The Governments of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, who are the Member Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Government of New Zealand, (hereinafter referred to collectively as “the Participants”);
MINDFUL of recent ASEAN declarations on terrorism, which, inter alia, undertake to strengthen cooperation at bilateral, regional and international levels in combating terrorism in a comprehensive manner;
UNDERSTANDING the serious danger that international terrorism and terrorist networks pose to global and regional peace, security and prosperity and to the safety of their citizens, and which require concerted action to protect and defend all peoples;
REAFFIRMING their determination to prevent, suppress and eliminate international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, international law and all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions;
CONFIRMING that the United Nations should play a major role in combating terrorism;
RECOGNISING the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity and non-intervention in the internal affairs of other States;
ACKNOWLEDGING the importance of effective international and regional cooperation to combat and prevent international terrorism;
REALISING that the complexity and transnational nature of terrorism, and its linkages with transnational organized crimes, call for a comprehensive and concerted approach that embraces concrete action on many fronts;
AWARE of the importance of addressing the root causes of terrorism, without acknowledging these as justifications for violence and welcoming recent regional cooperation to strengthen dialogue and promote mutual understanding within and among countries, cultures and civilizations;
NOTING that the Co-Chairs’ Statement from the 2004 Bali Regional Ministerial Meeting on Counter-Terrorism resolved to enhance regional cooperation on counter-terrorism;
SUPPORTING the continuing commitment of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to strengthen regional and international cooperation in the fight against terrorism;
NOTING also the strong affirmation in the 2003 and 2004 APEC Economic Leaders’ Statement of the importance of regional counter-terrorism cooperation;
CONSCIOUS that terrorism, as an international phenomenon must not be identified with any religion, race, or nationality;
ENCOURAGED by the cooperation between the Member Countries of ASEAN and New Zealand that already exists on regional security and law enforcement matters;
DESIRING to strengthen and expand this cooperation to fight international terrorism through the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime as a leading ASEAN body for combating terrorism and other mechanisms;
Declare as follows:
1. The Participants reaffirm the importance of having a framework for cooperation to prevent, disrupt and combat international terrorism through the exchange of information, intelligence and capacity building.
Scope and Areas of Cooperation:
2. The Participants stress their commitment to seek to implement the principles laid out in this declaration, in conformity with their obligations under international law and in accordance with their respective domestic laws and their specific circumstances, in any or all of the following areas and to review them at an appropriate time.
3. Enhanced cooperation in accordance with this Declaration includes:
i. Exchange of information on the organization, activities, and financing of terrorists and counter terrorism measures including on the development of more effective policies and legal, regulatory and administrative counter terrorism regimes, in accordance with relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and having regard to other declarations on international terrorism where applicable;
ii. Greater cooperation on law enforcement measures, including those aimed at prevention and investigation of terrorist activities;
iii. Enhanced capacity-building, including through training and education; consultations between officials and analysts; seminars and conferences; and related contingency responses, as appropriate;
iv. Improved border-control, customs, and immigration and transport security procedures, to ensure the integrity of travel documents, to prevent identity fraud, and to stem the flow of terrorist-related material, money and people;
v. Enhanced legal cooperation in criminal matters to bring terrorists to justice, including streamlining the procedures for seeking and granting mutual legal assistance and extradition, via regional initiatives such as the Legal Experts Working Group established by the Bali Regional Ministerial Meeting on Counter-Terrorism;
vi. Strengthened measures to prevent illegal manufacture, possession or trafficking of weapons, ammunition, explosives and other destructive materials or substances;
vii. Wider exchange of information on best practices and on measures and procedures to strengthen counter-terrorism capability and cooperation as well as practical cooperation on measures to suppress the financing of international terrorism and combat money-laundering;
viii. Identifying and addressing the root causes of terrorism and transnational crimes; and
ix. Continuing to support development projects aimed at eradicating poverty and socio-economic disparity and injustices as well as promoting the elevation of standard of living, in particular underprivileged groups and people and underdeveloped areas.
4. The Participants will take advantage of all appropriate opportunities, including visits and meetings of Ministers, officials and experts, as well as the judiciary, and of conferences, workshops or seminars, to pursue enhanced cooperation on counter-terrorism.
5. The Participants will work towards closer and interactive dialogue with civil society, including academia, to foster greater understanding and cooperation aimed at eliminating terrorism.
6. The Participants recognise the ongoing need for consistency between counter-terrorism frameworks and fundamental human rights standards and may explore appropriate opportunities to enhance awareness and understanding of this.
7. The Participants are encouraged to become parties to all 13 of the United Nations conventions and protocols relating to terrorism.
8. The Participants are called upon to designate a contact point to coordinate their respective law enforcement and security agencies, authorities dealing with countering terrorist financing and other relevant government agencies for the purposes of implementing the Declaration.
Disclosure of Information:
9. The Participants would not disclose or distribute any confidential information, documents or data received in connection with this declaration to any third party, at any time, except to the extent agreed in writing by the Participant that provided the information.
Done at Vientiane, Lao PDR, this Twenty-Ninth Day of July in the Year Two Thousand and Five, in two original copies in the English Language.
Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Chairman of the 38th ASEAN Standing Committee
For New Zealand:
HON. PHIL GOFF
Minister of Foreign Affairs