1. The Foreign Ministers of the member states of the European Community and of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) met on 13-14 October 1981 in London. They had a wide-ranging and constructive exchange of views about current international and regional problems. They reaffirmed their commitment at Kuala Lumpur to world peace, international cooperation and understanding, economic development, social justice and human rights, and the principles of the UN Charter.
  2. The Ministers paid particular attention to current areas of instability in Asia. They deplored the continued presence of Vietnamese armed forces in Kampuchea and of those of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. In each case, a small independent state had been invaded and occupied by a foreign power in violation of international law. This threatened international peace and security, inflicted untold suffering on the peoples of these two countries and caused acute problems for neighbouring states.
  3. The Ministers reiterated their support for Resolutions 34/22 and 35/6 on the situation in Kampuchea which had been so over-whelmingly endorsed by the UN General Assembly. They stressed the need for the total withdrawal of Vietnamese forces and the establishment under United Nations supervision, of conditions in which the Kampuchea people would be able freely to elect a government of their own choice. The Ministers expressed their satisfaction that the solution proposed by the international Conference on Kampuchea which met in New York in July 1981, in which the great majority of the international community participator conforms to these principles. They expressed the hope that Vietnam and their states concerned will cooperate with the efforts undertaken to find a balanced and reasonable solution to the concerns of states in the region must be taken into consideration and that a peaceful solution to the Kampuchean problem ‘is in the true interest of all parties concerned. They expressed their confidence that the resolution of the Kampuchean question will contribute to durable peace and stability in South East Asia.
  4. In this context, the Ministers noted the absence of Vietnam and the other states concerned with the issue from the International Conference of Kampuchea held in New York and urged them to attend the future sessions of the Conference They expressed the hope that Vietnam would participate in a negotiating process which could lead to a peaceful solution of the Kampuchean problem and to the restoration of peace and stability in South East Asia.
  5. The EC Ministers expressed their appreciation that in the search for a comprehensive political settlement of the Kampuchean conflict, the ASEAN member countries were motivated by the desire to create conditions conducive to the realisation of the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN), whereby all countries of the region could enjoy peace, stability and freedom from interference by outside powers.
  6. The Ministers considered the refugee problem in the light of recent development. They noted with concern that the exodus from Vietnam Laos and Kampuchea continues to pose problems particularly for the countries and territories of first refuge. The EC Ministers noted that those countries and territories in the region continue to give temporary asylum to refugees from the Indo-Chinese peninsula and that the ASEAN countries deemed the extension of first refuge depends on commitment of resettlement in third countries and the avoidance of residual problems in the area. Both sides recalled the importance of Vietnam adhering strictly to the undertakings given at the UN meeting of Refugees and Displaced Persons at Geneva in July 1979, and to her cooperating in the implementation of the orderly departure programme.
  7. The Ministers noted the commendable work performed by the international and non-governmental relief agencies in the UN Emergency Relief Programme in Kampuchea which have managed to achieve the bulk of the objectives assigned to them. However the Ministers continue to hold the view that the problems facing the Kampuchean people, particularly the reconstruction and development of Kampuchea can only be solved when a comprehensive political settlement is reached and when a legitimate government, duly and freely elected by the Kampuchean people under United Nations supervision, has been set up in Phnom Penh.
  8. The Ministers noted that Thailand continues to carry a heavy burden in the form of Kampuchean refugees inside Thailand and along the border. They hoped satisfactory arrangements could be made, in cooperation with UNHCR, for the refugees in Thailand to return to their homeland without deterrence from any parties if they so wish. They stressed the importance meanwhile of maintaining international assistance to Thailand to help care for the refugees and continue cross-border feeding.
  9. The Ministers noted with deep concern that military operations by Soviet troops against the Afghan people to a severe ordeal and creating a massive flood of refugees and a heavy burden for neighbouring countries, in particular Pakistan. The Ministers strongly urged that conditions be created in Afghanistan which will enable these Afghan refugees to return to their homeland in safety and honour.
  10. They noted that all appeals by the United Nations, the Islamic states and the non-aligned countries for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan and a political solution enabling the Afghan people to determine freely their on form of government have been ignored. They agreed that the situation in Afghanistan remains an important cause of international tension.
  11. The ASEAN Ministers reiterated their support for the European Council’s proposal for an international conference on Afghanistan and expressed their conviction that it would open a constructive way forward for a political solution to the problem of Afghanistan. The Ministers expressed the hope that the Soviet Union would realise that a positive response was in the interest of world peace and stability.
  12. The Ministers agreed that all efforts, including the convening of an international conference on Afghanistan, should be made for a comprehensive solution of the Afghanistan problem, consistent with the resolutions of the United Nations and its agencies and the Organisation of Islamic Conference and with the European Council’s proposal concerning Afghanistan of 30 June 1981.
  13. The EC Ministers repeated their conviction that ASEAN had developed into a cohesive regional grouping, which is playing an independent and positive role in working for peace and stability in South East Asia. For their part, the ASEAN Ministers confirmed their conviction that the European Community is exercising a . stabilising influence in a world fraught with danger and uncertainty. Both sides acknowledged that their respective efforts were reinforced by their close and friendly cooperation.
  14. The Foreign Ministers bad a general exchange of views on the stabilising world economic situation. They discussed the results of the Ottawa Summit meeting and especially welcomed the call for continuing resistance to protectionist pressures. They reaffirmed their commitment to an open international trading system. They agreed to continue their constructive cooperation in international fora, particularly on commodity issues by supporting commodity agreements where appropriate, participating in them, and taking the necessary steps to bring them into force without delay.
  15. They also discussed the prospects for the Mexico Summit Meeting. They hoped that this would lead to a meeting of minds which would give momentum to the launching of global negotiations as soon as possible and contribute to a new international economic order.
  16. The Ministers recalled their previous joint declarations following their meetings in Brussels in 1978 and Kuala Lumpur in 1980 and reaffirmed their determination to deepen their cooperation. They therefore welcomed the forthcoming meetings between Community and ASEAN representatives in Brussels and the opportunity which would provide to give impetus to their cooperation agreement to which they attached the highest importance.