JAKARTA, 6 June 2016 – ASEAN and New Zealand reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen cooperation as strategic partners at the 4th ASEAN-New Zealand Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Meeting, held on 3 June at the ASEAN Secretariat.
This is the first JCC to be held since ASEAN and New Zealand celebrated the 40th Anniversary of their dialogue relations in Kuala Lumpur last year where the Leaders elevated the partnership to a strategic level.
The meeting took stock of the cooperation under the new ASEAN-New Zealand Plan of Action (2016-2020) and noted the positive achievements made in the first six months of implementation. Both sides have reaffirmed to work together to strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest across the three ASEAN Community Pillars and in line with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
To further deepen the existing political and security ties with ASEAN, New Zealand has also reassured its continued support for ASEAN Centrality in the regional security architecture and in the ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus and the East Asia Summit.
The Meeting welcomed New Zealand’s two key strategies which were announced at the Commemorative Summit last year, namely the People Strategy and Prosperity Strategy. As part of these strategies, New Zealand will increase its contribution to over NZD 200 million in the next three years to support cooperation activities with ASEAN. The initiatives include providing practical capacity building support to ASEAN Member States such as the Young Business Leaders Initiative, scholarships programmes, the English Language Trainings for Officials and the Technical and Vocational Education and Training, among others. Both sides agreed to continue their efforts on working closely and fine-tuning these initiatives to the changing needs of ASEAN.
ASEAN also appreciated New Zealand’s valuable financial and technical assistance under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement Economic Cooperation Support Programme which has been extended to June 2018 as well as the Initiatives for ASEAN Integration (IAI). ASEAN looked forward to New Zealand’s support for the IAI Work Plan III and the Post-2015 Agenda for ASEAN Connectivity which will be adopted in September this year.
In moving forward, both sides agreed to expand cooperation on priority areas including defence and security, connectivity, counter terrorism, Small-and-Medium Enterprise development, education and human resource development, renewable energy, food security, agriculture, disaster risk management, environment and climate change.
The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Rahmat Pramono, Permanent Representative of Indonesia to ASEAN, and H.E. Stephanie Lee, Ambassador of New Zealand to ASEAN. Members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) and their representatives attended together with the ASEAN Secretariat.