Chariman's Statement of 35th ASEAN Summit
CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT OF THE 35 TH ASEAN SUMMIT
BANGKOK/NONTHABURI, 3 NOVEMBER 2019
ADVANCING PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABILITY
1. We, the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member States, gathered in Bangkok for the 35 th ASEAN Summit on 2-3 November 2019. We reiterated the importance of continuity and sustainability in ASEAN Community-building efforts and commit to continue promoting partnership for sustainability, within ASEAN and in ASEAN’s relations with the international community, in order to realise a people-oriented, people-centred ASEAN Community that leaves no one behind and looks to the future.
2. We reaffirmed our commitment to realise ASEAN as a region of lasting peace, security and stability, sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and social progress. We recognised the rapidly changing geostrategic landscape and the need for ASEAN to be increasingly proactive, in order to remain relevant as well as to maintain ASEAN centrality and ASEAN’s role as the primary driving force in the regional architecture.
3. We acknowledged that realising the goals and aspirations of ASEAN integration requires strong partnerships with our Dialogue Partners and other external partners. We therefore underscored the need to continue promoting synergy among the various ASEAN-led mechanisms, including the ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three (APT), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus).
4. We reaffirmed our shared commitment to maintaining and promoting peace, security and stability in the region, as well as to the peaceful resolution of disputes, including full respect for legal and diplomatic processes without resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with the universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
5. We noted with satisfaction the work that has been done in implementing the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on Partnership for Sustainability. We reiterated our goal of moving towards a sustainable ASEAN, through enhancing sustainable security, promoting a seamless ASEAN that is connected to the world and pursuing sustainable development in order to increase ASEAN’s strategic value-added and bring about regional stability and prosperity. We encouraged harnessing technological advances to enhance resilience and ASEAN’s competitiveness in addressing the growing change and complexities in the regional and global environment, including those arising from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
6. We were encouraged by the immense progress in leveraging regional cooperation and partnerships to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and realise its complementarities with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. We reiterated ASEAN’s commitment to the SDGs and welcomed the statement delivered by Thailand on behalf of ASEAN at the SDG Summit on 24 September 2019 in New York. We commended ASEAN’s collective effort in developing the Complementarities Roadmap, which will serve as guidance for further advancing the Complementarities Initiative during 2020 – 2025. We also welcomed the launch of the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue (ACSDSD) in Thailand. We welcomed the convening of the ASEAN Forum on SDGs with National Development Planning Agencies: Accelerating SDGs Implementation in ASEAN. We looked forward to more engagements of ASEAN sectoral bodies with the national development planning agencies on SDGs implementation. We also welcomed the convening of the Directors-General Forum of ASEAN Countries on Development Cooperation. We commended the convening of the 4 th ASEAN-China-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Symposium: Innovation in Achieving the SDGs and Eradicating Poverty and looked forward to the 5 th Symposium in 2020.
7. We commended the significant progress of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 in strengthening ASEAN Community-building and promoting sustainable development. We welcomed the completion of the Initial Rolling Priority Pipeline of ASEAN Infrastructure Projects which presents opportunities for sustainable infrastructure development and investment in ASEAN. We were pleased to note the ongoing efforts to implement the project on the “Development of an ASEAN Database on Trade Routes and Framework for Enhancing Supply Chain Efficiency” to create a more seamless and connected ASEAN, as well as the initiatives on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education to enhance human capital and foster people mobility. We reiterated the importance of ASEAN centrality and the need to create links and synergies between MPAC 2025 and various key connectivity initiatives within and beyond ASEAN through the “Connecting the Connectivities” approach. We underscored the need to safeguard such enhanced regional connectivity from transnational crime and other cross-border challenges and thus welcomed efforts to enhance border management cooperation in the ASEAN region as reflected in the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and in accordance with respective domestic laws and policies. We expressed appreciation to the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee (ACCC), the Lead Implementing Bodies (LIBs) and relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies for their concerted efforts to advance MPAC 2025, and the continuous support from our Dialogue Partners and external partners.
8. We noted the completion of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III (2016-2020) implementation review and expressed our appreciation to the ASEAN Secretariat and the Government of Australia for its support in this important undertaking, as well as to ASEAN Member States, Dialogue Partners and external parties for the implementation of the IAI Work Plan III. Recognising the importance of monitoring, review and evaluation of the capacity building projects and technical assistance to Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV), we tasked the IAI Task Force to follow up on the recommendations from the review to improve the effectiveness of the Work Plan III. We welcomed the drawing up of the succeeding work plan to continue the efforts to narrow the development gap and deepen regional integration.
9. We also welcomed the efforts of sub-regional frameworks that involve ASEAN Member States such as the Ayeyawady - Chao Phraya - Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS), Indonesia–Malaysia–Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT), the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), the Cambodia–Laos–Myanmar– Viet Nam (CLMV) cooperation, the Cambodia–Laos–Viet Nam Development Triangle Area, the Singapore–Johor–Riau (SIJORI) Growth Triangle.
We encouraged closer coordination between ASEAN sectoral bodies and sub- regional cooperation frameworks in achieving our goal of narrowing the development gap among and within ASEAN Member States.
