- The Nineteenth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, held in Manila from 23 – 24 June 1986, was formally opened by Her Excellency Corazon C. Aquino President of the Republic of the Philippines.
- Attending the Meeting were: His Royal Highness Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Brunei Darussalam; His Excellency, Prof. Dr. Mochtar Kusumaatmadja, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia; His Excellency Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia; His Excellency Dr. Salvador H. Laurel, Vice-President and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines; His Excellency S. Dhanabalan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore; His Excellency Dr. Arun Panupong, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand; and their respective delegations.
- His Excellency Phan Wannamethee, Secretary- General of the ASEAN Secretariat, also attended the Meeting.
- His Excellency Legu Vagi Minister for Foreign Affairs of Papua New Guinea, attended the Meeting’s opening session as Special observer.
- Dr. Salvador H. Laurel, Vice-President and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines, chaired the Meeting. His Excellency S. Dhanabalan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Singapore, was elected Vice-Chairman.
- In her opening address, Her Excellency, President Corazon C. Aquino of the Philippines reaffirmed the new Philippine Government’s commitment to ASEAN.
- The President observed that the collective efforts of ASEAN have led to its recognition as a successful regional organization. This is shown by the keen interest of other countries in developing ties with ASEAN.
- Expressing ASEAN’s concern, President Aquino regretted that the continuing occupation of Kampuchea threatens the region’s stability. She expressed the hope that ASEAN could be an example of reason, humanity, and economic progress instead of being a vortex of instability.
- The President recognized the effect of global recession on ASEAN’s export-oriented economies. She traced the causes of ASEAN’s poor economic performance in recent years to the efforts of industrialized countries to reduce their imports, thus depressing commodity prices.
- The President emphasized that self-reliance could have spared ASEAN many of the ill effects of global recession. The apparent indifference of rich countries to ASEAN’s economic plight should have spurred ASEAN countries to a more vigorous utilization of their own potentials. Thus, ASEAN would now be assessing the impact of regional economic cooperation, rather than discussing how to take off.
- Looking forward to the 1987 Third ASEAN Summit in Manila, President Aquino welcomed the opportunity to meet for the first time all her ASEAN counterparts, She added that it will be an ideal forum for ASEAN to make hard and fast decisions to attain its basic objectives.
- Finally, the President exhorted member countries to renew their commitment firmly to ASEAN’s goals of regional cooperation and progress.
THIRD ASEAN SUMMIT
- The Foreign Ministers recalled the agreement reached during the Special Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Bali on 29 April 1986, to recommend to their respective Heads of Government the holding of the Third ASEAN Summit in Manila in the latter half of 1987. They reiterated their conviction that present conditions in the world economy, which have had serious repercussions on the economies of ASEAN member states, necessitate new directions in intra-ASEAN cooperation and in ASEAN’s relations with third countries.
- The Foreign Ministers took note of the Report of the Secretary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat on the proposed organizational machinery for the ASEAN Summit. They expressed their appreciation to the Secretary-General for his cooperation and for his contribution to the initial preparation for the Summit.
SIITUATION IN KAMPUCHEA
- The Foreign Minister reviewed the situation in Kampuchea and expressed their deep concern on the continued illegal occupation of Kampuchea, now in its eight year, by Vietnamese military forces. They reaffirmed their conviction that Vietnam’s military occupation of Kampuchea is a violation of the United Nations Charter and international law, of the right of the Kampuchean people to self-determination and of the principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. At the same time, it poses a grave threat to the peace and stability of Southeast Asia, thus endangering international peace and security.
- The Foreign Ministers reiterated their call for a durable and comprehensive political settlement in Kampuchea that will lead to the total withdrawal of all foreign forms; the restoration of the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and the neutral and non-aligned status of Kampuchean the exercise of self- determination; and the achievement of national reconciliation in Kampuchea. In this context, the Foreign Ministers reaffirmed the validity of the Joint Appeal for Kampuchean Independence issued by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers on 21 September 1983 and reiterated their proposal for indirect or proximity talks between the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK) and Vietnam made in Kuala Lumpur on 8 July 1985.
