JAKARTA, November 22, 2013 – The 3rd ASEAN-Australia Joint Cooperation Committee (AA-JCC) Meeting was held at the ASEAN Secretariat on 20th November co-chaired by H.E. Ambassador Elizabeth P. Buensuceso, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines to ASEAN and H.E. Mr. Simon Philip Merrifield, Ambassador of Australia to ASEAN.
The Permanent Representatives of ASEAN welcomed Ambassador Merrifield to the Meeting and expressed appreciation to the Government of Australia for the efforts to deepen its engagement with ASEAN, including the appointment of the first resident Australian Ambassador and the establishment of the Mission of Australia to ASEAN.
The Meeting reviewed the progress in the Implementation of the Plan of Action (POA) to Implement the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-Australia Comprehensive Partnership 2008-2013. The two sides stressed the importance of continuing the effective implementation of the current POA, and working together towards the adoption of a new POA for 2014-2018. The Meeting also agreed to expand and strengthen cooperation in a number of areas, such as disaster management, climate change and environment, public health, human trafficking, connectivity and infrastructure development, education, public outreach and people-to-people contact, among others.
Ambassador Merrifield reiterated Australia’s continued support for ASEAN’s centrality in the regional architecture as well as its Community building process, which, as agreed by the two sides, should also be aligned with ASEAN’s Post-2015 vision. In response, the Permanent Representatives of ASEAN expressed their appreciation to Australia for its valuable support and assistance to ASEAN in these endeavors and looked forward to further elevating the Comprehensive Partnership to a higher plane.
The Meeting discussed and revised the Terms of Reference of the AA-JCC to bring more strategic direction to the mechanism, particularly with regard to its role in overseeing ASEAN-Australia cooperation. The Meeting also looked into preparations for the ASEAN-Australia Commemorative Summit in 2014 and other proposed commemorative activities to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Dialogue Relations
On this occasion, the Chair of the Meeting expressed thanks and appreciation to the ASEAN Member States and Australia for their timely and valuable assistance to the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan that tremendously destructed the central part of the Philippines.