1. The Ninth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting was held in Manila, 24-26 June 1976. HE Mr. Carlos P. Romulo, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and H.E. Mr. S. Rajaratnam, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore were unanimously elected Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Meeting, respectively.
  2. The Meeting was attended by H.E. Adam Malik, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia; H.E. Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia; H.E. Mr. S. Rajaratnam, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore; H.E. Mr. Bhichai Rattakul, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand; and H.E. Mr. Carlos .P. Romulo, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, as leaders of their respective delegations.
  3. H.E. Sir Maori Kiki, Deputy Prime Minister ad Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Relations and con-currently Minister of Defence of Papua New Guinea, attended the Meeting as Observer and as Guest of the Philippine Government.
  4. At the opening ceremony the Temporary Chairman, H.E. Tengku Ahmad Rithaudden, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, invited His Excellency, Mr. Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Republic of the Philippines, to deliver the keynote address.
  5. In his address, the President of the Philippines stated that, individually and collectively, ASEAN member countries must give full expression and substance to the ASEAN view that peace and security in Southeast Asia would be best promoted by keeping the region fee from the rivalries and interference of outside powers. He stressed that peace and progress of ASEAN and. of Asia as a whole would depend to a large extent on the maintenance of an equilibrium of power in the region. President Marcos urged ASEAN member countries in their relations with each other and other states to abide firmly by the principles of the Declarations of Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur and reaffirmed in the Declaration of ASEAN Concord.
  6. Noting the forthcoming activities of ASEAN, and its expanding role in international relations, the President invited the Meeting to complete its review of the ASEAN machinery.
  7. The Meeting noted that the far-reaching decisions of the Meeting of ASEAN Heads of Government in Bali last February have created greater awareness on the need to strengthen the peace and stability of this region. The Meeting expressed their confidence that ASEAN would continue to progress through positive efforts towards the goal of regionalism through social, cultural and economic endeavours. In this regard, the Meeting noted that the Meeting of ASEAN Heads of Government had given greater impetus towards the strengthening of national resilience.
  8. The Meeting expressed gratification at the ratification of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia by the Member States.
  9. In reviewing the developments in Southeast Asia during the past year, the Meeting noted that there were increasing bilateral contacts among states in the region. While hopeful that such contacts would break barriers of suspicion and misunderstanding, it stressed that these should be on the basis of mutual sincerity and goodwill and through reciprocal initiatives. Through such measures, the framework for expanded cooperation and genuine understanding within the region could be developed.
  10. The Meeting noted the increasing and positive interest shown in the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Zone of Peace Freedom and Neutrality in Southeast Asia. The Meeting expressed confidence that the relaxation of tension in the prospect of increased regional peace and harmony, notwithstanding the existence of different economic and social systems within the region, would create favorable conditions for the establishment of the Zone. The Meeting agreed that urgent attention should be given to measures for the attainment of greater support and acceptability of the Zone.
  11. The Meeting in approving the Annual Report of the Standing Committee, noted with gratification that there has been notable increase in the number of projects implemented.
  12. The Meeting commended and endorsed the efforts and measures taken by the Ministers involved in economic matters to expand trade and industrial cooperation at the Second Meeting of Economic Ministers held in Kuala Lumpur on 8-9 March 1976 and at the First Meeting of the Committee on Industry held in Manila from 26-30 April 1976 and called for their early implementation. In trade cooperation, agreement was reached on rice and crude oil as the first two basic commodities which ASEAN countries would accord, through preferential trading arrangements, priority of supply and purchase in critical circumstances. in industrial cooperation, the Ministers involved in economic matters have made substantial progress towards the establishment of the first five ASEAN industrial projects–urea, sulpher phosphates, diesel engines and soda ash-the products of which would be eligible for preferential trading arrangements by ASEAN countries. The Meeting agreed that the subsequent implementation of these measures would be within the framework of the restructured ASEAN organization.
  13. The Meeting recognized the need to provide infra- structural requirements in order to support more effectively economic cooperation schemes and enjoined Member Governments to speed up implementation of projects in the fields of transportation and telecommunications, civil air transport, air traffic services, meteorology and shipping.
    Realizing the adverse effects to the economy of Member Governments of the drastic increases in freight charges imposed by Shipping Conferences, the Meeting urged the ASEAN Federation of Shippers’ Councils to continue undertaking measures to mitigate such adverse effects.
  14. The Meeting undertook a review of ASEAN external economic relations and reaffirmed the principles governing ASEAN cooperation with third parties which are aimed at strengthening ASEAN capability and enhancing relations for mutual benefit.
