1 On the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN, we, the Heads of State/Government of ASEAN Member Countries gathered in Singapore for the 13th ASEAN Summit on 20 November 2007. We had candid and fruitful discussions under our 40th Anniversary theme of “One ASEAN at the Heart of Dynamic Asia”, and our substantive theme of “Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development”.
2 We celebrated the signing of the ASEAN Charter as a historic milestone for ASEAN, representing our common vision and commitment to the development of an ASEAN Community as a region of lasting peace, stability, sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and social progress. We commended the Eminent Persons Group and High Level Task Force on the Drafting of the ASEAN Charter for their inspired contributions.
3 We agreed that implementation will be the key to the realisation of the vision outlined in the ASEAN Charter. With the Singapore Declaration on the ASEAN Charter, we pledged to undertake all measures necessary to ensure expeditious ratification and implementation of the Charter. We welcomed Thailand’s offer to host a special ceremony to celebrate the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter during the next Summit, at the Saranrom Palace, where the ASEAN Declaration was signed in 1967.
Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development
4 We recognised that the issues of energy security, environment, climate change and sustainable development are interrelated and complex, and represents a serious global challenge that must be addressed in a comprehensive manner through individual, regional and concerted international action. In particular, the adverse effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels and changing weather patterns, would have direct impact on the security, livelihood and well-being of the peoples of ASEAN, and thus necessitated urgent action. We underscored the importance of establishing a comprehensive post-2012 international climate change arrangement, based on the principles of equity, flexibility, effectiveness, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. We declared our commitment to the UNFCCC process and pledged our support for Indonesia’s hosting of the UNFCCC meeting in December 2007, and its efforts to work with all parties to adopt the “Bali Roadmap” towards negotiations for a post-2012 international agreement.
5 We agreed that ASEAN, as a region, must do its part in addressing these issues. Through the ASEAN Declaration on Environmental Sustainability, we pledged to deepen cooperation in a wide range of activities, including combating transboundary environmental pollution, and ensuring the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources. We also agreed to explore the safe and sustainable use of alternative energies, such as hydropower, biofuels and solar power. Through the ASEAN Declaration on the 13th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC and the 3rd Session of the Meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP) to the Kyoto Protocol, we commit to support Indonesia for the successful conclusion of the climate change conference in Bali.
6 We noted in particular that ASEAN’s rich endowment of forestry resources meant our region could contribute in a major way to the global reduction of greenhouse gas through the preservation of carbon sinks. In this regard, we are committed to increasing forest cover in our region, and welcomed concrete initiatives such as the Heart of Borneo conservation plan being undertaken by Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. We pledged to tackle and guard against unsustainable practices, such as illegal logging, preventing slash-and-burn practices and forest fires,, through cooperation to implement robust enforcement, education and increased bilateral and regional cooperation. We also called upon the international community to participate in and contribute to such efforts. In addition, we support other relevant initiatives such as the Forestry Eleven Forum, and the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security.
7 Given the need to explore alternative sources of energy, we stressed the need to ensure that these sources are sustainable and safe. In this regard, we welcomed our Energy Ministers’ work in following up on our discussions at the 12th ASEAN Summit in Cebu, in particular the move to establish a Nuclear Energy Safety Sub-Sector Network (NES-SSN) to discuss civilian nuclear energy safety and security issues, and to develop a nuclear safety regime at the regional level that meets international standards. There should also be stronger and better cooperation on the development of renewable sources of energy in an effort by ASEAN to address climate change.
Building an ASEAN Community
ASEAN Economic Community
8 We welcomed the finalisation of the Blueprint for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the signing of the Declaration on the AEC Blueprint, which will serve as the roadmap for transforming ASEAN into a single market and production base, highly competitive and fully integrated into the global community by 2015. We emphasised the importance of equitable economic development, and the reduction of poverty and socio-economic disparities. We urged that the benefits of economic integration be quickly accrued to all people of ASEAN through timely implementation of the provisions of the Blueprint, which should be monitored through the development of an AEC Scorecard mechanism. We tasked the ASEAN Economic Ministers to ensure that we follow-through with our commitments in the Blueprint, and we designated 2008 to be the year for promoting ASEAN Economic Community Awareness.
