YOUR EXCELLENCY KHUN BANHARN SILPA-ARCHA, PRIME MINISTER OF THAILAND,

YOUR MAJESTY AND YOUR EXCELLENCIES — THE HEADS OF GOVERNMENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS (ASEAN),

YOUR ROYAL HIGHNESSES, EXCELLENCIES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

MY DELEGATION AND I ARE DEEPLY GRATEFUL TO YOU — PRIME MINISTER BANHARN — AND TO THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF THAILAND FOR THE EXTRAORDINARY WARMTH WITH WHICH WE HAVE BEEN WELCOMED. THEIR MAJESTIES –THE KING AND QUEEN — HAVE BEEN PARTICULARLY HOSPITABLE AND ESPECIALLY GRACIOUS, IN CONSENTING TO RECEIVE THE HEADS OF GOVERNMENT AND THEIR LADIES LATER TODAY.

ON THE OCCASION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ASCENSION OF HIS MAJESTY TO THE THRONE OF THE KINGDOM OF THAILAND, WE OF THE PHILIPPINES ONCE MORE FELICITATE THEM.

ON THIS OCCASION, I ALSO CONVEY OUR WELCOME TO VIETNAM TO THE ASEAN FAMILY.

THE SPECIAL WELCOME AND HOSPITALITY ACCORDED TO ALL OF US — IN THAILAND’S UNIQUE STYLE — ARE A MARK NOT ONLY OF THE ASEAN SPIRIT OF AMITY AND SOLIDARITY. THEY AISO SPEAK OF THE EXCEPTIONAL SIGNIFICANCE WHICH THAILAND HAS ALWAYS ASCRIBED TO ASEAN.

RETURNING TO THE PLACE (OF ASEAN’S BIRTH)


IT IS APPROPRIATE THAT — IN THIS FIFTH ASEAN SUMMIT –WE SHOULD BE MEETING HERE IN BANGKOK, THE PLACE OF ASEAN’S BIRTH.

 

HERE, 28 YEARS AGO, ASEAN’S FOUNDERS RAISED THEIR EYES TO THE LOFTY VISION OF “A PROSPEROUS AND PEACEFUL COMMUNITY OF SOUTH-EAST ASIAN NATIONS.”

OVER THE NEXT TWO DAYS, WE, THEIR SUCCESSORS, WILL BE REACHING A HIGHER PEAK ON THE WAY TO THE SUMMIT OF THAT VISION.

BY THE TIME WE LEAVE THIS GREAT CITY, WE WILL HAVE MARKED ASEAN’S ATTAINMENT OF A LEVEL OF COOPERATION FROM WHERE WE CAN LAUNCH OUR FINAL ASCENT TO THE HEIGHTS OF MUTUALITY, INTEGRATION, AND COMMUNITY.

SOUTHEAST ASIA AS A ZONE OF PEACE AND FREEDOM


NOT LONG AFTER ITS FOUNDING, ASEAN SET FORTH THE CONCEPT Of SOUTHEAST ASIA AS A ZONE OF PEACE, FREEDOM AND NEUTRALITY (ZOPFAN). TODAY, MOST OF THE COMPONENTS OF SUCH A ZONE ARE IN PLACE — AND THE PROCESS OF BUILDING ZOPFAN CONTINUES.

 

AT THE FIRST ASEAN SUMMIT– IN 1976 IN BALI — THE HEADS OF GOVERNMENT SIGNED THE TREATY OF AMITY AND COOPERATION IN SOUTHEAST ASIA — TO WHICH BRUNEI DARUSSALAM ACCEDED IN 1984, AND VIETNAM IN 1992.

TODAY ALL TEN SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES ARE SIGNATORIES TO THE BALI TREATY, AND OTHERS HAVE EXPRESSED THEIR WISH TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH IT.

ASEAN HAS DEMONSTRATED ITS CAPACITY TO DEAL WITH PROBLEMS OF SECURITY IN THE REGION — THROUGH ITS ROLE, FOR INSTANCE, IN THE SUCCESSFUL SEARCH FOR A POLITICAL SETTLEMENT OF THE CAMBODIAN CONFLICT — AND THUS TO CONTRIBUTE COLLECTIVELY AND SIGNIFICANTLY TO REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL PEACE AND STABILITY.

