1. The 4th ASEAN-Canada Dialogue was held in Ottawa, Canada on 10-11 May 2007. The Meeting was attended by representatives of ASEAN Member Countries, Canada and the ASEAN Secretariat.
  2. The Meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Randolph Mank, Director General Asia South and Pacific, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada, and His Excellency Nguyen Trung Thanh, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam.
  3. In his welcoming remarks, the Canadian Co-Chair highlighted the importance of 2007 as the year which commemorates the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-Canada relations, welcomed the opportunity the anniversary presents to highlight key achievements over the past thirty years and reiterated Canada’s interest and efforts to further promote relations with ASEAN in the future. He also hoped that both sides would take every opportunity to work closely on matters of mutual interest, including in health security, fighting terrorism and transnational crime, and trade and investment. The Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism, signed in July 2006, provided a framework for enhanced political and security cooperation. Similarly, the ASEAN-Canada Joint Cooperation Work Plan has provided a good basis for more extensive cooperation between both sides, and he noted that Canada looks forward to collaborating with ASEAN to achieve solid results under the work plan.  As this was the first dialogue meeting co-chaired with Viet Nam, the Canadian Co-Chair expressed his gratitude for the support received from Canada’s previous ASEAN Coordinating Country, Brunei Darussalam, and expressed Canada’s appreciation to be working with Viet Nam, the new Coordinating Country until 2009.
  4. In his opening remarks His Excellency Nguyen Trung Thanh stated that the year 2007 was an important milestone in the history of ASEAN with the commemoration of its 40th Anniversary. He stressed the importance the ASEAN Member Countries attached to the dialogue relations with Canada and expressed ASEAN’s appreciation for Canada’s renewed commitment to continuing to work with ASEAN on various issues of common interest and in realising the many shared objectives. While underlining the encouraging and substantive developments recorded in the dialogue relations over the past few years, he thanked Brunei Darussalam, the previous Coordinating Country of ASEAN-Canada Dialogue Relations, for the efforts and good work put on the ground, serving as the foundation for steady development of the dialogue relations in the years to come. He also expressed his optimism at the prospects for cooperation between ASEAN and Canada in areas such as trade, investment, counter terrorism, environment, and energy security, and hoped that development cooperation would be increased with specific projects and programmes. In concluding, he reaffirmed ASEAN and Viet Nam’s determination to build a closer partnership between ASEAN and Canada.
  5. ASEAN briefed Canada on the outcomes of the 12th ASEAN Summit and 2nd East Asia Summit (EAS) held in January 2007 in Cebu, Philippines, in particular, the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, the Cebu Declaration on the Acceleration of the Establishment of an ASEAN Community by 2015, Declaration on the Blueprint of the ASEAN Charter and  the on-going work of the High Level Task Force to draft the ASEAN Charter in time for the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore in November 2007.  Canada welcomed the positive developments in ASEAN, and supported ASEAN’s efforts towards narrowing the development gap, strengthening regional integration and establishing an ASEAN Community by 2015.  Canada welcomed ASEAN to play a central role in the emerging regional architecture in East Asia and Asia-Pacific.
  6. Canada briefed ASEAN on the Canadian government’s international priorities, which are focused on promoting values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law; rebuilding Canada’s military; fostering a climate of innovation and investment; and protecting the environment.  In particular, Canada indicated that its main foreign policy priorities included playing a leadership role in peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan, strengthening relations in the Americas and expanding its commercial presence in emerging markets.
  7. Canada briefed ASEAN on the results achieved to date under the auspices of the 1st ASEAN-Canada Joint Cooperation Work Plan (2005-07), notably the signing of the Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism at the Post Ministerial Conference in Kuala Lumpur, July 2006, and that Canada is sharing counter terrorism capacity building expertise in many countries throughout the region.  In addition, effective collaboration has occurred in the following key areas:
    • Fighting disease: Canada funds $15 million for the Canada-Asia Regional Emerging Infectious Diseases project, implemented by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization, to reduce the threat of emerging infectious diseases in Southeast Asia and China.  In support of the objective of strengthening Canada-ASEAN cooperation in international fora, Canada also has signed an agreement with the WHO regional offices to implement the Asia Pacific Strategy on Emerging Diseases, and works with various ASEAN countries to implement the UN Regional Strategy on mobility and HIV vulnerability.
    • Promoting human rights: Canada is providing $1.7 million over five years to the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism in support of ASEAN’s human rights objectives to promote and protect the rights of women, children and migrant workers in the region as outlined in 1.1.4 of the Vientiane Action Programme.  This support is part of a $9 million project named SEARCH which is supporting the Working Group, Forum-Asia and the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Trafficking.