- The Foreign Ministers deplored Vietnam’s continued pursuit of a military solution to the Kampuchean problem. They noted that despite the absence of military targets along the Thai-Kampuchean border areas, Vietnamese forces have continued mounting military operations against civilian camps in the border areas, in violation of Thailand’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The most recent of these operations occurred on 29 May 1986, which had resulted in deaths and casualties among innocent Kampuchean civilians and Thai villagers living along the border. In addition landmines had been planted in border areas which had claimed hundreds of lives and had caused serious injuries to hundreds of Kampuchean and Thai nationals. They strongly condemned these premeditated and violent actions, and reiterated their call for Vietnam to desist from launching them. They urged the international community to make a similar appeal to Vietnam.
- The Foreign Ministers expressed full support for Thailand’s actions in the exercise of her legitimate right of self-defence. They reaffirmed their solidarity with the Government and people of Thailand in the face of such external provocations.
- The Foreign Ministers viewed Vietnam’s recent so-called annual partial withdrawal of its troops from Kampuchea in May 1986 as mere troop rotation intended to mislaid the international community, the Kampuchean people and the Vietnamese people themselves.
- The Foreign Ministers noted with serious concern the plight of the Kampuchean people under Vietnamese occupation. The oppressive conditions inside Kampuchea, particularly the practice of compelling Kampuchean civilians to work in the war zones, have caused numerous casualties. The Foreign Ministers shared the serious apprehension of the Kampuchean people over the demographic changes in Kampuchea brought about by the increasing number of Vietnamese settlers and the on-going process of Vietnamization of Kampuchea.
- The Foreign Ministers reaffirmed their support for the CGDK undo, the Presidency of Samdech Norodom Sihanouk, whose continued leadership of the Coalition is vital and crucial in the Kampuchean people’s struggle to restore the independent, sovereign, neutral and non-aligned status of their nation. They reaffirmed further their support of Samdech Sihanouk’s call for national reconciliation among all the Kampuchean factions as an essential step in the restoration of independence and national unity in Kampuchea.
- The Foreign Ministers recalled their Joint Statement issued in Bali on 28 April 1986 and reiterated their support of the CGDK’s Eight-Point Proposal for a political settlement to the Kampuchean problem. In their view, the proposal can serve as a constructive framework for negotiations and addresses important aspects of the Kampuchean problem, particularly the core issues of the total withdrawal of Vietnamese troops, self-determination of the Kampuchean people, concrete steps to bring about national reconciliation and Kampuchea’s role and obligations in the regional and international context. Their support reaffirms ASEAN’s conviction that the Kampuchean problem has to be resolved by the Kampuchean people themselves. The Foreign Ministers again called on Vietnam to reconsider its rejection of the Eight-Point Proposal and strongly urged the international Community to support it.
- The Foreign Ministers noted the increasing cooperation and unity among the component parties of the CGDK in their political, diplomatic and military struggle with a clear objective of liberating their country from Vietnamese occupation. They took note of the growing number and high morale of the nationalist resistance forces who are fighting more effectively to achieve that goal. The Foreign Ministers was particularly encouraged by the growing cooperation and support given by the Khmer people, including disenchanted followers of the Phnom Penh regime, to the CGDK.
- The Foreign Ministers expressed their deep appreciation to the international community for its support of the CGDK. The increase in the number of votes in favor of the Resolution on the Situation in Kampuchea at the 40th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) attests to this overwhelming support and to the rejection by the international community of Vietnam’s policies in Kampuchea.
- The Foreign Ministers expressed their appreciation to the former President of the International Conference on Kampuchea (ICK), His Excellency Willibald Pahr, for his dedication to and efforts towards the implementation of the objectives of the ICK Resolution and Declaration. They likewise expressed their appreciation to the President of the ICK, His Excellency Leopold Gratz, former Foreign Minister of Austria, for his efforts towards the attainment of the same objectives. Recognizing the efforts of the ICK Ad-Hoc Committee, the Foreign Ministers also expressed their appreciation to its Chairman, His Excellency Massamba Sarre of Senegal, and all its members, for their commitment and dedication. The Foreign Ministers welcomed the presence of Ambassador Sarre and other members of the ICK Ad-Hoc Committee at the Nineteenth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting.