DESPITE THE OVERLAPPING CLAIMS OF SOME MEMBERS OF ASEAN TO CERTAIN AREAS OF THE SOUTH CHINA SEA, ASEAN HAS REMAINED UNITED IN ITS CALL FOR A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION OF THE DISPUTES THERE — AND FOR THE CONDUCT OF COOPERATIVE ACTIVITIES THAT BUILD CONFIDENCE AND PRESERVE FROM DESTRUCTION THE SEA’S NATURAL RICHES.

ASEAN HAS ESTABLISHED THE ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM (ARF) — IN WHICH OUR COUNTRIES AND OTHERS WITH INTERESTS IN THE REGION CONSULT ON QUESTIONS OF REGIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY.

ASEAN HAS ALSO COORDINATED ITS POSITIONS ON DISARMAMENT QUESTIONS AT THE UNITED NATIONS AND ELSEWHERE INCLUDING NUCLEAR TESTING AND NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT. TOMORROW, WE TOGETHER WITH THE THREE OTHER COUNTRIES OF SOUTHEAST ASIA: LAOS, CAMBODIA AND MYANMAR — WILL SIGN THE TREATY ON A SOUTHEAST ASIA NUCLEAR WEAPONS-FREE ZONE.

THIS TREATY WILL BE ASEAN’S — AND SOUTHEAST ASIA’S — CONTRIBUTION TO THE CAUSE OF NON-PROLIFERATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AND TO THE TRANQUILLITY OF OUR REGION.

ASEAN HAS THUS PROVED ITSELF TO BE A FORCE FOR PEACE AND STABILITY. NOW WE MUST CONSOLIDATE OUR ACHIEVEMENTS — AND MOVE ON TO HIGHER STAGES OF POLITICAL COHESION.

LET US ACCELERATE THE WORK OF DRAWING UP THE MODALITIES BY WHICH NON-REGIONAL STATES CAN ASSOCIATE THEMSELVES WITH OUR TREATY OF AMITY AND COOPERATION — AND GIVE THAT TREATY GREATER WEIGHT AS AN INSTRUMENT OF PEACE.

DEMILITARIZATION OF THE SOUTH CHINA SEA


LET US GO BEYOND THE VERY USEFUL CONSULTATIONS ON THE SOUTH CHINA SEA AND WORK ON MEASURES TO DEMILITARIZE THAT AREA AND CONSERVE ITS NATURAL RESOURCES AND ECOLOGICAL BALANCE — TOGETHER WITH OTHERS, IF POSSIBLE; BY OURSELVES IN ASEAN AS A MATTER OF NECESSITY.

 

LET US PROMOTE THE CONCEPT OF EACH LITTORAL STATE AROUND THE SOUTH CHINA SEA ASSUMING STEWARDSHIP OVER THE AREA CLOSEST TO IT — WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO SOVEREIGNTY CLAIMS AND PENDING THE SETTLEMENT OF THOSE CLAIMS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ASEAN (MANILA) DECLARATION OF 1992.

LET US URGE THE NUCLEAR POWERS TO ACCEDE TO THE PROTOCOL TO THE TREATY ON A SOUTHEAST ASIA NUCLEAR WEAPONS-FREE ZONE, AND BY REVIEWING THE PROTOCOL AND ADDRESSING THEIR LEGITIMATE CONCERNS AND INTERESTS, ENCOURAGE THEM TO REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE LETTER AND SPIRIT OF THE TREATY.

BUILDING A SOUTHEAST ASIAN COMMUNITY


THE SIGNING OF THE TREATY BY THE HEADS OF GOVERNMENT OF ALL TEN SOUTHEAST ASIAN STATES IS A MOMENT OF GREAT SIGNIFICANCE IN REGIONAL HISTORY. SO IS OUR MEETING WITH THE THREE OTHER LEADERS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA TOMORROW — BECAUSE IT ADVANCES THE BUILDING OF A SOUTHEAST ASIAN COMMUNITY WITH ASEAN AT ITS CORE — A COMMUNITY WE ALL DESIRE — AND A VISION TO WHICH ASEAN’S FOUNDERS ASPIRED.

