WE, the Heads of State and Government of ASEAN;

INSPIRED by the significant progress and accomplishments of ASEAN;

ENCOURAGED by the admission of Vietnam as the seventh member of ASEAN and the participation of Laos and Cambodia as Observers;

ENCOURAGED FURTHER by the accession by all Southeast Asian countries to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC) and its endorsement by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 47/53 (b) and by the signing of the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty;

CONFIDENT of the early realisation of the ASEAN vision of embracing the whole of Southeast Asia;

EMBOLDENED by ASEAN’s economic dynamism and its growing importance in world trade;

MINDFUL of the existence of internal and external challenges to ASEAN’s identity, solidarity, effectiveness and competitiveness;

RESOLUTE in our determination to enhance cooperation, peace and prosperity in our region;

DESIRING to create a caring, cohesive and technologically advanced ASEAN community, whose strength lies in a common regional identity;

DETERMINED to achieve further economic integration through greater cooperation;

AND RESOLUTE in improving the quality of the life of its people through human development to enable them to realize their full potential and capacity to contribute towards further progress as productive and responsible members of society;

DO HEREBY DECLARE THAT:

  1. ASEAN shall work towards the speedy realisation of an ASEAN comprising all Southeast Asian countries as it enters the 21st century;
  2. ASEAN shall take concrete steps to further strengthen the ASEAN identity, spirit and sense of community through wider participation of ASEAN citizens;
  3. ASEAN shall elevate functional cooperation to a higher plane to bring shared prosperity to all its members;
  4. ASEAN shall move towards greater economic integration by building on existing economic cooperation activities, initiating new areas of cooperation, and promoting closer cooperation in international fora;
  5. ASEAN shall undertake measures to further strengthen its national and regional resilience in the political economic, social, cultural, humanitarian and other fields; and
  6. ASEAN shall continue to actively participate and cooperate in various regional and international fora to enhance peace, security and prosperity in Asia and the Pacific and the world.

    POLITICAL AND SECURITY COOPERATION

  7. In the field of political and security cooperation, we have agreed that:

    – ASEAN is committed to the establishment of an ASEAN comprising all countries in Southeast Asia which will be guided by the spirit and principles underlying the TAC and the Declaration of ASEAN Concord. Cooperative peace and shared prosperity shall be the fundamental goals of ASEAN;

    – ASEAN Member States shall facilitate and expedite the realisation of an ASEAN comprising all countries in Southeast Asia by developing further the channel of dialogue and avenues for interaction with the prospective ASEAN Member States in Southeast Asia at various levels and in the economic, political, cultural, social, scientific and technological, and other functional fields. This historic Meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the ten Southeast Asian countries in Bangkok marked a significant step forward towards the realisation of this vision;

    – ASEAN shall explore ways to consolidate its tradition of consultation and consensus within an expanded ASEAN. In a rapidly changing world,ASEAN shall remain bold, forward looking, dynamic and nimble in order to safeguard the vital interests of its diverse members;

    – ASEAN shall intensify dialogue on intra-ASEAN security cooperation;

    – ASEAN shall continue to play a central role, in cooperation with other participants, in developing the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) into an effective and meaningful process for ensuring peace and security in the Asia-Pacific region as conceived in the ASEAN Concept Paper on the ARF;

    – ASEAN shall seek an early, peaceful resolution of the South China Sea dispute and shall continue to explore ways and means to prevent conflict and enhance cooperation in the South China Sea consistent with the provisions of the TAC and the ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea of 1992 as well as international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea;

    – ASEAN reaffirms its commitment to Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN), as envisaged in its 1993 “Programme of Action on ZOPFAN”;

    – ASEAN calls on all non-Southeast Asian countries to associate themselves with the TAC. ASEAN recognises that such an association will contribute positively towards the security and stability of the region and is working actively to finalise the modality for doing so;

    – ASEAN calls upon the nuclear-weapon States, for the maximum effectiveness of the Treaty on Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone, to extend their cooperation by acceding to the Protocol of this Treaty. The Treaty is yet another contribution of Southeast Asian countries to the strengthening of the security in the region and to the maintenance of world peace and stability;

    – ASEAN urges all nuclear-weapons States to implement more vigorous measures to reduce and eliminate all nuclear weapons in compliance with their long-standing obligations under the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty. ASEAN also calls upon these States to expeditiously conclude a credible and comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in the interest of world peace;

    – ASEAN shall actively participate in the Asia-Europe Meeting in Bangkok on 1-2 March 1996. This historic meeting of the Heads of State and Government of ten Asian nations and Fifteen European nations and the President of the European Commission, should contribute towards building a new partnership for greater growth between Asia and Europe; and

    – ASEAN shall explore ways and means to enhance cooperation with the United Nations, with the view to promoting peace and stability in the region. ASEAN shall also work towards making the United Nations a more equitable, effective and relevant body for promoting peace and prosperity in the region and globally in the post-Cold War era. ASEAN shall give particular attention towards the effort to making the membership of the Security Council more reflective of the prevailing balance among nations; to enhancing the capacity and effectiveness of the world body to carry out its peace-making, peace-keeping, peace-building and preventive diplomacy function; and to strengthening the work of the United Nations in the social and economic fields.