- The Foreign Minister expressed their deep appreciation for the efforts of the United Nations Secretary- General, His Excellency Javier Perez de Cuellar, to find a comprehensive political settlement to the Kampuchean problem in accordance with the relevant UNGA resolutions. They welcomed the presence of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs in Southeast Asia, His Excellency Rafeeuddin Ahmed, at the Nineteenth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting.
- The Foreign Ministers reviewed the diplomatic efforts of ASEAN in its search for a comprehensive and durable political solution to the Kampuchean problem. They reaffirmed their determination to continue their efforts in seeking such a solution to the Kampuchean problem as envisaged in the UNGA Resolutions on the Situation in Kampuchea.
- The Foreign Ministers noted with appreciation the efforts of the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, His Excellency D,, Mochtar Kusumaatmadja who, as the interlocutor of ASEAN vis-a-vis Vietnam, has endeavoured to explore and broaden the options available in the search for a comprehensive and durable political solution of the Kampuchean problem within a strategic framework for the future of Southeast Asia.
- The Foreign Ministers note with deep regret the absence of any genuine desire on the part of Vietnam for a negotiated and peaceful settlement as called for by an overwhelming majority of countries in the United Nations. ASEAN views Vietnam’s pronouncements as variations of its well-known positions and Preconditions that have not contributed towards a comprehensive Political settlement of the Kampuchean problem. Vietnam’s rejection of the CGDK’s Eight-Point Proposal further illustrates the continuing inflexibility of its position on the Kampuchean problem. The Foreign Ministers called on the international community to continue to be concerned with the problem.
- In reviewing the situation over the past year since they last met, the Foreign Ministers once again deeply deplored the continuing Vietnamese occupation of Kampuchea, now in its eight year, resulting in the uprooting and the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Kampucheans. The Foreign Ministers were also apprised of the numerous across-the-border shelling incidents from occupied Kampuchea into Thailand as well as incursions conducted by Vietnamese troops during the past 12 months. These incidents inflicted heavy casualties among the civilian Kampuchean population sheltered along the Thai-Kampuchean border.
- The incident of 29 May 1986 also witnessed the shelling of a civilian Kampuchean evacuation cap at Khao Yai which is under the care of the United Nations Border Relief Operation (UNBRO) almost four kilometers inside Thai territory. Eleven Kampucheans died while some 50 persons, mostly the elderly, women and children, sustained serious injuries. The Foreign Ministers further demanded that the Vietnamese authorities cease and desist forthwith their attacks against Kampuchean civilians in UNBRO – supervised camps inside Thailand.
- Since November 1985, over a quarter of a million of Kampuchean civilians have had to be evacuated to camps inside Thailand as a result of these continuing military operations conducted against the people of Kampuchea by Vietnamese forces. Furthermore, some 200,000 Thai villagers in these border areas had also to be relocated for their own safety.
- Since the invasion of Kampuchea in 1978, the Foreign Ministers noted that hundreds of thousands of Indochinese refugees and displaced persons were still being sheltered and cared for in the ASEAN countries. They expressed serious concern over the continued arrivals by sea of Vietnamese refugees in their countries in recent months. While the ASEAN countries reaffirmed their continuing adherence to the generally accepted humanitarian principles they also reiterated the understanding that these refugees and displaced persons would be guaranteed resettlement in third countries or that they would be voluntarily repatriated to their countries of origin, and there would not be a residual problem in the ASEAN countries. They reaffirmed once again the importance of international burden-sharing in relieving the plight of these refugees and displaced persons.
- The Foreign Ministers were again in agreement that the continuing exodus of asylum seekers from Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea is evidence of the unabated hardship and suffering existing in their own countries. The Foreign Ministers noted the increasing number of asylum seekers from Laos and commended the efforts of the UNHCR in assisting with the screening procedures.
- The Foreign Ministers noted that thousands of Vietnamese were still fleeing their country by sea and that the Orderly Departure Programme (ODP) remained the most effective avenue for their resettlement in third countries. In this connection, they commended the efforts of UNHCR and the resettlement countries in providing the necessary assistance for the ODP and called on them as well as Vietnam to continue to work closely together to enhance the effectiveness of the ODP.