10. We welcomed the continued progress in the ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN), particularly in the implementation of the Smart City Action Plans, which contribute to the development of smart and sustainable cities. We noted the adoption of the ASCN Terms of Reference at the Second Annual ASCN Meeting on 23 August 2019 in Bangkok, and the enhanced interaction with external partners including Dialogue Partners and G20 countries, as well as congratulated Singapore for being appointed as the ASCN Shepherd who will provide advice and support to the ASCN Chair for the next two years. We also acknowledged the support of ASEAN Dialogue Partners in facilitating partnerships for ASCN cities, and in providing support to develop ASCN capacity on smart city planning.
11. We congratulated Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, founder of Mercy Malaysia, for receiving the ASEAN Prize 2019 in recognition of her leading role in various humanitarian missions and disaster management.
ASEAN POLITICAL-SECURITY COMMUNITY
12. We were pleased to note the progress in the implementation of the APSC Blueprint 2025 and encouraged the relevant sectoral bodies to continue their work in addressing the remaining action lines while sustaining momentum in
taking further action on the implemented action lines. We looked forward to the Mid-Term Review of the Blueprint to be undertaken in 2020 with an aim to further improving its effective implementation.
13. We reaffirmed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) as the key code of conduct governing inter-State relations in the region and a foundation for maintaining regional peace and stability. We are committed to further promoting the principles embodied in the TAC in the wider region and emphasised the importance of all High Contracting Parties fulfilling their obligations under the Treaty and welcomed the accession of new High Contracting Parties.
14. We reiterated our commitment to preserve the Southeast Asian region free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction as enshrined in the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone (SEANWFZ Treaty) and the ASEAN Charter. We stressed the importance of the full and effective implementation of the SEANWFZ Treaty, including under the Plan of Action to Strengthen the Implementation of the SEANWFZ Treaty (2018-2022).
We reaffirmed our commitment to engage the Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) and intensify the ongoing efforts of all Parties to resolve all outstanding issues in accordance with the objectives and principles of the SEANWFZ Treaty. We underscored our commitment to strengthen our common resolve in making substantive progress, including through the biennial SEANWFZ Resolution at the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
15. We welcomed the signing of the Practical Arrangements between ASEAN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the Acting Director-General of the IAEA on 16 September 2019 in Vienna and looked forward to closer cooperation with the IAEA in the areas of nuclear safety, security, and safeguards as well as nuclear technologies and their applications.
16. We reaffirmed our continued commitment in the fight against transnational crimes. We took note of the implementation of the Bohol Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Work Plan 2017-2020 and the discussion of the Work Plan of the ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent and Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism 2018-2025 led by the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime and the Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC/SOMTC). This progress signifies the strengthening of cross-sectoral and cross-pillar collaboration in preventing and combating transnational crime.
We noted that the AMMTC will discuss greater cooperation in border management, where Thailand plans to propose at the AMMTC a roadmap that could lead to an ASEAN-wide border management arrangement based on existing institutions and guided by domestic laws and regulations of ASEAN Member States. We noted the on-going efforts to facilitate the movement of people through discussions on the development of the ASEAN Visa Portal and the feasibility of the ASEAN Business Travel Card under the ASEAN Directors- General of Immigration Departments and Heads of Consular Affairs Divisions of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (DGICM). We also noted the progress on operationalising the Guidelines on Consular Assistance by ASEAN Member States Missions in Third Countries to Nationals of Other ASEAN Member States, which demonstrates ASEAN’s efforts as a people-oriented, people- centred Community and enhances ASEAN’s abilities to provide assistance to our nationals.
17. We expressed serious concerns regarding global moves to reschedule certain types of illicit drugs and encouraged ASEAN Member States to reaffirm its commitment towards a drug-free region and a zero-tolerance approach towards illicit drugs to reinforce ASEAN’s centrality and unity in mitigating undue influences that are against ASEAN’s stand. In the light of this, we reaffirmed our full support to the cooperation to fight illicit drugs under the ambit of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Drug Matters and the ASEAN Senior Officials on Drug Matters (AMMD/ASOD). We took note of the outcome of the First Internal Review of the ASEAN Work Plan in Securing Communities Against Illicit Drugs 2016-2025 (ASEAN Work Plan 2016-2025), which highlighted 79 per cent of implementation rate. We also commended the good work of the ASEAN Narcotics Cooperation Center (ASEAN NARCO) in publishing the fourth series of the ASEAN Drug Monitoring Report (ADM) 2018. We reiterated our call for all ASEAN Member States to intensify efforts to fight the drug menace.
18. We noted with appreciation the thorough implementation of the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Three-Year Work Programme 2017-2019 as well as the seven ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Groups Work Plans 2017- 2020. In this regard, we acknowledged that the defence sector has continued to deepen cooperation in the existing areas and strengthen relationship with the Plus Countries. We welcomed the issuance of the Joint Declaration of the ASEAN Defence Ministers on Sustainable Security and the adoption of various initiatives at the 13th ADMM including the Concept Paper on the Guidelines for the Assessment of the ADMM Initiatives, Concept Paper on the Role of ASEAN Defence Establishments in Supporting Border Management, Concept Paper on Expansion of the ASEAN Direct Communications Infrastructure (ADI) in the ADMM Process, Concept Paper on the Establishment of ASEAN Military Medicine Conference, Terms of Reference of ASEAN Our Eyes and ADMM Guidelines for Maritime Interaction. These initiatives reflected the ADMM’s commitment to promote sustainable peace, stability and prosperity in the region and to strengthen ASEAN centrality in the regional security architecture while enhancing mutual trust and confidence amongst the ASEAN Member States and Plus Countries. We were pleased to see the inclusion of the ASEAN Center of Military Medicine as a subsidiary body under the ADMM in Annex I of the ASEAN Charter and the annualisation of the ASEAN Military Medicine Conference (AMMC), which will further deepen practical cooperation among ASEAN military medical practitioners, within the ADMM. In addition, we observed the sustained endeavour to enhance interoperability through the successful conduct of several ADMM and ADMM-Plus exercises this year, including the ASEAN-United States (U.S.) Maritime Exercise and the inaugural ASEAN Peacekeeping Centres Network Staff Exercise. We looked forward to further progress in defence cooperation in 2020, which marks the 10th anniversary of the ADMM-Plus.
