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PM welcomes historic launch of East Asia Summit

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand

15 December 2005 Media Statement

PM welcomes historic launch of East Asia Summit


Prime Minister Helen Clark welcomed the successful outcome of the first East Asia Summit, in Kuala Lumpur today.

Helen Clark said the Summit marked the beginning of a new and inclusive regional dialogue.

“Today is an historic day for the wider East Asia region. The Summit saw leaders from ASEAN, North Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and India all around the same table to advance our shared interests in regional security and stability,” Helen Clark said.

“The Declaration we signed today marked the beginning of a new and significant regional grouping. Leaders agreed that the East Asia Summit will be held annually.

“We also launched what will be an evolving work programme, covering issues from the prospect of future regional economic integration, meeting the challenges of avian influenza, promoting democracy and good governance, and encouraging inter-faith dialogue.

“New Zealand is in at the beginning of this new regional journey. The spirit of today’s meeting was very positive and leaders made a commitment to working together to help build a strong East Asia community for the benefit of the region.

The East Asia Summit followed the ASEAN / New Zealand / Australia commemorative summit held in Vientiane last November.

“The Vientiane meeting was a one off event. New Zealand’s place in the East Asia Summit is permanent, which is a major development in our relations with the region. We will now be working with our friends and neighbours to shape the future of the region,” Helen Clark said.


ENDS

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