9 We reiterated the commitment of our Transport Ministers to ensure the timely implementation of the ASEAN Roadmap for Integration of Air Travel Sector (RIATS), and pledged to work towards the expeditious signing of the implementing texts of the RIATS in February 2008, which will pave the way for fully liberalised air services among ASEAN capitals by December 2008. We agreed that fully liberalised air services within ASEAN would contribute positively on our region’s competitiveness and accelerate our integration efforts.
ASEAN Political-Security Community
10 We applauded our sectoral ministers for their contributions and relentless efforts to enhance peace and security in the region through active cooperation and consultations in forums such as the AMM, AMMTC and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). We also commended the spirit of cooperation of our Defence Ministers and militaries in forging practical cooperation to address the range of transnational security issues facing the region. We noted the ADMM’s aspiration to establish a robust, effective, open and inclusive regional security architecture, which would enhance regional peace and stability, and contribute to the realisation of the ASEAN Political-Security Community.
11 In the spirit of realising the ASEAN Community by 2015, we tasked our Ministers and officials to draft a Blueprint for the ASEAN Political Security Community (APSC), which would be adopted at the 14th ASEAN Summit.
ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community
12 We underlined the need to enhance education and to hone the skills and talents of our peoples as ASEAN moves towards closer integration, in order to ensure the region’s competitiveness, and to reap the benefits of globalisation while minimising the social impacts. We underscored the importance of promoting greater understanding and friendship among our people through the building of stronger people-to-people linkages, especially our youths. We expressed appreciation for the setting up of the SGD 5 million Singapore-ASEAN Youth Fund, and also applauded the efforts of ASEAN member countries in promoting greater ASEAN awareness, through a series of commemorative activities to celebrate ASEAN’s 40th Anniversary, suggestions such as the inclusion of ASEAN studies into our national curricula and Thailand’s proposal to establish ASEAN Friendship Associations. We designated ASEAN Day (8 August) as a Special Day.
13 In order to ensure that concrete actions are undertaken to promote the establishment of an ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, we tasked our Ministers and officials to draft a Blueprint for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC), which would be adopted at the 14th ASEAN Summit.
Narrowing the Development Gap
14 We agreed that narrowing the development gap remains an important task which will ensure that the benefits of ASEAN’s integration efforts are fully realised. We noted that our efforts to narrow the development gap, such as through the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), should be aligned with the broader objectives of ASEAN’s integration efforts. We thanked Singapore for its pledge of a third tranche of IAI contributions amounting to SGD 30 million from 2009-2011. We further noted Singapore’s launching of an ASEAN eGovernment and Telecoms Fellowship programme next year, which will benefit mainly the newer ASEAN countries economies, and serve to augment their capabilities in two critical areas: e-Government and telecom regulation. We also expressed appreciation to Singapore’s voluntary contribution of US$500,000 to the ASEAN Development Fund, which will provide financial resources to support the implementation of the Vientiane Action Programme.
Strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat
15 We recognised that with the increasing scope of ASEAN cooperation, the Secretariat’s infrastructure and facilities should be upgraded to meet this additional workload. In this connection, we welcome Singapore’s contribution of US$240,500 to the Secretariat to upgrade its Information Technology and archival and depository systems.
16 We had an extensive and open discussion on Myanmar. We were given a comprehensive briefing by Myanmar PM Thein Sein, where he emphasised that the situation in Myanmar was a domestic affair, and that Myanmar was fully capable of handling the situation by itself. He reaffirmed that Myanmar had every confidence in managing the good offices of the UN. As ASEAN Chair, Singapore issued a statement to clarify ASEAN’s role and stand. We reiterated that the Myanmar Government should continue to work with the UN in order to open up a meaningful dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy (NLD); make full use of the good offices of the UN Secretary-General and Professor Gambari in this process; lift restrictions on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and release all political detainees; work towards a peaceful transition to democracy; and address the economic difficulties faced by the people of Myanmar. We emphasised that we will strive to prevent the Myanmar issue from obstructing ASEAN’s integration efforts, especially the ASEAN Charter and the establishment of the ASEAN Community.