19. We reaffirmed our commitment to work together in addressing cross-cutting maritime issues of common concern in our region comprehensively within the framework of the ASEAN Maritime Forum (AMF) and Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF). We agreed on the need to strengthen the role and function of the AMF and the EAMF and appreciated the ongoing work and discussions on these matters. We looked forward to the convening of the 9 th AMF and 7 th EAMF this year in Viet Nam.
20. We recognised the growing sophistication and transboundary nature of cyberthreats and underlined the need to address cybersecurity challenges in a holistic manner to ensure an open, secure, stable, accessible and resilient cyberspace to support the ASEAN digital economy. We emphasised the need to enhance regional cybersecurity cooperation through a feasible cross-pillar cybersecurity coordination mechanism, strengthening a rules-based cyberspace, as well as supporting the cybersecurity activities and training programmes of the ASEAN-Japan Cybersecurity Capacity Building Centre (AJCCBC) in Bangkok and the ASEAN-Singapore Cybersecurity Centre of Excellence (ASCCE) in Singapore, which will complement existing ASEAN efforts in cybersecurity capacity building. We welcomed the convening of the International Conference on Cybersecurity: Implications on Peace & Security in the ASEAN Region on 10-11 May 2019 in Bangkok, the 4 th ASEAN Ministerial Conference on Cybersecurity (AMCC) in Singapore and other activities held at the margins of the Singapore International Cyber Week 2019 in October 2019 in Singapore that has contributed to enhancing multi-stakeholder dialogue and cooperation on cybersecurity issues.
21. We welcomed the renaming of the ASEAN ICT ministerial and senior officials' bodies to ASEAN Digital Ministers Meeting (ADGMIN) and ASEAN Digital Senior Officials Meeting (ADGSOM) to reflect the role of ICT as an enabler of digital transformation in other sectors, and the ICT Ministers' endorsement of the establishment of an ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Cybersecurity which shall comprise of representatives from relevant sectoral bodies to strengthen the cross-sectoral coordination on cybersecurity while preserving the exclusive work domains of the sectoral bodies.
22. We commended the work of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN over the past decade. In this regard, we expressed confidence that the AICHR, as the overarching ASEAN human rights body, will continue to build on the past achievements and experiences to enhance its institutional capacity and procedures in promoting and protecting human rights in order to contribute to ASEAN Community-building for the benefit of the peoples of ASEAN. We noted with appreciation the AICHR’s efforts to broaden and deepen their thematic areas of work in alignment with ASEAN’s cross-pillar, cross-sectoral areas, including business and human rights, environment and human rights, and the rights of persons with disabilities. We supported the AICHR’s effort in developing a strategic plan to set out a vision for the AICHR over the next five years and beyond in responding to a changing socio-economic landscape and the emerging priorities of the region and its peoples. We also supported the on- going efforts by the AMM to review the TOR of AICHR. We also encouraged the AICHR to reinforce its commitment of working in partnership with ASEAN bodies and entities, civil society organisations and private sector as a catalyst to the promotion and protection of human rights in ASEAN, and to strengthen its relevance as a knowledgeable and trusted partner in order to provide advisory services and technical assistance on human rights upon the request of ASEAN Sectoral Bodies.
23. We noted with appreciation the launching of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation’s (ASEAN-IPR) first research study on the Lessons Learned from a Process of Conflict Resolution between Government of the Republic of Philippines (GRP) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) as Mediated by Indonesia (1993-1996). We welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Women for Peace Registry (AWPR) as well as various initiatives and actions on women’s role in peace processes, in line with the Joint Statement on Promoting Women, Peace and Security in ASEAN, namely the convening of the first regional symposium on Implementing Women, Peace and Security Agenda in ASEAN, on 22-23 August 2019 in Phnom Penh, which aimed at promoting the role of women in peace and reconciliation efforts and the Regional Training on Women, Peace and Security held in Jakarta from 8-10 April 2019. We also noted with appreciation efforts to promote women negotiators in the region. We also encouraged the ASEAN-IPR GC to continue their ongoing discussions on the long-term financial sustainability of the ASEAN-IPR in furtherance of the Institute’s work and objectives.
24. We noted with appreciation the organizing of the ARMAC’s International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action 2019 under the theme “Raising Mine/Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) Awareness for Peace, Stability and Resilience in ASEAN through Youth” on 3-4 April 2019 in Phnom Penh. We commended the National Consultative Meetings for Mine Risk Education Project, with the collaboration from the local stakeholders in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Viet Nam and Thailand. We also welcomed the ARMAC Regional Workshop on Gender Equality and Empowerment in the ASEAN Mine/ERW on 21-22 October 2019 in Vientiane, Lao PDR.
