Your Royal Highness,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have concluded the 43rd Ministerial Meeting and related Meetings after 5 days of lively discussions on various issues. I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for your active participation and valuable contributions to the successful outcome of these Meetings.
Advancing the ASEAN community building
We can be proud of significant progress we have achieved in advancing the goal of building the ASEAN Community in all three pillars. We reaffirmed our determination to expedite the effective implementation of the Roadmap for the ASEAN Community and promote further the “culture of compliance” with all ASEAN agreements. We considered the first draft Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, which would provide a framework for strengthening ASEAN connectivity and supporting the ASEAN community building. We will continue to consider a revised draft before submitting it to the 17th ASEAN Summit.
We reaffirmed our determination to bring the ASEAN Charter into full realization in all aspects, through completing a full legal framework at the soonest, ensuring the effective functioning of new organizational structure and improving working methods.
We commended the efforts of the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) in finalizing the 5-year Work Plan, and approved the high priority programmes and activities for 2010-2011 of AICHR. We reaffirmed the role of AICHR as the overarching institution for regional cooperation in human rights and stressed the need for the AICHR to ensure the effective operation in conformity with its Terms of Reference and establish its proper alignment with other human rights bodies in ASEAN, including the ASEAN Commission on the promotion and protection of rights of Women and Children (ACWC).
Also in pursuit of a people-centered community, we agreed to develop a Master Communication Plan synergizing all communication plans in three pillars in order to enhance our people’s awareness and participation in the community building process. We also agreed to develop a draft ASEAN Declaration on humanitarian assistance to distressed people and vessels at sea, which is another reflection of mutual assistance in ASEAN following the earlier adoption of the Guidelines for emergency assistance to all ASEAN nationals caught in conflict or crisis in third countries and the ASEAN Declaration on the protection and promotion of the rights of migrant workers.
Ensuring the ASEAN centrality
Reaffirming our strong determination to ensuring the ASEAN centrality in an evolving regional architecture, we have taken up actions to implement decisions made by our Leaders at the 16th ASEAN Summit. We must intensify efforts to accelerate the ASEAN community building while proactively enhancing relations with our external partners and strengthening ASEAN’s role as the primary driving force in the existing regional mechanisms.
We stressed the need to develop ASEAN’s strategies and plans in relations with our dialogue partners in a comprehensive manner so as to substantiate our external partnership through the framework of ASEAN+1. Our agreement on the convening of ASEAN+1 summits with some dialogue partners later this year, in addition to the existing annual ones, would further enhance ASEAN’s external partnership.
We also agreed to take more proactive role in guiding the future development of the ASEAN+3 and EAS mechanisms for strengthening the East Asia cooperation. We must ensure that the development of these two mechanisms serve the priority objective of building the ASEAN community. We must work to uphold our Leaders’ guiding principle that any new regional framework or process should be complementary to and built upon existing regional mechanisms and the principle of ASEAN centrality.
Welcoming the expressed interest of the Russia and the US to become members of the EAS, we agreed to recommend to ASEAN Leaders at the 17th ASEAN Summit to formally make the decision on inviting these two countries to join EAS with appropriate arrangements and timing. By making this decision, ASEAN has once again demonstrated itself as the primary driving force in promoting further dialogue and cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
Strengthening regional peace and stability
Reaffirming our strong commitment to maintain regional peace and security, we agreed to undertake proactive measures and activities in promoting dialogue and cooperation as well as bringing into full play various instruments and mechanisms.
The value of the TAC has been further enhanced by the formal accession to the TAC by Canada and Turkey, and the signing of the Third Protocol amending the TAC which enables EU/EC to accede to the TAC in a near future. We agreed to promote further the SEANWFZ Treaty for ensuring our region free from nuclear weapons and contributing to global efforts towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Reaffirming our commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, we agreed to respect and implement the DOC and, in this regard, worked towards the early reconvening of the ASEAN-China SOM on the DOC.
The adoption of the Ha Noi Plan of Action to implement the ARF Vision Statement reflects our strong commitment to promote the ARF as the primary forum in enhancing political and security dialogue and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
We shared the view that the ADMM Plus provides a useful forum for promoting regional dialogue and cooperation on defense-security issues, and looked forward to the fruitful outcome of the First Meeting of the ADMM Plus. We also supported the establishment of a cooperation mechanism among internal security agencies of ASEAN Member States.
Much has been achieved, but more need to be done by ASEAN. Our tasks are multiple and formidable. We must make greater efforts and undertake concrete measures to turn our vision into action. We need to take concrete actions and measures to realize the goal of the ASEAN Community in an effective and timely manner.
Vietnam will continue to do our best in working closely with other ASEAN Member States to carry out our joint mission for the rest of the year under the ASEAN Chairmanship and in the years to come.
I thank you and look forward to welcoming all of you again to Ha Noi on the occasion of the 17th ASEAN Summit in October.