- The Foreign Ministers reiterated their conviction that it is the inalienable right of the Indochinese refugees and displaced persons currently stranded in neighbouring countries to return safely to their homelands Furthermore, the landmines which have been found in Thai territory and along the Thai-Kampuchean border constitute an obstacle to the free exercise, on the part of Kampucheans, of that right. The Foreign Ministers urged all friendly countries and the international community to render necessary assistance and support to their call on Vietnam to desist forthwith from planting such mines.
- The Foreign Ministers once again expressed their appreciation to the United Nations Secretary-General for his continuing and indispensable humanitarian role which has helped to alleviate the plight of Indochinese refugees and displaced persons. They also noted with gratification the firm dedication and the commendable efforts of Mr. Tatsuro Kunugi, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative for Coordination of Kampuchean Humanitarian Assistance Programmes. The Foreign Ministers also reiterated their appreciation for the highly valuable and indefatigable work rendered by UNBRO in cooperation with World Food Programme, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross and all the voluntary agencies towards the relief of the plight of the Indochinese refugees, displaced persons and illegal immigrants along the Thai-Kampuchean border, in the holding centres in Southeast Asia, as well as the affected Thai villagers.
- The Foreign Ministers expressed their profound appreciation to the continuing readiness of governments to render assistance in satisfying the humanitarian needs arising from the refugee situation in Southeast Asia and appealed to them to continue to extend and intensify their assistance in conjunction with the agencies of the United Nations and the Secretary General’s Special Representative. They also expressed the hope that this assistance be directed to the plight especially of the approximately quarter of a million displaced Kampucheans along the Thai-Kampuchean border, who continue to have the greatest and the most urgent need for humanitarian assistance while the conflict in Kampuchea remained unresolved.
- The Foreign Ministers reaffirmed ASEAN’s determination to pursue efforts towards the realization of the Zone of Peace, Freedom and Neutrality (ZOPFAN) in Southeast Asia, while recognizing that the Kampuchean problem remains an obstacle to the attainment of this objective. They noted with satisfaction the Progress Report of the Working Group on ZOPFAN which been entrusted with the task of studying the concept of Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ), as a component of. ZOPFAN. The Foreign Ministers requested the Senior Officials and the Working Group to continue with the consideration of the subject in all its aspects, including a comprehensive definition of the principles, objectives and elements involved with a view to drafting as soon as possible a treaty on the SEANWFZ, talking into account all its implications.
- In this context, the Foreign Ministers noted with special interest the conclusion of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty at Rarotonga on 6 August 1985.
REVIEW OF ASEAN COOPERATION
- Reviewing developments in intra-ASEAN cooperation, the Foreign Ministers noted with satisfaction the concrete steps taken in the past year to promote the realization of the objectives of the ASEAN Declaration of 1967 and the 1976 Declaration of ASEAN Concord.
- The Foreign Ministers welcomed the decision of the Government of Brunei Darussalam to participate in the ASEAN’ Food Security Reserve Scheme (AFSR) and to earmark 3,000 metric tons of rice in its national stock, thus raising the ASEAN Emergency Rice Reserve to a total of 53,000 metric tons.
- The Foreign Ministers noted that the Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers of Justice, Ministers of Law and Attorneys-General, in Bali, 11 – 12 April 1986, resulted in the signing of a Ministerial Understanding on the Organizational Arrangement for Cooperation in the legal Field. This Ministerial Understanding serves to promote legal cooperation among ASEAN countries.
- Bolstering energy-related cooperative efforts, the Foreign Ministers signed the ASEAN Energy Cooperation Agreement, and the ASEAN Petroleum Security Agreement.
- The Foreign Ministers noted the Report of the Third Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers of Science and Technology, held in Kuala. Lumpur, on 24 – 25 April 1986. The Foreign Ministers also noted the need to undertake further study on the sourcing of funds for the proposed ASEAN Science and Technology Trust Fund and its implications.
- The Foreign Ministers stressed the imperative of tapping ASEAN’s vast potential for regional economic cooperation, to ensure ASEAN dynamism and resilience in the face of challenges to its development and growth. The Foreign Ministers agreed to refer’ to the ASEAN Economic Ministers the Philippine proposal of a regional payments clearing mechanism designed to catalyze intra-ASEAN trade.