 

LET US GET CAMBODIA, LAOS, AND MYANMAR INVOLVED — WHENEVER POSSIBLE AND WHEREVER APPROPRIATE — IN ASEAN’S ACTIVITIES — IN OUR POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND FUNCTIONAL COOPERATION — SO THAT THE PURPOSES OF A SOUTHEAST ASIAN COMMUNITY, PROPELLED BY ASEAN, ARE SERVED EVEN BEFORE THEIR FORMAL ADMISSION INTO OUR ASSOCIATION.

PROGRESS TOWARD A SOUTHEAST ASIAN COMMUNITY WOULD ADD CONSIDERABLE WEIGHT TO ASEAN — IN ITS INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD AND IN DEALING WITH THE BIG POWERS.

TOMORROW, WE WILL ALSO BE VALIDATING ASEAN’S DECISION TO ACCELERATE THE ASEAN FREE TRADE AREA (AFTA) BY 2003 — AND COMMITTING OURSELVES TO OTHER MEASURES FOR FURTHER AND FASTER LIBERALIZATION OF TRADE WITHIN AFTA. THE EFFICACY OF SUCH LIBERALIZATION HAS BEEN DEMONSTRATED CONCLUSIVELY BY THE SURGE IN INTRA-ASEAN TRADE.

WE WILL ALSO BE EXPANDING THE SCOPE OF TRADE LIBERALIZATION BY COMMITTING OURSELVES TO REMOVE ALL QUANTITATIVE RESTRICTIONS AND NON- TARIFF BARRIERS IN INTRA-ASEAN COMMERCE; PLACING ALL AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS UNDER AFTA’S POTENTIAL COVERAGE, AND INCLUDING SERVICES WITHIN THE RANGE OF TRADE LIBERALIZATION.

WE HAVE ALSO DECIDED TO ADOPT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS (IPR) AS AN OBJECT OF ASEAN ECONOMIC COOPERATION. TO MAKE TRADE EASIER FOR OUR BUSINESSMEN AND TO ATTRACT INVESTMENTS MORE EFFECTIVELY INTO ASEAN, THE PHILIPPINES WILL SUPPORT MEASURES THAT FACILITATE TRADE — INCLUDING THE HARMONIZATION OF STANDARDS AND OF CUSTOMS PROCEDURES.

A HIGHER PLANE OF INTEGRATION


HAVING ACHIEVED CONSIDERABLE PROGRESS IN OUR ECONOMIC COOPERATION, WE MUST NOW MOVE ON TO A HIGHER PLANE OF ECONOMIC INTEGRATION. THE PHILIPPINES WELCOMES THE AGENDA FOR GREATER ASEAN ECONOMIC INTEGRATION, WHICH OUR MINISTERS HAVE COMMENDED TO US.

 

THE PHILIPPINES PLACES PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE ON COOPERATIVE SCHEMES THAT WILL ENHANCE ASEAN’S ATTRACTIVENESS AS AN INVESTMENT DESTINATION AND AS A COMPETITIVE INVESTMENT REGION. AND WE SUPPORT MEASURES TO STRENGTHEN COOPERATION IN MODERNIZING INFRASTRUCTURE, ESPECIALLY IN TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS.

WE HAVE A DEEP INTEREST IN ASEAN COOPERATION IN DEVELOPING SMALL AND MEDIUM-SCALE ENTERPRISES (SMEs) — WHICH GIVE VIGOR AND ENERGY TO A NATION’S ECONOMY.

WE SHOULD MANDATE OUR MINISTERS TO DEVISE PRACTICAL WAYS FOR OUR BUSINESS SECTORS TO INVIGORATE, EXPAND AND STRENGTHEN NETWORKS OF CONTACT AND INFORMATION — SO THAT OUR POLICIES CAN BE GIVEN VIBRANT LIFE, BY PUTTING IN PLACE BUSINESS ARRANGEMENTS THAT BENEFIT OUR ECONOMIES AND THE MASSES OF OUR PEOPLE.