25. We noted the successful convening of the APSC Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) to Timor-Leste from 3-5 September 2019, and encouraged the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Pillar to expeditiously conduct their respective FFMs. We also noted Timor- Leste’s strong political will to become a member of ASEAN and reaffirmed our commitment to continue supporting Timor-Leste’s development through capacity building assistance, at the bilateral and regional levels.
ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY
26. We were pleased to note that ASEAN, as a region, continued to register a positive performance in output, trade and investment. The region’s economy grew by 5.2 per cent in 2018, reaching a combined GDP of USD 3.0 trillion in 2018, to retain its position as the fifth largest economy in the world. We noted ASEAN’s total merchandise trade reached USD 2.8 trillion in 2018, of which
23.0 per cent was intra-ASEAN; and ASEAN’s total services trade reached USD 778.6 billion in 2018, of which 15.7 per cent was intra-ASEAN. On investment, we noted that inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) to ASEAN reached USD 154.7 billion in 2018, the highest to date, of which 15.9 per cent was intra-ASEAN. We acknowledged, however, that global and regional growth outlook for output, trade, and investment remained subdued given the prolonged trade tensions and economic uncertainties. We expressed concern on the developments relating to the trade tensions between our major trading partners and reaffirm our strong commitment to upholding a transparent, open, inclusive, and rules-based multilateral trading system as embodied in the World Trade Organization (WTO). We recognised the urgency to ensure the continued relevance of the WTO, through appropriate reforms to ensure that the system is more inclusive, its functions - particularly its dispute settlement mechanism - remain effective and are strengthened, to take into account the changing realities of the global economic environment.
27. We welcomed the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations and the commitment to sign the RCEP Agreement in 2020. This will significantly contribute to an open, inclusive and rules-based international trading system and expansion of value chains.
28. We welcomed efforts to upgrade ASEAN’s existing free trade agreements, including, but not limited to, the full implementation of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) Upgrading Protocol; further liberalisation of Sensitive Track products under the ASEAN-Korea Trade in Goods Agreement; the Work Plan for the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) Upgrade Negotiations; and the review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement to make this more user-friendly, simple and trade-facilitative for businesses. We also expressed our appreciation to ASEAN’s FTA and development partners for their continued support to ASEAN’s Community- building efforts through the various economic cooperation programs that they have established under the ASEAN Plus One FTAs. We welcomed, in particular, the economic cooperation activities being organised by ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners to prepare ASEAN for the challenges and opportunities brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including to enhance the capacity and readiness of ASEAN towards a digital economy.
29. We welcomed the progress in the implementation of the Priority Economic Deliverables for Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship. On the strategic driver of future orientation, recalling the Leaders’ recognition of the need for ASEAN to be well-prepared and able to maximise the opportunities from 4IR, we issued the ‘ASEAN Declaration on Industry Transformation to Industry 4.0,’ which, among others, reaffirms ASEAN’s commitment to advance Industry 4.0 through the development of an ASEAN consolidated strategy on the 4IR as well as explores the possibility of establishing new mechanisms and open platforms to support government, academia and industry to accelerate the ASEAN transformation to Industry 4.0. We are pleased to note the adoption of the ‘ASEAN Digital Integration Framework Action Plan (DIFAP) 2019 – 2025’, the ‘Guidelines on Skilled Labour/Professional Services Development in Response to 4IR’, the ‘ASEAN Declaration on Industrial Transformation to Industry 4.0’ and the ‘Policy Guideline on Digitalisation of ASEAN Micro Enterprises’ at the 51st AEM Meeting in September 2019; and the endorsement of the DIFAP 2019-2025’ and look forward to the adoption of the ‘ASEAN Innovation Roadmap 2019-2025’ by the AEC Council. We welcomed the onboarding of 7 ASEAN Member States in the live-operation for the exchange of the ATIGA e-form D via the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) and looked forward to the participation of all ASEAN Member States in the ASW by this year. We commended the launch of innovative financing facilities namely the Inclusive Finance Facility and the ASEAN Catalytic Green Finance Facility (ACGF) under the ASEAN Infrastructure Fund. The $1.3 billion ACGF, supported by green development partners intends to catalyse private sector financing into green infrastructure projects in ASEAN. We looked forward to the adoption of the ‘ASEAN Gastronomy Tourism Master Plan’ by the ASEAN Tourism Ministers in 2019 which will serve as non-mandatory guidelines for gastronomy best practices in ASEAN Member States. We also noted the progress in the development of the Guideline on ASEAN Local Currency Settlement Cooperation Framework. On the strategic driver of sustainability for all, we commended the endorsement of the Roadmap for ASEAN Sustainable Capital Markets and the signing of an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) and the National Science and Technology Development Agency of Thailand on 5 September 2019 to support higher utilisation of bioenergy, human resource capacity development and the work towards the establishment of an ASEAN Research and Development Network Center on Biofuels and Bioenergy in the region. We also welcomed the commencement of a feasibility study on an ASEAN General Fisheries Policy and the adoption of the Concept Proposal on the Establishment of the ASEAN Network for Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing at the 41 st ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) Meeting.