- The Foreign Ministers reviewed the current situation on the international drug problem and reiterated their serious concern over the increasing dangers of drug abuse and illicit trafficking. They reaffirmed their belief that the international drug problem had grave socioeconomic, security, cultural and humanitarian implications. Recalling the ASEAN Declaration of Principles to Combat Abuse of Narcotic Drugs adopted in Manila on 26 June 1976, the Foreign Ministers renewed their firm determination to take cooperative action to combat the drug abuse menace. The Foreign Ministers urged the international community to increase their efforts in combating the spread of drug abuse and trafficking.
- The Foreign Ministers commended the continuing cooperative efforts of the international community and the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in the preparation of the draft Convention Against Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances and Related Activities. The Ministers also commended the Third (Social and Humanitarian) Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control, the International Narcotics Control Board ad the Division of Narcotic Drugs of the United Nations Secretariat for their untiring efforts in combating the dug problem. The Ministers noted with appreciation the initiatives undertaken against international drug abuse and trafficking at the First Ladies Conference on Drug Abuse held at the United Nations in New York in October 1985 and at the Summit of Industrialized Nations in Tokyo in May 1986.
- The Foreign Ministers took note of the successful efforts against illicit drugs on the part of the individual ASEAN governments and non-governmental organizations in their countries.
- The Foreign Ministers were appreciative of the support by the-international community for the General Assembly Resolution 40/122 co-sponsored by ASEAN and other countries and adopted at the 40th Session of the United Nations. Pursuant to that Resolution, an International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, at the ministerial level will be held in Vienna from 17 to 26 June 1987. The Foreign Ministers reiterated their conviction that the Conference would provide the necessary political mandate for effective international action in combating the drug problem. The Foreign Ministers agreed that ASEAN member governments coordinate their positions with a view to formulating a joint strategy in respect of substantive issues and the organization of their work at the Conference. The Foreign Ministers pledged ASEAN’s determination to work closely with like-minded countries to ensure the success of the Conference.
ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN
- The Foreign Ministers recognized that women constitute an important sector of the ASEAN community. They reaffirmed their countries’ support for the effective implementation at the national, regional and international levels of the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women up to the year 2000, which is embodied in General Assembly Resolution No. 40/108 adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its fortieth session. In endorsing the call of the world body, that the strategies. be translated into national and regional plans of action, the Foreign Ministers agreed that the ASEAN Women’s Programme Subcommittee study the expansion of the existing framework for the further improvement of the status of women in the ASEAN region, in order to promote their equitable and full participation in all fields of political, economic, social and cultural development of their societies.
COOPERATION WITH DIALOGUE PARTNERS
- The Foreign Ministers noted the progress of ASEAN’s cooperation with its Dialogue Partners: Australia, Canada, the European Community, Japan, New Zealand, the United States and UNDP. They agreed to intensify cooperation with these partners, in line with ASEAN’s socioeconomic development goals.
- The Tenth ASEAN – Australia Forum, held in February 1986, has further enhanced cooperation between ASEAN and Australia. The Foreign Ministers welcomed Australia’s decision to extend the ASEAN Food Technology Research and Development Project, and to commence new activities within the ASEAN – Australia Economic Cooperation Programme (AAECP), namely: (1) the ASEAN Tree Improvement Centre Project, and (2) the ASEAN – Australia Cooperative Programme in Microelectronics.
- Regarding trade, the Foreign Ministers hoped that the positive elements of the new Australian System of Tariff Preferences (ASTP) could be emulated by other developed countries in formulating their GSP schemes. Nevertheless, the Ministers felt that the preferential-point margin should be substantially raised, so as to maintain the competitiveness of those adversely affected products from developing countries. The Ministers urged Australia to be more responsive to ASEAN’s requests for greater market access for ASEAN’s exports. They encouraged the Senior Trade Officials of Australia and ASEAN to continue their consultations on trade issues of mutual interest.
- The Foreign Ministers also noted that the joint review of the AAECP is scheduled during the year.