    ECONOMIC COOPERATION

  8. In the field of economic cooperation, we have agreed to adopt the following Agenda for Greater Economic Integration:

    – ASEAN shall further accelerate the progress towards the actualisation of AFTA before the target date of Year 2003. Member Countries will maximise the number of items with tariffs reduced to 0-5% by the year 2000 as well as expand the number of products with tariffs reduced to 0% by the same year;

    – ASEAN shall remove all quantitative restrictions and non-tariff barriers and shall schedule the elimination of NTBs beginning 1 January 1996;

    – ASEAN shall introduce greater transparency in standards and conformance, align product standards with international standards and undertake projects to facilitate mutual recognition agreements on a bilateral or plurilateral basis, to facilitate greater intra-regional trade.ASEAN shall identify the work programmes to achieve these objectives and commence work in 1996;

    – ASEAN shall harmonise tariff nomenclature at the HS 8-digit level and implement the GATT Valuation System by 1997. ASEAN shall also create a green lane system to expedite the clearance of CEPT products;

    – ASEAN shall intensify its cooperative relationships and pursue vigorously economic linkages with its dialogue partners and other regional groupings such as CER, EU and NAFTA;

    – ASEAN shall continue to support sub-regional arrangements as they have a vital role to play in accelerating economic growth;

    – ASEAN shall move towards enhancing cooperation and freer trade in services through the implementation of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services;

    – ASEAN Member States shall enter into negotiations of specific commitments on market access, national treatment and additional commitments covering all services sectors and all modes of supply. The first round of negotiations shall begin on 1 January 1996 and conclude no later than 31 December 1998. The negotiations will give emphasis to financial services, maritime transport, telecommunications, air transport, tourism, construction and business services. Subsequent rounds of negotiations shall be undertaken until a higher level of liberalisation is achieved. Member States will be given the flexibility to determine the extent of sectors to be offered for negotiation. For the duration of the negotiations, each Member State agrees not to take any measures in such a manner as to improve its negotiating position and leverage. However, a Member State shall not be prevented from taking prudential measures consistent with the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS);

    – ASEAN, conscious of the importance of intellectual property in intra-ASEAN and world trade, shall implement the Framework Agreement on Intellectual Property Cooperation which will increase cooperation amongst ASEAN Member Countries in the intellectual property area and which further confirms ASEAN is determination to explore the possibility of setting up an ASEAN Patent System and an ASEAN Trademark System;

    – ASEAN shall work towards establishing an ASEAN investment region which will help enhance the area’s attractiveness and competitiveness for promoting direct investment. The promotion of direct investment into and amongst ASEAN Member Countries will help in the development and growth of the ASEAN economies. In this regard, ASEAN shall implement, among other investment measures, an ASEAN Plan of Action on Cooperation and Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment and Intra,- ASEAN Investment;

    – ASEAN shall implement a new industrial cooperation scheme which is CEPT based and has been developed together with the private sector. The new scheme will encourage investment in technology-based industries and value-added activities;

    – ASEAN shall implement the ASEAN Plan of Action on Infrastructure Development in order to provide efficient and cost-effective infrastructure facilities in the region;

    – ASEAN shall complete the implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action in Transport and Communications for 1994-1996 leading to the development of multimodal transport, interconnectivity in telecomrnunications, harmonisation of road transport laws, rules and regulations and human resource development. The Plan may also include the development of an open-sky policy;

    – ASEAN shall embark on new initiatives to achieve global competitiveness in agriculture and forestry while maintaining the sustainability of its resources. ASEAN shall increase the competitiveness of agriculture and forestry by increased application of science and technology, investment in human resource development as well as through greater liberalisation of trade in agriculture and forest products;

    – ASEAN shall implement a programme of action that will further enhance trade and investment in industrial minerals to support the industrialisation of Member States and complement ASEAN’s thrust in realising AFTA. ASEAN shall also continue to create a conducive environment for private sector participation by making rules and procedures transparent. A mineral database shall be set in place and be immediately operationalised to support the cooperation programme;

    – ASEAN shall ensure greater security and sustainability of energy supply through diversification, development and conservation of resources, the efficient use of enemy, and the wider application of environmentally sound technologies. ASEAN shall implement the Medium-Term Programme of Action on Energy Cooperation (1995-1999) with greater private sector participation in various modes of investment, transfer of technology and human resource development, with major thrust on power sector development;