30. We reaffirmed our commitment to make ASEAN a more connected and integrated region, leveraging on the possibilities presented by the digital economy and the interlinkages of global value chains. We looked forward to more initiatives to address the Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) in the region through the implementation of the principles in the Guidelines on Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs). We looked forward to the signing of the Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA) on Type Approval for Automotive Products (APMRA) and welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Guidelines on Good Regulatory Practice (GRP) for technical regulations, as well as the ASEAN Principles on Harmonisation of Regulatory Regime. We commended the acceleration of Patent Cooperation by nine ASEAN Member States to process artificial intelligence (AI)-related inventions through the ASEAN Patent Examination Co- operation (ASPEC) Acceleration for Industry 4.0 Infrastructure and Manufacturing (ASPEC-AIM) and the continued implementation of the ASEAN Framework on Digital Data Governance. We recognised that technology is a strategic enabler of financial inclusion and were pleased with the publication of two Guidance Notes on Financial Education and Consumer Protection and the Digital Financial Services which will serve as guidelines for the pursuit of prospective activities to promote digital financial inclusion, financial education with focus on digital financial literacy, and consumer protection in the region.
We welcomed the signing of the Protocol to Amend the Mutual Recognition
Arrangements for Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP), which would enable more tourism professionals to be recognised under the MRA-TP, thus enhancing mobility of certified tourism professionals across and beyond the ASEAN region and increasing competitiveness in the tourism sector.
31. We noted the on-going work to promote sustainable economic development on various fronts. We commended the continuing efforts to sustain regional power integration and promote multilateral power trade in the ASEAN Power Grid through the conclusion of the Feasibility Study on Multilateral Power Trade and the ASEAN Renewable Integration Analysis Study on integrating renewable energy into cross-border power trade, and looked forward to follow through the recommendations in 2020. We were encouraged by the region surpassing its energy intensity reduction target of 30 per cent by 2025, based on 2005 levels, and welcomed intensified efforts to achieve ASEAN’s renewable energy aspirational target of 23 per cent share of renewable energy in the region’s total energy mix by 2025. We also committed to further strengthen our cooperation to advance the fight against illegal wildlife trade, especially: (i) global and regional wildlife trade policy, (ii) demand reduction, (iii) law enforcement, and (iv) wildlife cybercrime.
32. We underscored the need to ensure that the AEC is inclusive and participatory and delivers real benefits to the people. We commended public and private sector efforts, culminating at the 2 nd ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit held on 1 November 2019 in producing economic opportunities and improving Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with new socio-economic development paths. We noted the strong involvement of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) and its Joint Business Council partners, and called for more collaboration between medium and large enterprises with governments to promote inclusive business through conducive rules and regulations; enhance access to financial resources, education; and build capacity for entrepreneurs and underprivileged communities. We supported the ASEAN-BAC initiatives including the ASEAN Human Empowerment and Development towards 4.0 (AHEAD 4.0), digital trade connectivity and the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network that will help prepare ASEAN for the 4IR, as well as for the long-term future. We affirmed the importance of strengthening outreach and communication to keep stakeholders informed and updated on the progress of the initiatives and available opportunities in the AEC. We welcomed the publication of the ASEAN Integration Report 2019, which provides key updates on the implementation of the AEC Blueprint 2025.
We welcomed the endorsement of the concept note for the AEC Blueprint 2025 Mid-Term Review by the AEC Council, and looked forward to the completion of the review, which will be undertaken by the ASEAN Secretariat from 2020 to early 2021.
33. We noted the deep concern of some ASEAN Member States on issues relating to unfair market access and treatment for palm oil. These will bring negative impact on palm oil producing countries and their strenuous efforts to attain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), palm oil sustainability and environmental protection. We reaffirmed our support for the concerned Member States’ efforts to address the sustainability of palm oil, including their continued engagement with relevant parties.
ASEAN SOCIO-CULTURAL COMMUNITY
34. We noted the endorsement of the ASCC Blueprint 2025 Results Framework and its imminent operationalisation, including gathering baseline data and training desk officers on Monitoring and Evaluation. We also noted that, as mandated by ASCC Blueprint 2025, a Mid-Term Evaluation (MTE), covering the period 2016-2020, will be conducted to monitor and evaluate the progress of the ASCC Blueprint 2025. We noted encouraging efforts by the ASCC in strengthening cross-sector and cross-pillar work, including through initiatives such as the development of the ASEAN Development Outlook.
35. We reaffirmed our commitment to developing the human capital of our countries and our region, as a critical element in driving competitiveness, prosperity and resilience for a sustainable future, amidst challenges from rapid demographic, environmental and technological transformations. To this end, we adopted the Bangkok Declaration on Advancing Partnership in Education for 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in ASEAN and noted the Regional Action Plan for the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth as a sign of our unwavering commitment to create more and equal opportunities for inclusive quality education and lifelong learning. We noted the progress of regional initiatives by our ASEAN Education Ministers on higher education, student mobility, scholarships, technical and vocational education and training (TVET), and engagement with industries and other stakeholders. We welcomed the convening of the ASEAN High-Level Meeting on Human Capital Development in Bangkok on 9 September 2019, co- organised with the World Bank and UNICEF, which was a follow-up to the Bali ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering in 2018. We welcomed the progress made on efforts to facilitate regional cooperation on TVET. Recognising the importance of health for human capital development, we looked forward to regional initiatives on whole-of-society and whole-of-government approaches in promoting healthy lifestyles and strengthening health systems including achieving universal health coverage. We are also pleased to note the progress of initiatives by our ASEAN Labour Ministers, including the establishment of the ASEAN informal employment statistics database to support evidence-based policy development towards decent work promotion in ASEAN. Acknowledging the importance of preparing a capable, effective and responsive civil service in the digital era, we welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN Statement on Promotion of Good Governance and Acceleration of an Agile Civil Service in a Digital Economy by the ASEAN Heads of Civil Service to promote good governance among civil servants at all levels.
