Ha Noi, 30 October 2010

ASEAN and Australia: An Enduring Connection

  1. We, the Heads of State/Government of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Commonwealth of Australia, held an ASEAN-Australia Summit on 30 October 2010 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. The Meeting was co-chaired by the Prime Minister of Viet Nam H.E. Nguyen Tan Dung, and the Prime Minister of Australia H.E. Julia Gillard. The Secretary-General of ASEAN was also in attendance.
  2. We celebrated with appreciation Australia’s steadfast friendship, as ASEAN’s first Dialogue Partner, over the past 36 years. ASEAN Leaders warmly welcomed Prime Minister Gillard’s participation at this landmark meeting and the constructive discussions on the further deepening of ASEAN-Australia relations. ASEAN Leaders appreciated Australia’s continued support for ASEAN’s institutional strengthening through the implementation of the ASEAN Charter, and for ASEAN’s central role in the regional architecture in responding to regional and global challenges.
  3. We had constructive and engaging discussions on a range of regional and international developments which reflected the depth and breadth of Australia’s engagement with ASEAN. Australia’s contributions to regional cooperation were also welcomed, including through its participation at the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Australia also welcomed ASEAN’s contributions to deliberations at the G20 and supported the regular participation of the ASEAN Chair at G20 Summits. Noting the particular support Australia has provided to the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), Australia would look for opportunities to continue this cooperation.
  4. We noted with satisfaction the strong two-way trade in goods and services between ASEAN-Australia, totalling over A$76 billion in 2009 and looked forward to strengthening ASEAN-Australia trade even further through the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA), which entered into force in January 2010. ASEAN Leaders noted Australia’s significant contribution to the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Programme, including the AANZFTA Support Unit in the ASEAN Secretariat. These were unprecedented capacity building initiatives undertaken within the framework of an ASEAN-Plus FTA. We believe that the AANZFTA will be a cornerstone of the continued regional agenda for liberalisation of trade and investment and contribute to the building of a Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA).
  5. ASEAN Leaders warmly welcomed Australia’s strong support for the ASEAN Connectivity Initiative and ASEAN’s goal of building an ASEAN Community by 2015, based on the ASEAN’s three pillars: ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. ASEAN Leaders applauded Australia’s commitment to partner with ASEAN, in the implementation of the new Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, and welcomed the work already being undertaken by Australia to enhance connectivity in the region. Both sides recognised that enhanced connectivity in ASEAN will bring broader benefits to East Asia and beyond, serve as an enabler to develop ASEAN’s central role, within the regional economic architecture, and support of an East Asian community building. At the same time, enhanced connectivity needs to be effectively managed to deal with the inherent risks such as transnational crime and cross border challenges.
  6. We reaffirmed the significance of Australia’s longstanding partnership with ASEAN, which covers many areas of functional cooperation under the Plan of Action for the ASEAN-Australia Comprehensive Partnership. Australia continues to be an important development partner for ASEAN, with expected support of A$950 million in official development cooperation to ASEAN countries in 2010-2011. We reviewed with satisfaction the significant ASEAN-Australia cooperation among ASEAN’s three Community pillars, including the following:

    a) Political-Security

    i) We had constructive discussions on the regional architecture, in particular, welcoming the deeper engagement of the United States and the Russian Federation through their participation in the EAS from 2011. We underscored the importance of ASEAN centrality in the EAS and emphasised its primary goal of dialogue and cooperation on broad strategic, political and economic issues. In addition, we pledged to work with all participants to advance EAS cooperation, including in the priority areas of finance, energy security and the environment, education, pandemic preparedness and disaster management and work towards the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA).

    ii) We reaffirmed the constructive and central role played by ASEAN in leading the ARF towards enduring regional peace and stability through dialogue, consultation and cooperation. We affirmed the importance of promoting concrete cooperation in the ARF as reflected in the Hanoi Plan of Action to Implement the ARF Vision Statement and for the ARF to make a successful transition from confidence building to preventive diplomacy in order to maintain its role as the premier regional security forum.

    iii) We acknowledged the important role played by regional frameworks such as the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and welcomed the inaugural ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in strengthening cooperation in regional security and defense through enhanced dialogue and practical cooperation among the participating countries, complementing the work of the ARF. In particular, we agreed to pursue cooperation in the agreed areas of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, maritime security, military medicine, counter-terrorism and peacekeeping operations.