THE MANILA ACTION PLAN FOR APEC 1996 (MAPS 96)


LET US INTENSIFY OUR ASEAN CONSULTATIONS AND CAUCUSES IN THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO), THE ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION (APEC), THE EUROPEAN UNION (E.U.) AND OTHER MULTILATERAL ECONOMIC BODIES. AS APEC CHAIRMAN FOR 1996, THE PHILIPPINES WILL BE CONSULTING CONSTANTLY WITH ASEAN TO ENSURE A WELL-HARMONIZED MANILA ACTION PLAN FOR APEC (MAPA 96) AND ON OTHER APEC ISSUES.

 

THE FILIPINO PEOPLE AND I WOULD BE DEEPLY GRATEFUL FOR THE HELP AND COOPERATION THAT WE HOPE TO RECEIVE, AND SURELY WE WILL RECEIVE, FROM ALL OF YOU AND YOUR GOVERNMENTS IN THE ARDUOUS TASK OF MOVING APEC’S PURPOSES FORWARD INTO THE MEETINGS IN THE PHILIPPINES WITHIN THE NEXT ELEVEN MONTHS, AND IN MAINTAINING ASEAN’S CENTRAL ROLE IN THE APEC PROCESS.

ASEAN HAS HAD GREAT SUCCESS ALSO IN THE AREAS OF SO-CALLED “FUNCTIONAL COOPERATION” — IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT; ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN, CULTURE, HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND A WIDE RANGE OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL CONCERNS.

LET US BROADEN THESE AREAS AND DARE TO ADDRESS THE NEW TRANSNATIONAL PROBLEMS THAT CHALLENGE ASEAN’S CAPACITY FOR COOPERATION –PHENOMENA SUCH AS THE LARGE-SCALE MIGRATION OF LABOR; THE TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN AND CHILDREN; AND THE GROWING MENACE OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM.

THESE ARE REALITIES WHOSE EXISTENCE WE CANNOT DENY, AND THE NEED TO DEAL WITH THEM BY FIRM BUT COOPERATIVE WAYS IS SOMETHING WE CANNOT NEGLECT.

OVER ITS 28 YEARS, ASEAN HAS ACQUIRED SIGNIFICANT INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD. ASEAN HAS ATTAINED THIS STATURE BY CONSISTENTLY ACTING WITH SOLIDARITY AND COHESION — WITHIN ITSELF AND ON THE WORLD STAGE. IT HAS MANIFESTED ITS CAPACITY THROUGH AN EXPANDING WEB OF RELATIONSHIPS OVER A BROAD RANGE OF HUMAN ENDEAVORS, BOTH AMONG GOVERNMENTS AND AMONG PRIVATE GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS, IN AN IMMENSE VARIETY OF FIELDS.

WE MUST NOW DEEPEN ASEAN’S IDENTITY BY SHARPENING AND BROADENING ITS OWN PEOPLES’ CONSCIOUSNESS OF ASEAN, ITS MEMBER-COUNTRIES, AND ITS PLURAL CULTURES.

THROUGH OUR MASS MEDIA, THROUGH OUR SCHOOLS, THROUGH OUR TEXTBOOKS, LET US INTENSIFY OUR PEOPLES’AWARENESS OF ONE ANOTHER, AND OF ASEAN AS AN INSTITUTION OF GREAT VALUE IN THEIR OWN LIVES. LET US ASK OUR MINISTERS, OFFICIALS AND EXPERTS TO DEVISE WITHOUT DELAY A PURPOSEFUL, PROGRAM FOR BRINGING THIS ABOUT.

YOUR MAJESTY,YOUR HIGHNESSES,EXCELLENCIFS — TODAY, AT THIS FIFTH SUMMIT — WE MAY CONGRATULATE OURSELVES ON HOW FAR WE HAVE COME, BUT HERE WE MUST ALSO CONSOLIDATE WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY ACHIEVED. THEN, WE MUST ADVANCE — WITH THE RESOLUTE VIGOR OF POLITICAL WILL, TO GREATER HEIGHTS OF ECONOMIC OPENNESS AND COHESION, FUNCTIONAL COOPERATION, AND POPULAR ACCEPTANCE.

THIS IS THE HIGHER MISSION TO WHICH WE, OF ASEAN MUST DEVOTE OURSELVES — AS WE MOVE ON TO OUR NEXT SUMMIT, AND ON TO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

MARAMING SALAMAT — SAWADEE KAP — THANK YOU ALL!!!