36. We reaffirmed our commitment to promoting inclusion and respect of rights, especially of the elderly, women, children and persons with disabilities to reinforce an ASEAN Community that leaves no one behind. We welcomed the establishment of the ASEAN Training Centre for Social Work and Social Welfare (ATCSW) and ASEAN Centre for Active Ageing and Innovation (ACAI) and looked forward to fostering synergy between ACAI and relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies on generating knowledge, innovation, support to active ageing policies and the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Action Plan to Implement the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Ageing: Empowering Older Persons in ASEAN. We also reaffirmed our commitment to the implementation, subject to each Member State’s reservations of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), which all ASEAN Member States have ratified. The 30 th anniversary of implementing the CRC heralds new opportunities and challenges for our region in ensuring that the rights and welfare of every child in ASEAN is recognised, respected, protected, and promoted. We adopted the Declaration on the Protection of Children from All Forms of Online Exploitation and Abuse in ASEAN. We also noted the progress of implementation of the ASEAN Enabling Master Plan 2025: Mainstreaming the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and commended the convening of the Public-Private-People Conference on ASEAN Enabling Masterplan 2025 held in Singapore. We support the vision of the ASEAN Confederation of Women’s Organisations (ACWO) to leverage on its network to bridge the advantages of smart technologies for women, to enhance the quality of women’s lives in ageing and to empower women in the economy.
37. We noted the briefing by Myanmar on the situation in Rakhine State. We reaffirmed our support for a more visible and enhanced role of ASEAN to support Myanmar in providing humanitarian assistance, facilitating the repatriation process, and promoting sustainable development in Rakhine State.
We welcomed the opportunity to communicate ASEAN’s efforts to facilitate the repatriation process with the displaced persons in Cox’s Bazar. We appreciated the efforts of the Secretary-General of ASEAN in leading the implementation of the recommendations of the ASEAN-Emergency Response and Assessment Team (ERAT) Preliminary Needs Assessment (PNA) to facilitate the repatriation of displaced persons in Rakhine State. We welcomed the outcomes of the 2 nd Technical Working Group Meeting held on 29 October 2019 in Nay Pyi Taw, and the identification at that Meeting of prioritised projects to implement the recommendations of the PNA on enhancing capacity of Reception and Transit Centres, strengthening of information dissemination and support to the provision of basic services in Rakhine State as the first step and looked forward to their implementation. We supported the proposal of the Secretary-General of ASEAN to establish an Ad-Hoc Support Team of the ASEAN Secretariat to focus on implementing the recommendations of the PNA.
We noted the preparation and looked forward to the conduct of the Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA). We also underscored the importance of exploring possible areas of cooperation with our Dialogue Partners in supporting ASEAN activities, including the prioritised projects in Rakhine State to facilitate the repatriation process.
38. We encouraged the continued and effective dialogue between Myanmar and Bangladesh to facilitate the repatriation process of displaced persons from Rakhine State. We recalled the Arrangement on Return of Displaced Persons from Rakhine State between the Government of Myanmar and the Government of Bangladesh signed in 2017 and looked forward to the voluntary return of displaced persons in a safe, secure and dignified manner. We support the
implementation of the three points reached at the Informal Foreign Ministers’ Meeting among Myanmar, Bangladesh, and China on 23 September 2019 in New York to facilitate the implementation of the bilateral agreements between Myanmar and Bangladesh on repatriation. We reiterated the need to find a comprehensive and durable solution to address the root causes of the conflict and to create a conducive environment so that the affected communities can rebuild their lives. We encouraged Myanmar to continue to implement the remaining recommendations of the final report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State. We expect that the Independent Commission of Enquiry established by the Government of Myanmar would seek accountability by carrying out an independent and impartial investigation into alleged human rights violations and related issues. We also reaffirmed ASEAN’s continued support for Myanmar’s efforts to bring peace, stability, the rule of law, to promote harmony and reconciliation among the various communities as well as to ensure sustainable and equitable development in Rakhine State.