    • Supporting communities: Canada provided $95,000 for the 5th ASEAN People’s Assembly, held in December 2006 in the Philippines, in support of ASEAN’s goal of building a people-centred community.
    • Promoting gender equality: Canada is working with the ASEAN Secretariat to conduct regional analysis and prepare the third regional report on women’s advancement in ASEAN countries.
    • Fostering innovative information technology:  The ASEAN Collaboratory, a three-year, $800,000 project established by the ASEAN Foundation and Canada’s International Development Research Centre, promotes innovative “ICT for development” applications.
  8. The Meeting noted that that Canada is a long-standing development partner in the region.  Canada briefed ASEAN on the Canadian International Development Agency’s Southeast Asia Regional Program and noted that the Regional Program focuses on strengthening regional institutions, networks and organizations working on trans-boundary issues or development issues that are more effectively dealt with at a regional level.  Canada supports ASEAN goals as outlined in the Vientiane Action Programme, the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), and Vision 2020, and will consider proper ways and means to collaborate with ASEAN in realizing the objectives of these important programs.  Canada welcomes and hopes to attend the 2nd IAI Development Cooperation Forum, to be held in Ha Noi, 12-13 June 2007.
  9. The Meeting noted that a peaceful and comprehensive solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula was crucial to maintaining peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region. The Meeting emphasized the importance of the Six-Party Talks and welcomed the resumption of talks. Canada commended ASEAN’s efforts in helping to create a more conducive atmosphere for the Six-Party Talks. The Meeting welcomed the positive developments in the inter-Korean talks.
  10. The Meeting was of the view that a comprehensive, durable and just resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was important in creating peace and stability in the Middle East.  It expressed support for the full implementation of the Road Map and relevant UN resolutions, including the establishment of a Palestinian state existing side-by-side with Israel within secured and recognized borders.
  11. On Iran’s nuclear program, the meeting called on Iran to comply fully with UNSC resolutions 1737 and 1747 and to co-operate fully with the IAEA to resolve all current and outstanding issues.
  12. On Iraq, the Meeting expressed serious concerns over the continued acts of violence, especially regarding the effects these had on innocent civilians and Iraqi authorities. The Meeting called for an increased effort to restore peace and stability in Iraq and hoped for all parties to complete the successful political reconstruction of that country.
  13. The Meeting was briefed by Canada on the situation in Afghanistan, and noted that complementary, mutually-reinforcing military and civilian engagement is essential to successfully stabilizing Afghanistan and to supporting human rights, good governance and the rule of law, and economic and social development in Afghanistan.  Canada noted that economic cooperation in the region is vital to the long term stability and sustainability of Afghanistan, and encouraged ASEAN to continue to support regional cooperation, and to play a constructive role in the reconstruction and development process.  The Meeting noted the contributions by some ASEAN Member Countries to peace and development in Afghanistan, the stability of which is crucial for the broader region.  Canada encouraged ASEAN Member Countries to consider ways to engage with Afghanistan and to work with Canada in supporting reconstruction there, including during the drafting of the Second ASEAN-Canada Joint Cooperation Work Plan.
  14. The Meeting commended Canada for its prompt and continuous assistance to the survivors of regional disasters.  The Meeting viewed that, to deal with natural disasters, it was necessary to strengthen regional and global efforts in disaster risk reduction and response.  ASEAN expressed its interest in cooperating with Canada in the areas of research and studies on these topics and would welcome the opportunity for ASEAN students to study weather forecasting and natural disasters.  Canada stressed the importance of a disaster risk-reduction approach and of working through the multilateral system, particularly the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the Hyogo Framework for Action.
  15. The Meeting discussed the importance of the environment and natural resources, particularly recognizing the importance of these to the livelihoods of people in Southeast Asia, as well as for the broader global commons.
  16. The Meeting discussed ways of enhancing cooperation to prevent and fight transnational crime, including, inter alia, trafficking in persons and money laundering. Technical assistance and capacity building, in particular to ASEAN Member Countries, were identified as ways in which these problems could be dealt with effectively.
  17. ASEAN and Canada welcomed the strengthened commitment to counter terrorism through the signing of the Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism at the 2006 Post Ministerial Conference in Kuala Lumpur.  The Meeting welcomed the new proposed initiatives for cooperation between ASEAN and Canada in the effort to counter terrorism. The Meeting noted that existing regional and international institutions, such as the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Bangkok, the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter Terrorism (SEARCCT) in Kuala Lumpur, and the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC) play an important role in the effort to effectively combat terrorism and transnational crime.