  15. The Meeting, in general. expressed satisfaction with the progress of ASEAN relations with other countries and international organizations. It agreed that ASEAN should continue, with on-going projects within the context of cooperation schemes with Australia and New Zealand, respectively. It hoped that the ASEAN-Canada dialogue would be formalized soon. With regard to ASEAN-EEC relations, the Meeting agreed that additional efforts should be existed to derive tangible benefits from this dialogue.
  16. The Meeting however, noted the limited results from the ASEAN-Japan forum on synthetic rubber and on canned pineapples. In this regard, the Meeting expressed the hope that more fruitful results of cooperation would emerged with the continuation of these dialogues.
  17. The Meeting endorsed the Report of the Special Meeting of the Labor Ministers of ASEAN countries held in Baguio City, Philippines on 17-19 May 1976, and reaffirmed the commitment of their respective Governments to the ASEAN Basic Needs Strategy which aims to effectively distribute the benefits of production to the people of the region who still experience poverty and deprivation. The Strategy requires that the production of basic needs, personal consumption items, community services, and productive and remunerative employment be an integral portion of the individual country’s development efforts.
  18. The Meeting expressed satisfaction with the progress that had been made by ASEAN in expanding public participation in its affairs, in particular by the women and youth. The Meeting was pleased with the increasing interest of women and youth in development and agreed that relevant programmes of action for their integration and participation in development should be encouraged.
  19. The Meeting recognized the contribution of the private sector to the realization of ASEAN projects and programmes and therefore encouraged the active participation of non- governmental organizations in ASEAN activities.
  20. The Meeting was gratified to note that Member Governments have already ratified the Agreement on the Establishment of the ASEAN Secretariat and confirmed the appointment of H.E. Hartono Rekso Dharsono as the first ASEAN Secretary-General.
  21. The Meeting took note of steps, taken by Member Governments in preparation for the operation of the Secretariat and requested that further measures individually and collectively be adopted to enable the ASEAN Secretariat to function as soon as possible.
  22. In accordance with the Declaration of ASEAN Concord, the Meeting agreed that the review of ASEAN organizational structure be completed within the framework of the Bangkok Declaration. The Annual Ministerial Meeting remains the principal organ responsible for overall policy direction of ASEAN and coordination of all activities. The Standing Committee continues to be the policy arm between sessions of the Annual Ministerial Meeting. In addition, it shall be primarily responsible for the conduct of ASEAN external relations.
  23. The Meeting exchanged views on a variety of matters of common concern, including recent developments in the region and in Asia. In this connection, the Meeting heard with appreciation the explanation given by the Foreign Minister of Indonesia on the question of East Timor that recent developments in East Timor correspond with the provisions of, the United Nations Security Council Resolutions No. 384 of 22 December 1975, and No. 389 of 22 April 1976.
    Considering the expressed readiness of both Indonesia and the Provisional Government of East Timor to cooperate with the United Nations in the implementation of the above-mentioned Resolutions, the Meeting called on the United Nations to take cognizance of these assurances. In view of developments in that territory, the Meeting urged the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Vittorio Winspeare Guicciardi, to complete his mission as entrusted to him by the said Resolutions.
    The Meeting reaffirmed the view that the future of East Timor remains, in the final analysis, in the hands of the people of East Timor.
    The Meeting expressed the view that the solution of the East Timor question would contribute positively to the maintenance of peace and stability in the Southeast Asian region.
  24. The Foreign Ministers signed the ASEAN Declaration of Principles to Combat the Abuse of Narcotic Drugs and the ASEAN Declaration for Mutual Assistance on Natural Disasters. The Meeting attached importance to these Declarations as positive steps in implementing the ASEAN Concord. The Declaration of Principles to Combat the Abuse of Narcotic Drugs aims to intensify cooperation not only among Member States but also between ASEAN ‘and other international bodies involved in the prevention and eradication of drug trafficking and abuse. The Declaration for Mutual Assistance on Natural Disasters provides for the extension of relief assistance to a Member Country in distress by other Member Countries within their respective capabilities.
  25. The Tenth Ministerial Meeting will be held in Singapore in 1977.
  26. The Meeting was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN cordiality and solidarity.
  27. The Meeting expressed its gratitude and appreciation to H.E. Mr. Ferdinand E. Marcos, President of the Republic of the Philippines for his invaluable guidance and keen interest in ASEAN which contributed considerably to the successful conclusion of the Meeting. The Meeting also expressed its sincere appreciation to the Government and people of the Philippines for the warm and generous hospitality and to the ASEAN National Secretariat of the Philippines for the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting.
  28. The Meeting expressed its heartfelt sympathy to the people of the Philippines who were affected recently by typhoon Didang. The Meeting also took note of the warm appreciation of the Philippines for the kind assistance extended by ASEAN Member Countries for the typhoon victims.