    iv) We committed to enhancing cooperative efforts under the ASEAN-Australia Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism of July 2004 and also recommitted to jointly combat and prevent other transnational crimes, such as illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, sea piracy, arms smuggling, money laundering, international economic crime, and cybercrime, through effective institutional linkages, cooperation and capacity building programmes in accordance with national laws and policies. We agreed on the need to work together for a sustainable and comprehensive regional approach to the management of illegal migration, including through the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime.

    b) Economic

    i) ASEAN Leaders expressed continued appreciation for important capacity building efforts under the wide-ranging ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program (AADCP), which entered its Second Phase in 2009. The support of the AADCP II for ASEAN’s economic integration agenda, including the institutional strengthening of the ASEAN Secretariat, covers A$57 million worth of initiatives over a seven-year period until 2015.

    ii) ASEAN Leaders welcomed Australia’s willingness to work with ASEAN in creating continued momentum for regional trade liberalisation through ASEAN’s FTA networks and to support the ASEAN Connectivity Initiative to maximise the benefits for ASEAN’s economic integration agenda.

    iii) We agreed to continue ongoing efforts to deepen economic cooperation through the enhancement of multi-modal transportation links, commercial relationships and the sharing of experiences and best practices, inter alia, in renewable and clean energy, tourism promotion, people-to-people connectivity, sustainable development and food security.

    iv) We agreed to work closely together to address the development gap across ASEAN member states and to implement the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan 2, including support for sub-regional economic cooperation arrangements. We envisage that such cooperation would help to contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

    c) Socio-Cultural

    i) We reaffirmed the importance of cooperation in education and committed to intensify our efforts to cooperate in the area. ASEAN Leaders welcomed Australia’s enduring commitment to support ASEAN in this sector, by building further on the current award of around 1,000 scholarships per year to ASEAN students, to study in Australia and to Australian students to study in ASEAN countries under the Australia Awards. Australia reaffirmed its commitment to continuing to use scholarships as part of its broader efforts to build capacity in the Least Developed Countries within ASEAN in order to advance progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Australia’s Associate Membership of and ongoing partnership with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) was welcomed.

    ii) ASEAN Leaders appreciated Australia’s commitment to support ASEAN’s disaster preparedness and disaster response capacities. We also welcomed Australia’s disaster response initiative at the EAS, which supports ASEAN’s efforts to implement the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response. We also agreed to work towards an effective and responsive disaster management arrangement for the region, building on the progress made in fora such as the ARF and EAS.

    iii) We shared the view that climate change was an urgent issue and acknowledged that all countries had a part to play in meeting the challenges of climate change. We agreed to strengthen our collaborative efforts, where possible, in areas such as capacity building for ASEAN Member States, and to work towards an outcome at the Cancun Conference in December 2010 which will underpin strong global action on climate change, in line with the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

    iv) ASEAN Leaders welcomed Australia’s ongoing efforts to enhance people-to-people links, including through interfaith dialogue, the Australia Network and other media, and through cooperation in sports promotion, the International Student Exchange program and other cultural exchange programmes, on the basis of promoting greater awareness of one another’s cultural heritage and respect for diversity and tolerance.
     

  7. ASEAN Leaders especially welcomed with appreciation Australia’s further commitment to deepen its cooperation with ASEAN through the following new initiatives announced on the occasion of the Hanoi Summit:

    a) Recognising the importance of ASEAN’s Connectivity Initiative, Australia will make a significant investment in the Greater Mekong to assist in connecting the rural poor to new markets, including by upgrading, rehabilitating and maintaining roads, bridges and rail links in the region.

    b) Australia will contribute to a new initiative with the International Labour Organisation to promote protection of migrant workers, in support of the ASEAN Labour Ministers’ Work Programme 2010-15.

    c) Australia also welcomed ASEAN’s focus on cooperating to promote and protect human rights in the region and confirmed its commitment to assist the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.
     

  8. We look forward to holding ASEAN-Australia summits in the future, in line with the enhanced partnership between the two parties.

    Source: http://asean2010.vn/asean_en/news/48/2DAA04/Joint-Statement-of-the-ASEAN–Australia-Summit