39. We welcomed the progress made in enhancing environmental protection and cooperation, particularly on climate change, marine debris, and transboundary haze pollution. We reiterated our commitment to implementing our obligations under the Paris Agreement, taking effective climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, strengthening science-policy interface, and adopting an intergenerational people-oriented and people-centred approach to climate action. To underscore our commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), we delivered the ASEAN Joint Statement at the UN Climate Action Summit on 23 September 2019 in New York and we adopted the ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change to the 25th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP25) in Spain. Recognising the urgent need for strong regional collaboration among ASEAN Member States and with partners to effectively address marine debris pollution, we looked forward to the expeditious implementation of the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region and the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris. We expressed concern over the recent dry season and transboundary haze pollution affecting various ASEAN countries this year. We reaffirmed our strong commitment to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution and the Roadmap on ASEAN Cooperation towards Transboundary Haze Pollution Control with Means of Implementation towards a haze-free ASEAN by 2020. While we noted with appreciation the various initiatives and actions undertaken by ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre, as well as the continuous efforts in strengthening national capabilities and regional cooperation in assessment, prevention, mitigation and management of land and/or forest fires and the resulting haze, we urged ASEAN Member States to step up preventive measures and immediate fire suppression procedures to mitigate land and forest fires and to minimise the occurrence of transboundary haze during periods of dry weather. We noted the progress towards the finalisation of the Establishment Agreement and Host Country Agreement of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control (ACC THPC) in Indonesia.
40. We welcomed the signing of the MOU between ASEAN and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) that would support football cooperation and complement efforts in ASEAN’s joint bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2034.
41. We noted the cultural events held in ASEAN and the ‘ASEAN Cultural Troupe: Oneness to the World’ performances in Europe and the Republic of Korea (ROK) as part of the celebrations of the ASEAN Cultural Year 2019. We looked forward to the tour of cultural troupes and exhibitions in China and Japan to further bring ASEAN cultures to wider audiences. To further promote the culture of peace and intercultural understanding in strengthening regional identity, we commended efforts and progress under Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Culture and Arts (AMCA) and Senior Officials Meeting on Culture and Arts (SOMCA) 2018-2020 to establish “the Narrative of ASEAN Identity” and invite dialogue partners to support this initiative. We also supported the designation of 2020 as the Year of ASEAN Identity.
42. We acknowledged the ongoing efforts of the ASEAN Foundation to partner with the private sector to prepare for ASEAN youth to be future-ready by addressing their digital skills development through initiatives like the ASEAN Digital Innovation Programme and ASEAN Data Science Explorer and by promoting volunteerism through the eMpowering Youth across ASEAN programme to strengthen community bonds. We recognised that the ASEAN Foundation Model ASEAN Meeting continues to strengthen youth involvement and participation by developing their leadership and soft-skills. We appreciated the effort of the ASEAN Science and Technology Fellowship to generate innovative solutions to tackle socio-economic challenges and the effort of the ASEAN Farmers’ Organisations Support Programme to develop the ASEAN Roadmap for Enhancing the Role of Agricultural Cooperative in the Global Value Chain.
We looked forward to the convening of the inaugural meeting of the Network of ASEAN Associations of ASEAN Member States in Thailand in December 2019.
43. We underscored that it is crucial for ASEAN to have in place a productive and efficient mechanism in coordinating cross-sectoral and cross-pillar issues across the three ASEAN Community Pillars. Recalling the recommendations of the High Level Task Force (HLTF) on Strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat and Reviewing the ASEAN Organs which were adopted in 2014, we commended the work of the ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) and the ASEAN Community Councils, with the support of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), relevant Senior Officials and the ASEAN Secretariat, in addressing the recommendation lines. In line with the efforts to strengthen the ASEAN Secretariat, we welcomed the new ASEAN Secretariat building inaugurated by the President of Indonesia and the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN Member States and their representatives on 8 August 2019, and encouraged more ASEAN meetings to be convened at the new building to underline ASEAN centrality and unity. We encouraged all relevant stakeholders to continue efforts in improving cross-sectoral and cross-pillar issues coordination, strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat and ensuring the effectiveness of ASEAN’s mechanisms towards realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
ASEAN EXTERNAL RELATIONS
44. We were pleased with the progress of ASEAN’s relations with Dialogue Partners as reported in the Progress of Implementation of Plans of Action (POA) and agreed to further enhance and strengthen our partnerships by working on successor POAs to continue efforts towards the realisation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. We underscored the importance of advancing our partnership with Dialogue Partners, Sectoral Dialogue Partners, Development Partners, Regional and International Organisations, and other external parties through relevant frameworks and the implementation of various plans of action of cooperation. We welcomed the continuous support of our Dialogue Partners to ASEAN Community-building efforts as demonstrated by a notable increase in their technical assistance and financial contribution to multiple regional cooperation programmes and projects. We looked forward to the 22 nd ASEAN-China Summit, the 22 nd ASEAN-Japan Summit, the 16 th ASEAN-India Summit, the 7 th ASEAN-U.S. Summit, and the 10 th ASEAN-UN Summit on 3-4 November 2019 as well as the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit to commemorate the 30 th Anniversary of ASEAN-ROK Dialogue Relations. We also looked forward to the ASEAN-New Zealand Leaders’ Summit following the conclusion of the 36 th ASEAN Summit in Danang in April 2020.
45. We were pleased to note the growing interest from countries and regional organisations to engage and develop stronger cooperation with ASEAN and welcomed Chile becoming a Development Partner of ASEAN. We noted the role of the CPR in promoting ASEAN external relations including with the 93 Ambassadors of non-ASEAN Member States accredited to ASEAN. We also welcomed the role of the ASEAN Committees in Third Countries and International Organisations to promote ASEAN’s interest and to forge partnerships in the respective host countries and international organisations.
We further highlighted the importance of ASEAN’s partnerships with external partners as well as international and regional organisations to address global issues and to promote sustainable development for the benefit of our people.