- The on-going ASEAN dialogue with Canada was marked by meetings at various levels in the past year. Early in 1986, two major Canadian-supported projects were launched, namely: the ASEAN Institute of Forest Management in Malaysia, and the Development and Management of Living Marine Resources in Indonesia. The Foreign Ministers commended these developments. They invited Canada to continue supporting ASEAN’s development efforts through close cooperation in addressing problems pertaining to market access, shipping and international economics, as well as to the social and cultural areas. The Foreign Ministers expressed hope that Canada would further improved its commercial relations with ASEAN, since the balance of ASEAN-Canada trade has always been in Canada’s favor. The Ministers urged Canada to encourage investment missions to ASEAN and to involve the private sector within the framework of ASEAN-Canada economic cooperation.
- Commending the first ASEAN – EC Ministerial Meeting on Economic Matters, held in Bangkok in October 1985, the Foreign Ministers noted its clear definition of new priorities and directions to strengthen economic relations between the two regions. In particular, the Foreign Ministers expressed satisfaction over the establishment of the ASEAN – EC High-level Working Party on Investment, which will submit a report to the Sixth ASEAN – EC Ministerial Meeting to be held in Jakarta in October 1986. The broader dimensions of ASEAN – EC cooperation now include human resources development, civil aviation, energy, drugs, tourism, and interaction between the public and private sectors.
- The Foreign Ministers also noted the successful conclusion of the Sixth Joint Cooperation Committee Meeting in Brussels, the ASEAN – EC Experts Group Meeting in Human Resources Development (HRD) in Jakarta, and the ASEAN-EC Senior Trade Officials Meeting in Singapore.
- On the ASEAN – Japan Forum, the Foreign Ministers noted that while satisfactory progress has been made in the fields of culture, youth, and human resources development, more adequate attention should be focused during the Eighth ASEAN – Japan Forum on pending issues: commodities and trade, investment and industry, and transfer of technology. In this connection, the Foreign Ministers expressed grave concern over the declining trend of Japanese imbalance in ASEAN – Japan trade. ASEAN’s agricultural, manufactured and semi-manufactured products continue to experience poor access to the Japanese market. The Foreign Ministers urged Japan to be more responsive to ASEAN’s concern over the future of the Tokyo-based ASEAN Promotion Centre on Trade, Investment and Tourism.
- The Foreign Ministers noted that. better understanding between ASEAN and New Zealand has been achieved after the 7th ASEAN – New Zealand Dialogue, held in Bandar Seri Begawan in December 1985, which has set the directions for future cooperation. The Foreign Ministers hoped that more positive interaction would enhance the trade and economic relations of both sides. They noted with appreciation New Zealand’s flexibility in its GSP Policy adjustments, although further measures are needed to resolve other related issues. They also expressed appreciation of the New Zealand Government’s support of the project proposals on the “Prospects for Cooperation in cultural Programme/ Exchanges” and the “Narcotics Detection and Investigation Progamme”.
- The Foreign Ministers declared that their Bali Meeting with the President of the United States, and their bilateral meetings with the US Secretary of State, in early May 1986, have enhanced mutual understanding between ASEAN and the United States. The Foreign Ministers noted with satisfaction the positive outcome of the 7th ASEAN – US Dialogue. They endorsed its decision to strengthen the dialogue relationship and coordination and the consultative machinery to deal with bilateral, regional and international economic issues, as well as development cooperation including, inter alia, the establishment of a comprehensive human resources development programme. They reiterated ASEAN’s firm position against protectionism and expressed support for the strong stand take by the President of the United States in opposing it. At the same time, the Foreign Ministers noted with grave concern the proliferation of proposed legislation, clearly protectionist in nature, which could have adverse effects on ASEAN – US trade and economic relations. Such unilateral legislation would run counter to the United States call for the prompt start for a New Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations (NRMTN) strengthen the present multilateral trading system, for which ASEAN has been an early strong supporter.
- The Ministers welcomed the firm commitment of the US President to exercise all possible flexibility in minimizing the harmful effects of the US Farm Act on the economic development of ASEAN countries. The Foreign Ministers urged that solutions be sought to put agricultural trade on an orderly and fair footing.
- The ASEAN Foreign Ministers noted that implementation of the Third Cycle (1982 – 1986) of the UNDP – funded projects was undertaken expeditiously. Ten ASEAN – UNDP project documents had been signed during the past year in the areas of transportation and communications, industry, minerals and energy, science and technology, trade, culture and information and drugs. They further noted the scope of, and financial allocation for, projects under the Fourth Cycle (1987 – 1991) that are being actively considered by ASEAN and the UNDP. In this respect, the Foreign Ministers welcomed UNDP’s continued assistance to ASEAN’s development projects.
INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ISSUES
- Reviewing the international economic situation, the Foreign Ministers noted that despite encouraging signs of economic recovery in developed countries, the developing countries are still faced with a number of critical problems. Among these are growing protectionism, agricultural subsidies, continuing depressed commodity prices, and external financial imbalances. Moreover, the world economy is still fraught with uncertainties caused by, among others, the volatility of exchange rates, the distortions cased by restrictive trade policies of certain developed countries, and the spill-over effects of the trade disputes among them. The Foreign Ministers expressed the need for concerted efforts by all countries, developed and developing, to redress these difficulties soonest.
- The Foreign Ministers viewed with grave concern the accelerating protectionist pressures undermining the open market system which has long served the economic interests of both developed and developing countries. The Foreign Ministers therefore urged that commitment to a standstill and rollback of restrictive trade measures be strictly adhered to. The Foreign Ministers felt that recognition should be given to growing interdependence and to the positive role which developing countries could play in realizing broad-based revitalization of the world economy. In this respect, the Foreign Ministers urged the developed countries to give priority to ASEAN’s trade interests.
- The Foreign Ministers expressed grave concern over the continuing difficulties in the world market for key agricultural and primary products, which have adversely affected the economies of the ASEAN countries. Continued introduction of agricultural subsidies and trade restrictions by certain developed countries have worsened the situation, putting greater adverse pressures on an already depressed commodities market. The Foreign Ministers urged that cooperation and collective action be undertaken by all countries concerned in specific areas, as well as on the multilateral level by actively supporting on-going efforts in GATT to strengthen the rules on agricultural trade, reducing trade distortions, and allowing trade in agriculture to follow comparative- advantage and free-market forces.
- The Foreign Ministers reiterated the need for developed countries to recognize the importance of commodity earnings for ASEAN economies, as well as the importance of constructive cooperation between producer and consumer countries in stabilizing world commodity. prices. Such cooperation should provide for long-term benefits to producers in the form of fair prices to stimulate investment. and to consumers in the form of continuous supplies. The Foreign Ministers noted that an international seminar on commodities will be held in Kuala Lumpur on 21 – 25 July 1986 and expressed the hope that the seminar would contribute to bring about stability in commodity prices.
- The Foreign Ministers expressed disappointment over the inadequate support being given by industrialized countries to existing international commodity agreements of interest to developing countries. In this regard, they urged the industrialized countries to play a more constructive role in promoting increased cooperation and collaboration between producers and consumers through international commodity agreements, in order to assure prices remunerative to producers and equitable to consumers.
- The Foreign Ministers reaffirmed ASEAN’s commitment to an active participation in the preparatory process for the launching of the NRMTN. Toward this end, they pledged that ASEAN will continue to play a constructive role in support of the NRMTN. They further reiterated ASEAN’s readiness to discuss new issues, and urged that issues of interest to ASEAN should be given priority in the NRMTN. They noted that an ASEAN Senior Trade Officials Group on MTN has been established to coordinate ASEAN’s participation in the New Round.
- The Foreign Minister, recalled the ASEAN Memorandum to the Tokyo Economic Summit, presenting ASEAN’s position on major international economic issues. Generally, they felt that future Summits should give increasing attention to the major issues of concern to developing countries such as commodity issues, market access, textiles, and the debt problem. The Foreign Ministers noted with interest the decisions of the Summit with regard to agriculture and called on the Summit participants to expeditiously and effectively implement such decisions.
- The Foreign Ministers expressed concern over the debt problem and financial difficulties that still plague many developing countries although it was recognized that the easing of interest rates could alleviate these difficulties. The Foreign Ministers also expressed their concern with the rapid appreciation of the currencies of some developed countries which could aggravate the debt problem. The Foreign Ministers welcomed the Baker Plan which, despite its limitations, signifies a greater appreciation by creditor countries of the growth requirements of developing countries.
- With the emergence of the Pacific area as one of the world’s major economic regions, the Foreign Ministers reiterated that it is important for ASEAN to keep developments in the Pacific region under constant and more intensive review. The Foreign Ministers welcomed the opportunity for an exchange of views With the Dialogue countries on developments in the Pacific region during the Post Ministerial Conferences.