ASEAN’s External Relations
17 We are pleased with the overall progress of our cooperation within the ASEAN Plus Three framework, and looked forward to the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of ASEAN Plus Three cooperation with our Plus Three Dialogue Partners. We reiterated that ASEAN Plus Three cooperation will continue to support ASEAN integration with the objective to realise the ASEAN Community, and play a key role in regional community building efforts for the long-term goal of realising an East Asian community with ASEAN as the driving force. We looked forward to the adoption of the Second Joint Statement on East Asia Cooperation and its accompanying ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan (2007-2017), which would provide strategic guidance for the future direction of ASEAN Plus Three cooperation, with the aim of building an open regionalism connected to the world.
18 We reiterated that the dynamic and diverse cooperation with our Dialogue Partners have played a crucial role in facilitating our integration efforts and the narrowing of development gaps. We welcomed our Dialogue Partners’ vigorous engagement with ASEAN and encouraged them to further deepen and broaden cooperation to achieve a stable, prosperous and outward-looking region. However, we regretted that some of our dialogue relations have been strained as a result of the Myanmar issue. We urged our dialogue partners to take a strategic and comprehensive view of our relations.
19 We also underscored the importance of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) in strengthening ASEAN’s global competitiveness and its cooperation with its Dialogue Partners. We encouraged all partners to work with ASEAN towards the speedy realisation of the FTAs with the longer-term benefits of such FTAs in mind. These FTAs, taken collectively, will deepen our economic integration and widen our web of trade and investment links with the world, thereby contributing to the overall development and benefit of the people of the region. In this regard, we welcomed the significant achievements in our FTA negotiations with China, Japan, and ROK, and looked forward to further progress in our FTA talks with India, Australia and New Zealand, as well as the European Union.
20 We noted that ASEAN and the EU will be holding a Commemorative Summit to mark 30 years of cooperation in Singapore on 22 November 2007, and looked forward to having a substantive discussion with our partners from Europe.
21 We recognised and supported the mutually reinforcing and complementary roles of the ASEAN Plus Three process and the East Asia Summit (EAS), and such regional forums as the ASEAN Regional Forum, to promote East Asian cooperation. We reaffirmed our desire to continue developing the EAS as a high-level strategic forum for dialogue, and a means to catalyse regional cooperation among its participating countries. We looked forward to signing the Singapore Declaration on Climate Change, Energy and the Environment at the EAS, which will set out important common ground among the EAS participating countries on the key principles which can help pave the way to a more effective post-2012 agreement.
22 We reiterated our strong commitment towards an expeditious and successful conclusion of the Doha Development Round. Concluding the Round is essential to promote growth, opportunity, and prosperity. The primacy of the rules-based multilateral trading system is also vital to ensure a fair and predictable global market in which we can all participate. We firmly believe that a successful outcome is within our collective grasp if we all make the necessary sacrifices. ASEAN is prepared to make our contribution. We each know what we must do, and we call on all WTO Members to do the same at this critical juncture. We have come too far to fail. ASEAN also reiterated their strong support to Lao PDR’s early accession to the WTO.
Incoming Secretary-General of ASEAN
23 We endorsed Thailand’s nomination of H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan as the incoming Secretary-General of ASEAN. We thanked outgoing Secretary-General H.E. Ong Keng Yong for his outstanding contributions to ASEAN.
24 We noted the reports from the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, ASEAN Foundation and the ASEAN Civil Society Conference 2007 which was held in Singapore in October 2007. We renewed our commitment to build a people-oriented ASEAN that is responsive to the needs of its peoples, and welcomed the ongoing efforts to institutionalise a genuine process of dialogue between the Leaders and all quarters of society, with the ASEAN Secretariat playing a key role as facilitator. We noted the comments and suggestions made by the civil society groups, including the need to deepen economic integration and community-building efforts, pay attention to well-being and livelihood of vulnerable groups in society, promote democracy, good governance and human rights, effectively resolve the transboundary environmental pollution, including haze, and ensure that in the development of nuclear power as an alternative energy source of power generation and civilian nuclear energy use, international nuclear safety and security standards are upheld.
25 We expressed our appreciation to the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Leaders for their useful insights during our Working Lunch, which provided us with valuable feedback on our individual economic policies and how it could fit better into enhancing the business and investment environment in ASEAN.
26 We recognised the importance of highlighting ASEAN’s economic opportunities to the world business community, and looked forward to attending the ASEAN Event at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos in January 2008.
27 We expressed support for the Philippines’ hosting of the 2nd Meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development in 2008, and urged all member countries to participate actively in the drawing up of concrete initiatives that promote and harness the link between migration and development.