  18. The Meeting noted that to effectively address HIV/AIDS, a priority should be placed on public education and renewed emphasis on prevention, anti-retro viral treatment as well as care and support to people living with HIV/AIDS.  The Meeting welcomed continued and improved regional and cross-border approaches to HIV reduction, including addressing the vulnerabilities of migrant and mobile populations.
  19. The Meeting emphasized the importance of promoting closer cooperation to deal with and prevent the spread of communicable diseases such as avian influenza, including through the training of personnel, establishment of information sharing systems and coordination of national pandemic preparedness plans. Canada commended efforts of countries in the region to overcome this disease, including identifying ways to develop an enhanced response.
  20. ASEAN informed Canada on its economic outlook, trade and economic relations with trading partners, and developments in its regional economic integration processes, both internally and externally.  Canada welcomed the strengthening of economic and trade cooperation under the framework of ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) and advancing economic partnership with its other Dialogue Partners through the various FTAs.  Canada informed ASEAN of its economic outlook, trade and economic relations with trading partners, particularly under the NAFTA.  ASEAN and Canada exchanged views on measures to promote enhanced economic cooperation and closer commercial relations, particularly through the proposed Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) under the auspices of the ASEAN-Canada Senior Economic Officials Meeting (SEOM).  The Meeting expressed the hope that such an arrangement could be finalized at the 3rd SEOM, which will be held in Canada in the fall of 2007, and that it could serve as a starting point for further discussion on trade expansion.
  21. The Meeting discussed the recent developments in the World Trade Organization Doha negotiations.  Both Canada and ASEAN signalled their support for the recent communiqué by the G6 to intensify efforts at engagement in order to conclude a deal by the end of 2007. However Canada and ASEAN agreed that engagement by all WTO members in Geneva will be necessary to secure an ambitious and broad outcome, one that will make a real contribution to reducing poverty and help developing countries better integrate into the multilateral trading system.
  22. The Meeting recognised the role of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in promoting prosperity and fostering economic cooperation in the region and looked forward to the successful outcome of the APEC Leaders Meeting to be held in Sydney, Australia in September 2007. The Meeting welcomed the desire of ASEAN Member Countries who are non-APEC members to join the forum when the moratorium is lifted, and took note of the proposed concept of a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific discussed at the November 2006 meeting in Ha Noi.
  23. Canada informed ASEAN of the upcoming G8 Summit and noted the two pillars of this year’s Summit: Growth and Responsibility in the Global Economy, and Growth and Responsibility in Africa, along with this year’s emphasis on engagement with the five outreach economies (i.e Brazil, India, China, South Africa and Mexico) of which two are ASEAN neighbours.  More specifically, the Global Economy themes include global imbalances, foreign investment, innovation and intellectual property rights, climate change and energy efficiency, raw materials, and corruption. The Africa themes are institutional capacity and governance, investment, peace and security, and health.
  24. Both sides remain committed to further enhancing the ASEAN-Canada partnership.  Canada and ASEAN will work closely to undertake a range of activities to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Canada-ASEAN relations.  ASEAN expressed interest in Canada acceding to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), and Canada undertook to consider ASEAN’s invitation.
  25. On the future direction of ASEAN-Canada relations, the Meeting discussed ways to develop further cooperation such as in the areas of Inter-faith dialogue, Information Communications Technology (ICT), counter terrorism and international crime, and trade and investment.  ASEAN and Canada agreed to complete the drafting of the 2nd  ASEAN-Canada Joint Cooperation Work Plan, in time for possible adoption by Foreign Ministers at the PMC 10+1 with Canada, in Manila, August 2007.  The work plan will be implemented with specific programs and projects.
  26. ASEAN and Canada also undertook to explore developing a Declaration on Enhanced Partnership and a comprehensive Plan of Action.
  27. The Meeting welcomed the intention of Canada and Brunei to co-host the ARF Inter-sessional Group on Confidence Building Measures and Preventive Diplomacy (ARF ISG on CBMs and PD) process during the 2007-2008 ARF Inter-sessional year. Brunei will host, tentatively in November 2007, and Canada tentatively in April 2008.  Brunei and Canada will, as a result, also host the concurrent Defence Officials Dialogue (DOD) process.
  28. The Meeting welcomed the preliminary draft concept paper for a Canada-ASEAN Dialogue on Interfaith Initiatives, and agreed that Canada would further refine the concept in collaboration with ASEAN following the Dialogue meeting.
  29. It was agreed that the next ASEAN-Canada Dialogue would be held in Viet Nam at a date to be announced.
  30. The Meeting expressed its appreciation to the Government of Canada for its warm hospitality and for the excellent arrangements extended throughout the Meeting. The Meeting was conducted in a spirit of cooperation and cordiality under the co-chairmanship of Canada and Viet Nam.