WE, the Heads of State/Government 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 Viet Nam, Member Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, hereinafter referred to as ASEAN;
RECALLING the goals and objectives of the ASEAN Vision 2020, which sets out a broad vision of the ASEAN becoming “a concert of Southeast Asian Nations, outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together as partners in dynamic development and in a community of caring and sharing societies”;
RECALLING FURTHER the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II), adopted during the 9th ASEAN Summit in Bali, Indonesia, on 7 October 2003, which aims to realise the establishment of the ASEAN Community comprising three pillars, namely the ASEAN Security Community (ASC), ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) that are closely intertwined and mutually reinforcing for the purpose of ensuring durable peace, stability and shared prosperity in the region;
REAFFIRMING the core elements of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Plan of Action of the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP), which aims to build a community of caring and sharing societies to address issues of poverty, equity and human development; manage the social impact of economic integration by building a competitive human resource base and adequate systems of social protection; enhance environmental sustainability and sound environmental governance; and strengthen the foundations of regional social cohesion towards an ASEAN Community;
GUIDED by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and underscoring the importance of the Millennium Declaration wherein ASEAN Leaders at the 2nd ASEAN-UN Summit in 2005 declared to focus their collective efforts toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);
ENCOURAGED by the 2001 Declaration on the Commitments for Children in ASEAN wherein the survival, development, protection and participation rights of children in various conditions, including those with special needs, were recognised and identified;
REAFFIRMING FURTHER the ASEAN Plan of Action on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (RDPE), which aims to formulate strategies and implement programmes and projects based on the vision to eradicate poverty and respond to challenges of globalisation, trade liberalisation and regional integration;
EXPRESSING the need to accelerate the implementation of agreed ASEAN activities to address the development gap among ASEAN Member Countries, and to facilitate the pace of economic integration of ASEAN into one community of nations;
HEREBY DECLARE TO:
1. Reaffirm our commitment to realise the MDGs and the four strategic thrusts of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), particularly in reducing poverty and inequality and in improving the standard and quality of life of our people.
2. Direct our relevant ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial bodies to accelerate ASEAN cooperation under the socio-cultural pillar through closer consultation and synergy of cooperation in realising the goals of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) with clear timelines.
3. Strive to build a caring and sharing community for children that will effectively address issues on their survival, development, protection and participation rights through adequate allocation of resources and undertake effective measures and strengthen existing mechanisms to promote and protect the rights of the child, in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
4. Encourage equitable and effective participation of women in all fields in the ASEAN community-building process.
5. Encourage greater institutional collaboration in promoting ASEAN awareness particularly among the younger generation, and promote the increased involvement of ASEAN youth and students at national and regional level activities, so that they can make valuable contributions to the achievement of the ASEAN Community.
6. Commit to improve our standard of education to build a more competitive workforce.
7. Expand the participation of ASEAN parliamentarians, private sector and civil society organisations in line with the goal toward a people-centred ASEAN.
8. Promote ASEAN identity building in support of an ASEAN Community by undertaking initiatives and activities to increase the level of ASEAN awareness and “we feeling” among the peoples of ASEAN. We also reaffirm our efforts in preserving and promoting the region’s rich and vast cultural heritage and living traditions, which reflect the ASEAN spirit of unity in cultural diversity and social harmony.
DONE at Cebu, Philippines, this Thirteenth Day of January in the Year Two Thousand and Seven, in a single original copy in the English Language.
For Brunei Darussalam:
HAJI HASSANAL BOLKIAH
Sultan of Brunei Darussalam
For the Kingdom of Cambodia:
SAMDECH HUN SEN
For the Republic of Indonesia:
DR. SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO
For the Lao People’s Democratic Republic:
DATO’ SERI ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI
For the Union of Myanmar:
GENERAL SOE WIN
For the Republic of the Philippines:
For the Republic of Singapore:
LEE HSIEN LOONG
For the Kingdom of Thailand:
GENERAL SURAYUD CHULANONT (RET.)
For the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam:
NGUYEN TAN DUNG