    – ASEAN shall focus on promoting sustainable tourism development, preservation of cultural and environmental resources, the provision of transportation and other infrastructure, simplification of immigration procedures and human resource development;

    – ASEAN shall implement the Action Plan for SME Development emphasising information access, technology, financing, human resource development and marketing;

    – ASEAN shall strengthen its links with the ASEAN-Chambers. of Commerce and Industry to enable the private sector to participate more effectively in the ASEAN policy formulation process and in programme implementation;

    – ASEAN shall cooperate closely on international trade issues in international fora including the WTO and APEC. Since international financial and macroeconomic policies can have a significant effect on the region’s economies, ASEAN shall play a more active role in shaping the agenda of international financial and macroeconomic issues;

    – ASEAN shall continue with efforts to advance further the East Asia Economic Caucus (EAEC);

    – ASEAN Sectoral Ministers as well as Senior Officials shall meet regularly to embark on new initiatives to strengthen economic cooperation. ASEAN Economic Ministers and the Senior Economic Officials shall continue to be the coordinating bodies for all economic activities. All ASEAN economic cooperation decisions shall be made by flexible consensus so that Member Countries wishing to embark on any cooperation scheme may do so while the others can join at a later date; and

    – ASEAN shall adopt a General Dispute Settlement Mechanism (DSM) which shall apply to all disputes arising from ASEAN economic agreements. Under this general mechanism, there may be specific mechanisms tailored to various economic agreements.

    FUNCTIONAL COOPERATION

  9. In the field of functional cooperation, we have agreed, that:

    – ASEAN shall strive towards technological competitiveness by building on national strength and regional cooperation in science and technology that is self-sustaining and demand driven with active participation from the private sector;

    – ASEAN shall continue to develop human resources in science and technology to cope with the pace of scientific and technological advancement, as a means to attain and sustain a competitive edge in the international economic arena;

    – ASEAN shall advance the economic prosperity and social well-being of its peoples in a sustainable manner, in partnership with the private sector, for the benefit of future generations and in the interest of ensuring a balanced ecosystem;

    – ASEAN shall seek to conserve, preserve and promote the cultural and artistic heritage as an integral part of life and spirit in ASEAN. Towards this end,ASEAN shall seek to foster a dynamic environment conducive to the creative expressions of indigenous, traditional, modern and contemporary cultural forms and values while recognising the commonalities and differences in traditions as great sources of artistic creativity;

    – ASEAN shall upgrade its human resources by investing in building institutional capacities for education, training and research, science and technology and technology transfer as well as strengthening the networking of HRD institutions;

    – ASEAN shall raise awareness of ASEAN among its peoples, in particular the younger generation, and to instill in them a consciousness of the spirit and identity embodied in ASEAN, by harnessing all appropriate modes and technologies in the media and communications, education and through greater interaction among its peoples;

    – ASEAN shall reinforce its efforts to improve the quality of life of its peoples by ensuring social justice, improving the quality of and access to social services and working towards the reduction of poverty;

    – ASEAN, committed to the total eradication of illiteracy, shall work towards developing better informed and educated societies, through cooperation in educational development on an inter-disciplinary basis and the provision of basic education for all;

    – ASEAN shall engage the support of the public, private, international and national organizations and agencies in community building through appropriate educational processes, in recognition of the crucial role of community education in sustainable development;

    – ASEAN shall continue to strengthen the family as a foundation for a strong, caring and cohesive society, capable of meeting new challenges arising from rapid social and economic changes, by promoting strong family values and bonds and providing for safety nets for families to help cushion the impact of such changes;

    – ASEAN shall work towards the equitable and effective participation of women in all fields and levels of society;

    – ASEAN shall enhance regional cooperation for the survival, protection and development of children and for youth development;

    – ASEAN shall continue to strengthen collective response to the problems and challenges posed by HIV/AIDS, including the mobilization of resources to support implementation of priority activities;

    – ASEAN shall further enhance cooperative efforts against drug abuse and illicit trafficking, with special emphasis being given to demand reduction programmes and information exchange and dissemination, with the aim of creating a drug-free ASEAN;

    – ASEAN shall take into account the existence of new challenges to the peace, economic growth and stability of the region and the implication of these challenges;

    – ASEAN shall continue to promote the participation of various sectors of society, including NGOs and other similar organizations, in relevant activities of ASEAN; and

    – ASEAN shall intensify its cooperation in the field of civil service matters to further enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their individual civil services.

    EXTERNAL RELATIONS

  10. ASEAN shall continue to attach importance and further the Dialogue Process involving its Dialogue, Sectoral and Consultative Partners on the basis of mutual benefit and in the spirit of goodwill and partnership.
  11. ASEAN shall remain outward looking and shall deepen its external relations with its partners in a globally interdependent world.

    DONE at Bangkok, this 15th day of December 1995 in a single copy in the English Language.

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