- ASEAN Leaders today held a very productive meeting under the Theme “Advancing a Secure and Dynamic ASEAN Family through Greater Solidarity, Economic Integration and Social Progress”.
- We took note of the convening of this Summit at a time when our region is being confronted with fundamental changes in the regional and international scene such as the recent terrorist attacks, the hike in oil prices, the spread of avian flu, etc. In responding to those challenges, we stressed the importance of a higher degree of coherence of efforts to achieve the objectives of ASEAN Vision 2020.
- During the ASEAN Summit, we discussed issues of common concern to all members, including political and economic developments, in particular the latest developments on terrorism, the Korean Peninsular, the situation in Iraq and the Middle East.
Vientiane Action Programme (VAP): A Vehicle to Building an ASEAN Community through realizing comprehensive Integration.
- We adopted the ASEAN Security Community Plan of Action and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Plan of Action to implement the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II to realize the establishment of the ASEAN Community comprising three pillars, namely the ASEAN Security Community (ASC), ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and 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 and beyond. In this connection, we reaffirmed our commitment to achieving an ASEAN Community through initiatives and approaches to accelerate economic integration.
- In furtherance of, and intensifying, our cooperation in the fight against transnational crimes, we also adopted the ASEAN Declaration against Trafficking in Persons, Particularly Women and Children.
- We noted the Assessment Report on the Implementation of the Ha Noi Plan of Action (HPA) and agreed that the successful implementation of the HPA has significantly contributed to the realization of the end-goal of the ASEAN Vision 2020 and the Declaration of the ASEAN Concord II leading to the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2020.
- At the 10th ASEAN Summit, we signed the Vientiane Action Programme, a six-year plan, which is the successor of the HPA to realize the end goal of the ASEAN Vision and the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II. The VAP focuses on deepening regional integration and narrowing the development gap within ASEAN, particularly the least developed Member Countries. We agreed to establish an ASEAN Development Fund (ADF) to support the implementation of the VAP and future action programmes. In this connection, we called on our Dialogue Partners, other countries and regional and international organizations to support the implementation of the VAP.
- To further deepen regional economic integration, we also signed the ASEAN Framework Agreement for the Integration of Priority Sectors and we tasked the Ministers responsible for ASEAN Economic Integration to continue coordination and monitoring of the implementation of all measures specified in the Road Maps to ensure the successful integration of the priority economic sectors within the time frame.
- We noted with satisfaction that our respective economies have recovered with good prospect for further economic growth for the remaining year and in 2005.
Bridging the Development Gap
- Bridging the development gap is extremely important for regional economic integration and is a crucial part of confidence-building efforts to assist members to cope with challenges. In this regard, we noted progress made in the implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) and Road Map for Integration of ASEAN (RIA). We welcomed Singapore’s additional contribution of S$28.9 million (US$17.6 million) to support the implementation of the IAI as an important symbol of its commitment to foster closer economic integration and enhance ASEAN’s competitiveness as a region. Our top priorities include developing human resources, infrastructure, information technology, and energy with the support and cooperation of the private sector, our Dialogue Partners, other countries, and regional and international financial institutions.
- We reaffirmed the importance of sub-regional growth areas in ASEAN development and integration process such as the Mekong Basin Development Cooperation and the BIMP-EAGA. We discussed ways and means to accelerate the pace of development of these growth areas in ASEAN. We welcomed the contribution of other sub-regional development frameworks in the region such as the GMS, and ACMECS to help close the development gap within ASEAN. These frameworks should serve as building blocks for East Asia and Asia-wide cooperation. We also welcomed the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) and Asian Bond Market Development.
- We listened with interest to the outcome of the CLMV Summit and we supported the Vientiane Declaration on Enhancing Economic Cooperation and Integration among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam to convey, as a message, of our strong political will and determination of the Leaders of CLMV countries to accelerate the narrowing of their development gaps and ASEAN’s economic integration.
Regional and International Political and Economic Issues
- We discussed a wide range of issues related to ASEAN political and security cooperation.
