ways to strengthen the ARF Unit as part of the ASEAN Secretariat.

On the conclusion 17th ASEAN Regional Forum, the Chair of the Meeting issued a Chairman’s Statement and outcomes of the Forum.
On the same day, ASEAN Foreign Ministers and their counterparts witnessed the Signing Ceremony of the Instrument of Accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) by Canada and Turkey; and signed with the TAC High Contracting Parties the Third Protocol amending TAC to allow for the accession of EU to the Treaty.

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