Joint Declaration on Co-operation to Combat Terrorism

1.  We the Foreign Ministers of the European Union (EU) and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), at our meeting in Brussels 27-28 January 2003, reaffirm our commitment to combat terrorism, which constitute a profound threat to stability, peace and security in our regions and beyond.

2.  We stress the leading role of the UN in the fight against terrorism and reaffirm our strong commitment to the universal implementation of all the UN anti-terrorism resolutions and conventions and remain fully committed to supporting the work of the UN Counter Terrorism Committee and other pertinent UN bodies. We acknowledge that the fight against terrorism must be conducted in accordance with international obligations, the UN Charter and general norms of international law, including respect for human rights and humanitarian law.

3.  We reject any attempt to associate terrorism with any religion, race or nationality, and stress that in the aftermath of the attacks of 11 September 2001 and in other parts of the world, the need to strengthen dialogue and promote mutual understanding between cultures and civilisations is greater than ever before.

4.  We acknowledge that terrorism, including its links with trans-national organised crime, such as money laundering, arms-trafficking and the production of and trafficking in illicit drugs, as well as illegal movements of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly materials, forms part of a complex set of new security challenges, which have to be addressed urgently in all aspects and in all fora, including the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).

5.  The trans-boundary character of terrorism calls for an international response. The fight against terrorism requires a comprehensive approach by the international community comprising political, economic, diplomatic, military, and legal means in accordance with our respective domestic laws, duly taking into account root causes of terrorism without acknowledging these as justifications for terrorist and/or criminal activities. We are determined to develop further EU-ASEAN regional co-operation. Furthermore, we note the progress made towards implementation of the series of activities agreed in the ASEM Copenhagen Co-operation Programme on Fighting Terrorism of September 2002 and agree to take further urgent steps in this process, with a view to the full implementation of these measures.

6.  We are determined to enhance our co-operation to fight terrorism, most notably in the following areas:

  • Universal implementation of all existing United Nations Security Council Resolutions related to terrorism, in particular resolution 1373 (2001), 1377 (2001) and 1390 (2002);
  • Universal implementation of all existing United Nations Conventions and Protocols against terrorism and encouraging the States to comply with them and to take effective measures to prevent and combat terrorism, and in particular to prevent and combat the financing of terrorism.
  • Early conclusion and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.
  • Early entry into force of the United Nations Convention against Trans-national Organised Crime and its protocols.
  • Exchange of information on measures in the fight against terrorism, including on the development of more effective policies and legal, regulatory and administrative frameworks for the fight against terrorism.
  • Strengthening links between Law Enforcement agencies of EU and ASEAN member states, as well as with EUROPOL and ASEANAPOL, to promote practical co-operation on counter terrorism and organised crime.
  • Co-operation to build capacity to assist ASEAN members to implement UNSCR 1373, and to address the impact of terrorist activities.

7. In this regard, we welcome the recent establishment of the South-East Asia Regional Centre for Counter Terrorism in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

8. We agree that our progress in this field will be assessed at the next EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the basis of a joint report.