- We reaffirmed the importance of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia as a code of conduct governing relations between countries in the region for the promotion of peace and stability in the region. We warmly welcomed the accession of the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation to the TAC and encouraged other non-Southeast Asian countries to accede to the Treaty. We also welcomed the steps being taken by ASEAN and China to implement the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
- We underlined the importance of strengthening relations and cooperation with other regions such as with Latin America and Europe through FEALAC and ASEM respectively. In this regard, we strongly supported Indonesia’s initiative to build a bridge of cooperation between Asia and Africa through the convening of the Asia-Africa Summit on 21-22 April 2005 in Jakarta and the observance of Golden Jubilee of the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference on 23 April 2005 in Bandung, Indonesia.
- We condemned in the strongest terms the recent terrorist acts and reaffirmed our determination to work together to mitigate the adverse impact of such attacks on ASEAN countries and urged the international community to assist us in this effort.
- We reaffirmed our commitment to a peaceful and comprehensive solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsular. In this connection, we noted with encouragement the achievement by the three rounds of the Six-Party Talks. We shared the view that the Six-Party Talks should be reconvened at the earliest possibility to bring about the common goal of denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsular.
- We noted that current developments in Iraq and the Middle East remained causes of great concern. With regard to the post-war Iraq, we reaffirmed our position that the United Nations must continue to play a central role in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq taking the responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
- While discussing current economic developments in the region and in the world, we expressed our determination to work together to minimize the adverse impact on our economies brought about by the hike in oil prices and avian flu. In this connection, we supported energy cooperation, in particular, in alternative energy, such as bio-fuels, and hydroelectric power, and the establishment of the Outbreak Response Teams.
Strengthening Cooperation with Dialogue Partners
- We noted the progress made in the political and economic cooperation with our Dialogue Partners. In this regard, we expressed satisfaction with the overall progress of the ASEAN+3 cooperation. We reaffirmed our determination to continue to drive the ASEAN+3 cooperation and to work closely with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea in promoting East Asia cooperation.
- We discussed the convening of an East Asia Summit (EAS). We agreed to hold the first EAS in Malaysia in 2005 and in this connection, tasked our Foreign Ministers to work out the details concerning its modality and participation.
- We expressed our satisfaction with the deepening of ASEAN-India cooperation. We welcomed the enhancement of AFTA-CER linkages, which will lay the firm foundation for future cooperation. We were also pleased to upgrade the relations between ASEAN and the Russian Federation and looked forward to the ASEAN-Russia Summit in Malaysia next year.
Institutional Strengthening of ASEAN
- We directed our Ministers, Senior Officials and the ASEAN Secretariat to continue the work of developing an ASEAN Charter and to review ASEAN’s mechanism, including the frequency of ASEAN’s meetings at all levels, with a view to rationalize them and make them more effective. We also agreed to further strengthen the ASEAN Secretariat, particularly in undertaking policy analysis and providing recommendations to ASEAN Member Countries in carrying out ASEAN cooperation. We agreed to consider the findings and recommendations of our Ministers and Officials on this matter at our next meeting.
- We reaffirmed our commitment to the United Nations. We further underlined the importance of reform of the United Nations and the enhanced role of ASEAN and ASEAN Member States within the United Nations system. In this connection, we endorsed the candidature of H.E. Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, for the post of United Nations Secretary-General and underscored the importance of Indonesia’s intention to seek permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council.
- In order to strengthen the cooperation between ASEAN and the United Nations we decided to convene the second ASEAN-UN Summit in New York during the 60th session of the UN General Assembly. In this regard, we tasked our Foreign Ministers to make the necessary preparations to ensure the success of the said Summit.
- We expressed our appreciation to the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and agreed to continue our support for its role as an important component to the overall strategy of increasing the private sector’s engagement in ASEAN economic policy deliberations. We once again underlined the need for closer coordination between the private sector and relevant government agencies in the implementation of ABAC’s recommendations.