In this connection, we looked forward to a fruitful exchange of views on sustainable development with our external partners and relevant international organisations at the Special Lunch on Sustainable Development on 4 November 2019.
46. We reaffirmed the importance of the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) cooperation framework in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the East Asian region.
We reaffirmed our commitment to further strengthen and deepen functional cooperation under the APT process which plays a key role in regional community building in East Asia, with ASEAN as the driving force. We agreed to further enhance APT cooperation in wide ranging areas by implementing the APT Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2022. We also looked forward to the continued implementation of the East Asian Vision Group II recommendations aimed at promoting East Asian cooperation.
47. We reaffirmed the importance of the East Asia Summit (EAS) as a Leaders-led forum for dialogue on broad strategic, political, and economics issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region. We agreed to further strengthen EAS cooperation by implementing the Manila Plan of Action to Advance the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS Development Initiatives (2018-2022). We welcomed the continued discussion and efforts to strengthen the EAS, in line with the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the 10 th Anniversary of the EAS and based on the established objectives, principles and modalities of the EAS.
We noted the importance of the EAS Ambassadors in Jakarta in discussing the implementation of Leaders’ decisions as well as exchanging information on regional development cooperation initiatives and security policies and initiatives, as provided in the KL Declaration. We encouraged enhancing synergy between the EAS and other ASEAN-led mechanisms, and noted the need to strengthen EAS cooperation in response to emerging issues and challenges that affect peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
48. We emphasised the significance of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) as the primary platform to promote peace, security and stability in the region through constructive dialogues and consultations among the ARF Participants. In this connection, we welcomed the outcomes of the 26 th ARF held in Bangkok on 2 August 2019 and the adoption of the ARF Statement on Aviation Partnership: Soaring Ahead Together, ARF Statement on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism (VECT), Joint Statement on Promoting the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and the ARF Work Plan on Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime 2019-2021, which reaffirmed ARF’s commitment in addressing the increasingly complex challenges amidst the evolving regional landscape. Noting the continued efforts to strengthen confidence-building measures and promoting preventive diplomacy, we encouraged ARF Participants to further undertake preventive diplomacy activities in accordance with the ARF Work Plan on Preventive Diplomacy. As the current ARF Vision Statement and the Hanoi Plan of Action to Implement the ARF Vision Statement will expire in 2020, we welcomed further efforts from all ARF Participants, especially the ASEAN Member States, to enhance the efficiency of the ARF process, procedures and working methods, with a view to emphasise, strengthen and enhance ASEAN centrality.
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENTS
49. We reaffirmed our commitment to maintaining and promoting peace, security and stability in the region, as well as to promoting dialogue and cooperation, upholding international law and adhering to rules and standards that govern relations among states. We underscored the importance of ASEAN centrality, unity and leadership in the evolving regional architecture. We reaffirmed the need to reinforce an ASEAN-centred regional architecture that is open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based. We encouraged external partners to work with ASEAN in promoting the principles as contained in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and to undertake cooperation with ASEAN on the four key areas of cooperation, namely maritime cooperation, connectivity, sustainable development and economic cooperation, in order to realise practical projects. In this regard, we noted with appreciation Indonesia’s initiative to convene the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Infrastructure and Connectivity Forum in 2020. We shared the view that all initiatives on the Indo-Pacific should advance ASEAN centrality and build upon ASEAN-led mechanisms, including the ASEAN Plus One, APT, EAS, ARF, and ADMM-Plus.
50. We reaffirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, security, stability, safety and freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea and recognised the benefits of having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, stability and prosperity. We also reaffirmed the importance of the full and effective implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in its entirety. We warmly welcomed the continued improvement in cooperation between ASEAN and China and were encouraged by the progress of the substantive negotiations towards the early conclusion of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) within a mutually-agreed timeline. We welcomed the completion of the first reading of the Single Draft COC Negotiating Text in July 2019. We emphasised the need to maintain an environment conducive to the COC negotiations, and thus welcomed practical measures that could reduce tensions and the risk of accidents, misunderstandings and miscalculation. We stressed the importance of undertaking confidence building and preventive measures to enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties.
51. We discussed the matters relating to the South China Sea and took note of some concerns on the land reclamations and activities in the area, which have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace, security and stability in the region. We reaffirmed the need to enhance mutual trust and confidence, exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities and avoid actions that may further complicate the situation and pursue peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. We emphasised the importance of non-militarisation and self- restraint in the conduct of all activities by claimants and all other states, including those mentioned in the DOC that could further complicate the situation and escalate tensions in the South China Sea.
52. We stressed the importance of continued peaceful dialogue amongst all concerned parties in order to realise lasting peace and stability in a denuclearised Korean Peninsula by all concerned parties. We urged all concerned parties to resume peaceful dialogue and continue working towards the realisation of lasting peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, including through the full and expeditious implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration, the Pyongyang Joint Declaration and the Joint Statement by the U.S. and DPRK Leaders. We welcomed the recent meeting between the leaders of the U.S. and the DPRK at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), as well as the resumption of the working level negotiation between both sides in Stockholm. We reiterated our commitment to the full implementation of all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and noted international efforts to bring about the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
We also underscored the importance of ASEAN-led platforms such as the ARF in promoting a conducive atmosphere to peaceful dialogue amongst the concerned parties.