COMMISSION ON SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION
- The Foreign Ministers welcomed and expressed their support for the proposal of the Second South-South Conference held in May 1986 in Kuala Lumpur for the establishment of a non-governmental Independent Commission of the South on Development Issues, and called upon other countries of the South also to support the proposal.
ASEAN TASK FORCE
- In noting the on-going. implementation of the approved ASEAN Task Force recommendations, the Foreign Ministers expressed satisfaction with the, progress being made in this area.
- The Foreign Ministers viewed with deep concern the continuing escalation of the global arms race, particularly in its nuclear dimension. They expressed their sincere hope that the resumed negotiations between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in Geneva will yield early and concrete results and welcomed the constructive proposals recently tabled at that forum to bring about genuine, verifiable and balanced arms reductions. The Foreign Ministers called on the nuclear-weapon states, especially the two major power, in their negotiations to build on past agreements rather than to abandon them. They specifically appealed to the major powers to continue to abide by their unilateral commitments to observe the terms of the 1979 SALT II accord. The Foreign Ministers reiterated their call on the nuclear-weapon states to take into account, not only their own security concerns but also those of the entire international community, especially the developing non-nuclear weapon states.
- The Foreign Ministers welcomed the decision to convene an international conference on disarmament and development as called for in UNGA Resolution 40/155 of 16 December 1985 adopted at the 40th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. They regretted the postponement of the conference and expressed the hope that it should definitely be held in 1987.
CRITICAL ECONOMIC SITUATION IN AFRICA
- The Foreign Ministers expressed their deep concern that the economic situation in Africa has reached a critical stage and that it is bound to have serious worldwide repercussions. They commended the efforts of the African states and reaffirmed their support for the endeavours of the international community to provide assistance to the affected peoples of Africa. They called for the implementation of the United Nations Progamme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development (1986 – 1990) adopted by consensus at the 13th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Consistent with their desire to enhance the prospect for more wide-ranging South- South cooperation, the Foreign Ministers expressed their readiness to participate in the international effort towards a long-term solution to the problem of agricultural development and food security in Africa.
- The Foreign Ministers expressed their deep concern over the deteriorating situation in West Asia. They reiterated their full support for the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people t’ exercise their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination, independence and sovereign statehood, and the restoration of Arab sovereignty over their occupied territories. They continue to believe that the convening of an international conference on Palestine would offer the inappropriate avenue towards a just and comprehensive resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and durable peace in West Asia. The Foreign Ministers renewed their appeal for an end to the tragic war between Iran and Iraq and for a just and honourable resolution of their conflict.
- The Foreign Ministers reiterated their call for the total withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and the restoration of the inherent right of the Afghan people freely to determine their own destiny. They were of the firm view that a sovereign, independent and non-aligned Afghanistan is essential for the peace and stability of Southwest Asia. In this regard, they expressed their support for the United Nations Secretary General’s efforts to bring about a comprehensive political settlement of the problem.
PRIVATE SECTOR AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
- The Foreign Ministers recognized the important role that the private sectors of ASEAN, including the ASEAN – Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCI) and the ASEAN non-governmental organizations, have played in promoting ASEAN cooperation and goodwill, particularly at the level of people-to-people contact, and called for closer interaction between the public and the private sectors of ASEAN.
- The Foreign Ministers appointed His Excellency Mr. Roderick Yong Yin Fatt of Brunei Darussalam as Secretary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat for a period of three years, effective 16 July 1986.
- The Foreign Ministers expressed profound appreciation to the outgoing Secretary-General of the ASEAN Secretariat, His Excellency, Ambassador Phan Wannamethee of the Kingdom of Thailand, for his exemplary service to ASEAN and his contribution to the strengthening of the ASEAN Secretariat during his term of office.
TWENTIETH ASEAN MINISTERIAL MEETING
- The Twentieth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting will be held in Singapore in June 1987.
- The Delegations of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand expressed their sincere and deep appreciation to the New Government and people of the Philippines for the warm and generous hospitality accorded to them, the excellent facilities provided, and the efficient arrangements made for the Meeting.
- The Meeting was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN friendship and solidarity.